Aurora 4x Games

Other Games => Pulsar 4x => Topic started by: Antagonist on August 07, 2012, 02:11:03 PM

Title: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist 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!
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Beersatron 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?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Nathan_ 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: jseah 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. 
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: jseah 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. 
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Redshirt 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: MattyD 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Redshirt 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: HaliRyan 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.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist 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.
Title: Some UI ideas
Post by: Redshirt 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...
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: SnopyDogy on August 15, 2012, 06:32:19 AM
Quote from: Redshirt link=topic=5177. msg53265#msg53265 date=1344979026
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 understand that the reason things like this haven’t been done in Aurora is because of limitation in the Technology used by Steve (VB6, etc. ).  I see no reason why we can’t do this in Pulsar4x.

Regarding Scripting, I’m about to start a side course at collage on Visual Scripting in Unity (think Unreal Kismet).  I was thinking maybe we could do something along the same line in Pulsar4X, in addition to (or instead of) a full blown scripting language like Lua.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on August 15, 2012, 06:49:58 AM
I see no benefit to using something like Visual Scripting above something as well-know, well-implemented, fast and easy to bind as lua.

Personally I still feel using C# as the scripting language makes sense, but I wouldn't be opposed to lua or js or something.

We are interested in UI ideas, especially UI mockups.  Even more interested in someone who knows WinForms stepping up and implementing them, but keep ideas flowing in.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on August 15, 2012, 10:56:55 AM
Some more on sensors:

sublight mentioned different tech 'trees' that can be followed, all roughly equivalent, balanced differently but can be researched independantly. Applying this to sensors you can think of a few ways to detect stuff in space, some better at others at some tasks.  Some with emitters and some passive-only.

First, instead of having detection or non-detection binary, we can vary it a little:
Presence - Artificial signatures detected in system, location and any further information unknown. Direction might be revealed.
Detection - Location known, but too uncertain to hit with weapons.  Would start revealing details like size and type of vessel.
Lock - Location known with enough precision for weapons fire. More detailed scans are possible.

Stealth systems would prevent detection or even presence by masking any emissions while ECM systems might actually increase emission but decrease ability to obtain a lock.  There are also varying degrees of locking your opponent which can factor into to-hit along with actual size. Knowing a 30m ship's location within 5m might be more than enough to fire on it, but a 2m ship within 5m might be a different story.  Missiles fit with sensors might have an advantage in that they can be fired with only signal location detected and obtain a lock itself when it gets close.

LIDAR (active), Optical (passive)  - possibly with optical a base tech for all
Thermal (passive) - bonus against populations and reaction mass propulsion drives
RADAR (active), EM (passive) - bonus effectiveness against shielded opponents
Gravity (passive) - weak sensor but powerful at high endgame levels, bonus against artificial gravity equipped ships and gravity-based propulsion systems
Radiation (passive) - bonus against vessels using fission or fusion power systems
Telepathic (passive) - Inbuilt in race, research has minor effect on effectiveness, cant be used to achieve weapons lock, effectiveness scales with population or crew
Laser (active) - Special for use with target painters to achieve weapons lock
Geological (active) - Deep planetary sensors, base tech

Also some more sci-fi sensor types:
Antiproton (active) - I imagine emitting antimatter and detecting even minute matter interactions
Magneton (active/passive) - Magnetic I think? From Star Trek
Tachyon (?) - Used a lot in Scifi
Spacetime (?) - Bonus against zero point power modules

As well as something truely exotic perhaps for the version of invaders we might use.

For sanity I suggest that all sensors operate faster than light. Simply makes programming much easier. Later additions could render sensors (most anyway) limited to lightspeed, but I doubt that it would really add much to gameplay if done.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on August 15, 2012, 01:21:18 PM
Agreed. Sensors are instantaneous for sanity.

Earlier there was some debate on the fun/realism on not being able to hide in space. I think we can do both, since space is BIG. It may take days or months to notice that one little 'star' is moving, but once seen a ship can be easily tracked.

Passive sensors would have three attributes: Size, Sensitivity, and scan time.
A slower scan time increases exposure time and sensitivity: allowing for longer range detection.

Active emitters would come in two types: wide beam and narrow beam.
Wide beam causes all ships (including your own) to echo an EM or other signature.
Narrow beam would be a range finder that provides a large targeting bonus and helps keep known targets from leaving sensor range.

Example Passive sensors:

Fast Scanner: Good for seeing fast object nearby.
Scan Speed: 1 revolution/second
Detection range: 1x
Detection time: 1 second
Maximum target speed: None.

Minute Man
Scan Speed: 1 revolution/minute
Detection range (sqrt scanTime): 7.7x
Detection time: (25-75% scanTime) 15-45 seconds
Maximum target speed: (2Pi * distance / scanTime):  105 km/s@1k km, 105k km/s @1m km

Day Scanner: A slow methodical sensor that will find nearly everything, given time.
Scan Speed: 1 revolution/day
Detection range: 294x
Detection time: 6-18 hours
Maximum target speed: 72 m/s@1k km, 72 km/s@1m km, 72k km/s@1b km
--------------------------------------

Detection levels:

Presence - Lets say location known, but race/class unknown.
Detection - As with Presence, but signature has been observed long enough to identify race/class or other details.
Lock - Target is illuminated with a narrow-beam range finder.

Breaking Contact:
Contact can be broken by:
a) moving faster than the sensor can track you.
b) moving ten times as far as the sensor's acquisition range. They know what to look for and where.
c) hiding behind an asteroid or other planetary object outside of acquisition range.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Nathan_ on August 15, 2012, 03:01:09 PM
Right now aurora only has 2 different detection rules, one for actives, and one for passives. can ~10 mechanically different detection rules be thought up, or are they going to be flavor differences?

As to the sensor sweep idea, that basically conflicts with the sensor-instantaneous principle, since the sweep itself determines when a ship is detected. likewise devoting more tonnage to multiple sensor sweeps for the slower ones would basically approximate just building a larger sensor as now. Its an interesting idea, and the math might not be too crippling, but that one will definitely need a proof of concept.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: jseah on August 16, 2012, 07:33:59 AM
RE the big picture:

Most of that seems ok to me, but the tech lockout thing I would disagree with. 

You can achieve the same effect by making tech progress have linear cost and benefit increase.  This would make it so that investing in the same tech is always going to be just as good as it always was, so there's no need to diversify.  Of course, this would necessitate having rather more levels than Aurora has so perhaps not a good idea. 

And in fact, you already wouldn't.  Often in TN Aurora, I pick missiles and one energy weapon then just focus solely on them.  Why should I sink a few hundred thousand RP into a new weapons system when I can make my already awesome laser even 1 TL more awesome?
Having multiple drives to research would mean I would pick one or two to focus on (probably one primary used for everything and one secondary to fill gaps); especially since getting the absolute best engine performance will be critical in a Newtonian environment. 

EDIT: basically, we should encourage the tech lockout by constructing the technology/research system appropriately, instead of making it a built-in thing.  We CAN research steam engines if we want to, there's just no economic sense.  Same thing with the tech system. 

Also, reactionless drives are probably not a good idea if you're doing Newtonian.  Just saying.  Even if it was ten or twenty times as inefficient, reactionless is a major major advantage. 
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on August 16, 2012, 08:10:52 AM
Agreed on the tech-lockout being an emergent property instead of forced.

re: Reactionless drives, what I was thinking is like a gravity drive, use artificial gravity to create gravity pockets your ship 'falls' into, like Mass Effect.  You still have accelleration constraints and these can still use fuel to power, mostly due to the assumed much much higher energy requirements such a system might have.  I don't see any specific advantage these would have over reaction drives beyond the stealth factor against thermal scans, tho would show up clearly using gravity scans.

Alternate reaction drives might access a 'fluid' dimension it pushes against like a ship propeller might.  Okay, still a reaction drive, but counts as reactionless since the opposing reaction isn't in this dimension.  I was thinking about this when I read (dunno official or speculation) that this is how Mi-Go fly in space with wings, since a large potion of their mass doesn't exist in our 3 dimensions.  Again though I don't see how this is a 'major, major advantage'.

If the advantage is in less fuel needed? Then also consider that reaction drives can take advantage of ramscoops which should help reduce fuel requirements of interstellar travels.  Reactionless drives maybe too, but we can balance that.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: jseah on August 16, 2012, 02:04:28 PM
The advantage is that fuel / mass = delta-v. 
It's a simple linear equation while reaction drives follow tsiolkovsky's rocket equation, which is rather more than linear. 

Unless its nerfed into uselessness, reactionless drives make high velocities feasible faster than reaction drives. 
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on August 17, 2012, 10:28:50 AM
Reactionles drives would be a cool tech to have, but we would need some thought on how to make them work. Perhapse a low acceleration, low maximum speed - but zero fuel use?

For tech lockout to be an emergent property we would either need to increase the research cost of 'old tech' if more advanced variants exist or better yet have a minimum research time constraint. Otherwise it would be too easy to snap up bypassed tech latter when you have massive numbers of labs.

On detection rules: It will be cool to have 3 or 4 mechanically different detection methods, but more than that would be overkill.

On scanners with a sweep time: still instantaneous detection. We wouldn't actually both tracking where a sweep was: the number is technically a probability that the scanner is facing you with the head and tail of the probability curve chopped off.

On Ship Speed.
In the Vision thread I proposed Nuclear Fission as the energy baseline. It has a nice plausible feel, but I'm having 2nd thoughts. Should we ramp the energy baseline up toward encapsulated anti-matter? It would give the game a feel closer to egg shells dueling with chainsaws, but would get ships moving faster.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Erik Luken on August 17, 2012, 11:11:32 AM
To me reactionless drives would have a smaller turn radius. Maybe give them a lower acceleration to compensate.

Making old tech more expensive to research doesn't really pass the giggle test. Is there a reason to research steam engines when you have Mr. Fusion?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on August 17, 2012, 11:20:21 AM
Nothing stopping you from researching steam engines, but its gonna cost a lot less research to make your combustion drives a little faster than to make your steam engine equivalent to combustion drive, then a little faster.

If all you want is a faster engine, then its pretty obvious where you gonna put your research points.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on August 17, 2012, 11:32:16 AM
I'd like to give 2 ideas for gravity engines...

1) Either it creates a 'pocket' of gravity then has the ship 'fall' into it

2) Some spooky action at a distance.  Its not truely reactionless, it just manages to 'push' off local gravity sources, dumping kinetic energy into nearby stars and planets.  This means this device is FAST around large gravity wells.  Deep space or further out around where others take advantage of hyperdrives? Not so much.

Reaction drives might be able to apply continuous thrust while travelling between stars, but gravity drives can't, relying on the momentum they built up around the source star.  This gives a natural advantage to reaction over gravity in interstellar travels as well as wide orbiting planets, while gravity drives have a distinct advantage in inner systems.  Perhaps it consumes fuel? Perhaps most gravity drive civs will invest a LITTLE into a reaction drive to help boost their interstellar speeds and so they aren't helpless in a fight in the outer system where they would otherwise have circles run around them with hyperdrive equipped ships.  This assumes hyperdrive is something you can use in-system instead of just used as a velocity multiplier for inter-system flight.

This is a proposal for a mechanically different propulsion type.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Erik Luken on August 17, 2012, 11:48:06 AM
Nothing stopping you from researching steam engines, but its gonna cost a lot less research to make your combustion drives a little faster than to make your steam engine equivalent to combustion drive, then a little faster.

If all you want is a faster engine, then its pretty obvious where you gonna put your research points.

That's what I'm saying. If a steam engine gives 1 unit of thrust for 100 RP, and a combustion engine gives 2 units for 150 RP and both are available at the start, why bother with steam? Unless there is something coming off the steam trunk later that I might want.

To preclude this, I'd say hidden tech trees. You start with techs X, Y, Z. A different game you start with W, X, Z. A third game start is R, M, O. Obviously there should be "always" have techs, and if an NPR starts with A, B, C and you have D, E, F, then when you encounter them, you can capture and reverse engineer A, B, C. But without the base techs they belong to, you cannot research A+, B+, C+.

If that makes sense. :)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: clement on August 17, 2012, 01:02:49 PM
That's what I'm saying. If a steam engine gives 1 unit of thrust for 100 RP, and a combustion engine gives 2 units for 150 RP and both are available at the start, why bother with steam? Unless there is something coming off the steam trunk later that I might want.

To preclude this, I'd say hidden tech trees. You start with techs X, Y, Z. A different game you start with W, X, Z. A third game start is R, M, O. Obviously there should be "always" have techs, and if an NPR starts with A, B, C and you have D, E, F, then when you encounter them, you can capture and reverse engineer A, B, C. But without the base techs they belong to, you cannot research A+, B+, C+.

If that makes sense. :)

I believe what Antagonist was getting at is that if you are in Combustion Drives Level 5 vs. Steam Engines Level 1, then going to Combustion Drives 6 will be cheaper than researching everything to get to Steam Engines 6. Effect the player is pot committed to Combustion Drives over Steam Engines due to all of the previous research that has been put into it and relative cost to get to the next level of better performance regardless of what the tech is.

The hidden tech is what Sword of Stars II does, or aims at if they fix all the bugs. There are several different tech trees in each research categories like Weapons. In weapons there are missiles, torpedoes, beams, mass drivers and so on. Randomly some of them will be available or not available to different races. In addition some races have bonuses to certain types like Mass Drivers and will always have access to that form of Weapon.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Redshirt on August 17, 2012, 02:12:05 PM
Somehow, the hidden/allowed techs should be dependant on species and/or starting system- or maybe allow the player to choose? For instance, if you're a race of robots that live in a nebula, (I dunno, maybe Von Neumann machines crashed on the planet then gained sentience?) it's going to suck if your research trees include biotech, shields, and missiles.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: SnopyDogy on August 17, 2012, 06:40:19 PM
Regarding making Tech Lockout an emergent property, one way to do this would be to make certain Tech line require different resources over others.  A good example would be fuel for Different Engines Techs.  If you don’t have the fuel required for an Engine Tech line A on you home world, then you will develop Engine Tech B, by the time you have enough fuel to make Engine Tech A viable for use you will be well down the Tech line for Engine B, and then we have the situation Antagonist was talking about.  This seems more natural to me than just randomly removing certain line at the start of every game, this way there is a game world reason for why a particular tech was adopted.

Another way would be to make the scientists more specialised, so instead of being Specialised in Propulsion, they might be Specialised in Propulsion->Jump Tech, say.  This way you would be more limited at the start of the game when it comes to which techs are the most efficient to learn.  You could also make it so that they get 100% of the bonus for the Broad Tech group (e. g.  Propulsion) and %200 for the Specific Line (i. e.  Jump Tech).
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: SnopyDogy on August 21, 2012, 08:31:11 PM
Redshirt’s talk about consolidating Auroras Many different screens down into a small number of more manageable ones got me thinking about how we could use scripting and AI to eliminate some of them altogether, or at least save us from having to use the all the time.

Take for example the battle control window. What if we used some (Scriptable?) AI code to automatically make weapon assignments and target assignment, and then add in commands like “Engage Enemy” or “Engage enemy at close quarters” in the Task groups window. Between these two it would be possible to give one order to a task group and have it logically engage an enemy without further user interaction. While not possible or desirable for all battles it could streamline some, such as those where you have overwhelming force, or no hope of winning in the first place.

Another idea I had was about a “Simulator” play mode for simulating battles. I.e. you could just gen a random system, add some ships and play a battle without having to play the rest of the game. It would also be great if you could switch from the main game into the “simulator” mode to say, test out some new class designs before you cast them in stone by building actual ships based on that class (I’ve lost track of the number of time I have discovered that I put the wrong fire control on one of my ships in the middle of a fight, or forgot them altogether). I.e. Use a star system from the current game, use your current ships and use actual enemy (or friend) races from that game in a “simulation”. This would also be useful for testing AI scripts and the like.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Redshirt on August 22, 2012, 10:26:16 AM
Yes on the simulator- we could also include pre-made scenarios for fun.

For combat assignments- in addition to "engage enemy", there should probably be settings for "focused fire" and "distributed fire" (when you really want to take out the mothership, or pick off as many incoming FAC as possible.) Maybe have primary and secondary target designations as well. And settings to protect ship(s) of class X at all costs- gotta have good escort support for your dropships if they're landing under fire.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Elster on October 25, 2012, 09:04:34 AM
Hi, I think that for the motion of very fast objects like spaceships or some planets like Mercury Newtonian mechanics isn't enough, you need to use the General or at least the Restricted theory of relativity.   Maybe its a bit too complicated or hardcore to model, but it would be awesome to be able to model the effects of time dilation or length contraction, and see how a crew that spends 20 years in space to reach a far away star system only ages 5 years for example.   Or to be able to build transgenerational spaceships bound for distant star systems. 

Also, I personally don't like to much the idea of instant travelling between systems using gates of wormholes, at least during the initial expansion phase, it makes it to easy and routinely to reach another star and don't makes the player to take the colonization of the solar systems they find to seriously.   Also if expansion is more difficult you don't have to have a map with 1000+ solar systems, because you'll only be able to reach a few dozens of them.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on October 26, 2012, 01:48:07 PM
I think we can neglect relativity for all planets, comets, and in-system space travel.

If my relativistic understanding is correct then in order for an object to shrink to 99.9% of its original length and slow to 99.9% of normal aging it would have to accelerate to roughly 0.045c, or 13,500 km/s. With newtonian Kinetic weapons planned we won't be allowing ships to travel nearly this fast. :)

Reaction drive speeds will be limited by Sorium energy density (tentatively pegged at 10% natural uranium).
Reaction less drives have been proposed, but will likely be limited by stellar mass, technology, or some other constant.
Interstellar travel will be non-instantaneous. Steve's Newtonian FTL Hyperdrive rules will probably be used as a starting point.

Still... that does raise a few interesting points.
Should all space travel be restricted to sublight speeds? A 'warp' drive that only makes 0.9c would greatly slow the game, but could make an interesting twist.

Also, should ship crew ages be tracked? I'm not sure we want to slow the game so much that the crew's age becomes as important as maintenance life, even if the choices of relativistic time dilation vs rotations through cryogenic sleep to prolong crew life add a more realistic, grittier, feel.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: niflheimr on October 26, 2012, 04:07:41 PM
FTL warp with enough restrictions to make it fun is my opinion . at .9 c we are talking weeks in RL just to travel a couple dozen LY . Not to mention crew morale if you send the for a combat mission that will take 20 years in travel time alone.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: ThatBlondeGuy on October 27, 2012, 04:26:19 AM
Redesigning ground combat, and occupation so that each planet has a number of 'regions' - think of each region as a hex - the number of regions is determined by planet size. This will allow for a more tactical approach to ground combat, by ordering some troops to station Region X, Y, Z while Some troops assault the defending forces at Region V. It will  make ground combat and occupation of territory much more fluid, and even enable that installations, and other notable features on a planet are located in certain regions. Enabling you to decide to stirke the heart of production, or mining.. etc.. etc. This should also allow conquering populations to be easier, and will also make multi-civ starts easier due to the fact that each nation/civ/race has a starting region/regions on the planet.

Anyway this idea was just something I had in passing as I was playing Victoria 2 on one monitor, and Aurora on the other.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on October 29, 2012, 03:23:15 AM
Dividing the planet into hexes also has advantages in economies and climate.

I'm not a huge fan of systems where you build a factory and it occupies an entire hex and nothing else can be built there, but perhaps we can think of some way to structure development.  It should be automatable however since you no longer want to micromanage planets when you get to 20+.

As for climate... it is possible to assign some hexes as ice, some desert, some temperate, some ocean. This will influence the albido of the word with some detail. Any atmosphere albido will just build on top of that.

What I am concerned of is that this is quite some work for little benefit.  The tactical combat perhaps, but it still involves a whole new set of UI's to pull off.

Later versions perhaps.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: ThatBlondeGuy on October 29, 2012, 05:10:18 AM
I wasn't saying that you build a factory and it occupies the entire hex ala Gal Civ II (if i recall that uses that system for ground construction)) more that each hex houses a number of installations/areas think of it like a colony in Aurora at the moment, and each planet only has a number of these hexes/places for colonies, and civs. If you own multiple Hexes on one planet everything you have still comes under one administrative tab - with exception to ground combat that still uses hexes. I'm not sure i'm explaining this at all well... I'm going to be quiet now :P
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on October 29, 2012, 05:27:26 AM
A number of slots per hex could work...

One thing that irks me about Aurora is the way that planets literally seem to have unlimited space, for colonists or for factories and construction. Just adding arbitrary limits on how many installations can be on a planet seems a non-ideal solution to me, but since you can fit the entire economic powerhouse of your 1000 planet empire on your homeworld is a tad jarring.

What I like about slots per hex rather than a building that takes the whole hex (how is that ever explained?), is that the number of slots can also be customized by the terrain. Mountainous regions might be able to support less buildings than plains, as well as less living and farming area for population (living space isn't what limits how many people we can fit in an area, logistics for supply and food actually does).  Perhaps even types of slots? No farming area in Antarctica, but you can place your sensors or other bases there etc.  Research can improve the number of slots various hexes provide.

Hmm, I wonder if there is a real limitation on how many factories you can have on a continent. I assume that logistics concerns would be a problem (fresh water, transport, workers, food), before you run out of area.  Instead of building slots, logistic slots? Split between farming for populations, or industry for factories.  I don't see why you would limit the number of military bases on a continent (America seems to be proving this IRL already, since logistics costs is included in the base costs), but certainly limits on how many millions or billions of people you can support.

Somewhat related, it did always annoy me how useless civilian industry is in Aurora. The government factories and labs etc should be specialized with full control, but as IRL proves, you can always subcontract.  The factory that makes refrigerator parts can always for a large enough contract be able to retool to make missile parts, even if not as efficiently as a dedicated government factory.  As population and civ industry grows, all planets should have SOME of that translate to factory, part and ship building, research points.  A 6 billion pop world that can't so much as slap a shuttle together till you import some factories just doesn't seem right to me.  Having proper factories tho should always be better than a civ-industry powered world.  This might even encourage you to spread out your construction a little if every world you have can contribute by default.

This will need to be thought about some more.  I am not willing to add a mechanic like this just to add a mechanic to this, it should be well-designed, fun and add to the game.  But I'm feeling a little more warm to it than before.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: MattyD on October 29, 2012, 10:54:36 AM
If you assume that any military factory has to be supported by a set amount of civilian industry depending on political system and race, and that each terrain type has an ideal amount of population it can support, modified by distance from ideal gravity, temperature and atmosphere than you get a nice mechanic that encourages terraforming beyond the minimum to achieve colony cost 0.

A hydrosphere could also modify this, imagine an ideal planet all of water - what a disappointment that would be, only a limited amount of real estate.


There could be bands of ideal equatorial land, with worse and worse prospects the higher north and south you go.

Any excess population will have a reduce impact on production levels from that hex until perhaps a negative bonus is achieved - how effective is are the Judge Dread Megacities for instance.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: jseah on October 29, 2012, 11:12:21 AM
A way to track and move hydrospheres would be nice.  Would make a nice incentive to make "megalifters" since even if an Aurora standard freighter can move more TN minerals than you can use, compared to even a tiny moon's hydrosphere, that's a literal drop in the ocean. 

But imagine that.  You find an goldilocks planet but it has too much water vapour and carbon dioxide.  Aka. it's Venus.  And it has no moon. 
Reprocess the carbon dioxide into enough oxygen, keep the carbon and dump the excess oxygen into the star.  As the temperature drops, the water vapour condenses starting a runaway drop in temperature that results in a warm and humid oceanic planet. 

Then your megalifters come in and simply scoop away gigatons of ocean, while at the same time you survey for alkali metals and trace metals needed for plants.  Asteroids found are crashed into the planet. 
A rocky asteroid is parked in orbit and the oceanic ice used to pad it out into a small moon.  The carbon excess from the CO2 removal is also used here. 


That sounds like a megaproject I totally should do if I find any space 4X that supports that kind of flexibility.  Venus to second Earth vanity project.  =D
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on October 29, 2012, 12:43:05 PM
I like MattyD's idea of population/production limits per region rather than 'slots'. I'm skeptical of how well the Aurora system of hundreds of installations covering over a dozen categories could be stuffed into region-slots.

Mega projects sound cool, and will be added. Whenever we get around to coding that we'll probably start by adding asteroid transformation/re positioning projects.

Back to planet maps. We'll want to start coding some form of this soon, so ideas are needed. The biggest question is philosophy and scale. The two competing ideas seem to be continental regions vs planetary hex mapping.

Continental regions are an excellent abstract way to add planetary control/development detail while keeping the focus on interstellar drama. As a further plus, with only a small number of regions, regional activities could be added to planetary models in the system view if/when 3D modeling of that gets coded. I think this approach stays the closest to the classic Aurora universe. On the small planet scale armies can practically invade directly from one region to another in direct assaults, while the real interest is in the deep-space fights.

Planetary maps invite the potential for ground-combat maneuvering, and space becomes that much bigger when young colonies are just a cluster of development on an empty frontier. This expanded dimension allows a game of equivalent complexity to play out over a smaller galactic map, making ground combat and colony/system exploration/expansion a much greater part of the game.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: MattyD on October 29, 2012, 03:07:50 PM
I'm trying to remember the planetary maps in GDW's 2300AD, I think each planet had a map made up of 36 triangles, which could then be subdivided into hexes.

Heres one for traveler I think: I'm posting a link to another website rather than hosting it which is a little cheeky but I don't think there will be huge traffic. Link to image (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=2300ad+map&start=137&um=1&hl=en&biw=1215&bih=710&tbm=isch&tbnid=j5h-cIKaf70NzM:&imgrefurl=http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php%3Ft%3D17907%26page%3D3&docid=NpafbPXuEXBMZM&imgurl=http://www.practicalairsoft.co.uk/hnaar/images/H_and_E_Hnaar_map.gif&w=614&h=300&ei=j9-OUNjzKOWf0QW2hYH4BQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=857&vpy=376&dur=3952&hovh=157&hovw=321&tx=117&ty=180&sig=108576840470824262762&page=6&tbnh=144&tbnw=295&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:55,s:100,i:169)

Each triangle has 9 hexes per side.


If we stick to just the triangles that should be enough regions for gameplay without over complicating things - mind you, what about mining? are minerals deposited evenly through planet crusts - any mine will be able to reach all of the deposits or do we need mines at regions of high concentration?

The hexes would only be useful for ground combat, but how detailed is it going to be? For the short term, a risk like game moving units into adjacent triangles might be desired.

My expansion is limited, on a long game I may settle < 10 worlds so a little more detail on that side of it suits me fine, it would help personalize the planets a little.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Elster on October 30, 2012, 09:13:56 AM
Regarding to no Faster Than Light travel and communications, I think that It could be added as an option in a checkbox manner, like in Aurora you can start a game without Trans-newtonian technology, this way you can have a completely different experience playing the game.

Another interesting point with that is how can you wage war with no FLT, or how can you maintain an empire.  I think you face the same problems that the Spaniards and English had with their colonial empires, when travel and communications took months to reach the different provinces of their colonial empires.  But again, I think that should be just an option for the more hardcore players.

Regarding the different areas for planets, I'd like to add that these different areas have different colonization costs, for example, it's not the same to live in Antartida or in the middle of the Sahara Desert, than to live in the Mediterranean coast, though the atmosphere of the Earth is the same everywhere the latitude and terrain composition matters a lot, regarding habitability issues.  So I'd make temperature a funtion not only of the albedo, but also of the latitude, and let's not forget that unless the atmosphere is very thick, like Venus or Titan, the albedo depends on diffuse reflectivity of the terrain.  For example water reflects less than a 10% of the light, like forests, sand or soil reflect between a 20 and a 30% and snow reflects between 40 and an 80% depending if it's fresh or not [1].  That means that different areas would have different temperatures, and by modifying these areas by building stuff in them the albedo would also be modified.  Asphalt only reflects about a 4% of the light [2].

To end this post, I would like to comment also that I agree with Antagonist about civilian industry, I think that civilian industry should be directly proportional to population and infrastructure[2], and their main function to create wealth buy producing consumer products that also would increase the happiness of the population, then you should be able to control part of this industry, depending on the policies, political system, species, etc.  In a similar way that games like the Hearts of Iron or the Victoria series model it.  This industry would consume by default a certain amount of resources, like raw materials, energy or food, and maybe little amounts of trans-newtonian materials too, and would produce consumer goods, that would increase maintain happiness and wealth, through taxes to the industry.  This way you don't have to build Financial Centers.  Also it won't be civilian or military industry, just industry, and you as a government can ask the civilians to lend you a certain amount of that industry to produce spaceships and the like, like in real life, the trade-of is that, by using the industry to produce spaceships or other stuff, you loose the capacity to produce consumer goods and wealth, so you have to balance that.

The advantage of doing this is that you don't have to micromanage to much the industry tab and that besides the trans-newtonian materials, wealth, population and fuel, you only add 4 more resources: consumer goods, energy, raw materials and food.

If you think that you need more resources then you can divide the generic consumer goods in pharmaceuticals, luxury products, furs, machinery, etc.

[1] hxxp: en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Albedo
[2] Of course that depends in the end in how realistic you want the game and the amount of time you don't mind to wait while the turn takes place.
[3] I think that infrastructure should be used also to model the transport and communications systems of the planets, for building colonies in  difficult environments I'd use something else, like life support systems, or something like that.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on October 30, 2012, 03:28:38 PM
Some thought about the wealth system could be improved upon in the sense that the term Wealth is removed as something that you can store. The only thing you actually can do with wealth (currency) is to borrow or lend it from one sector of an economy to another.

In terms of a game like this then wealth would simply be the sum of the produced goods and services in the private industry and how well that is distributed in the society to meet the demands of the people. The industry that is not used for wealth production can be  used for non productive industry like warships for the empire. An empires real wealth should just be a value of its total industry and technological advancements versus population size and demand. The constraints of the economy would be energy and minerals and to some extent technological advancements.

Trade between two interstellar empires could lead to one being more beneficiary than the other. But all in all it could also lead to higher wealth in both societies and should also lead to some benefits on technological development when the trade is fair and balanced.

Somehow Wealth should be a civilian controlled value from civilian industry and should vary from world to world depending how well developed and organized it is. Industry could then be used and subcontracted by the government or resources (workers, specialists, goods etc..) could be diverted to government facilities at other parts of the empire.

Things like research should mainly be provided by the people (as a resource) and channeled by the government (the player). Just building the facilities should not be enough. Aurora models this to some extent by providing the labs and forcing you to recruit scientists from academies from which you then need to pay wealth to operate. The major problem in Aurora is that the economy is extremely simplistic and as long as you have the minerals and a labor force you can just keep building financial centers. How these actually create wealth I really don't get... wealth is earned through scientific and industrial progress and efficiency.

In the real human society real wealth comes from the people creating it in the private sector, not in the government sector. Depending on the government type Wealth could be produced and consumed differently.

I would not propose a system that is much more complex than the one in Aurora, but I would like to see a system where wealth could not really be stored in a society as a whole. It should always be a balance between income and expenditure and when the expenditure outweighs the income you would actually start to erode the total wealth and will eventually collapse the whole system. That is when morale, revolts and revolutions enters the picture... ;)

Just some food for thought...
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on November 01, 2012, 04:20:14 PM
@MattyD:
That is one of the best finite element maps of sphere. Great find! Only trouble is, that would have to be a one-size-fits-all solution to planet mapping. I can't think of any way to scale just the triangles of that to different sized planets without subdividing it back up to the original hexes. Are people ok with a map tile representing vastly different areas from one planet to another? For example, applying the same map to both the Earth and the Moon would make the Earth tiles 13x larger than a lunar tile.

If we want to keep tile size some what consistent we could try using two polar-projection maps of north/south hemespheres for each planet. For example:
(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x184/sublightrun/PolarProjection.png)

If we exclude dwarf planets, small moons, asteroids, etc from having a map (those are single-region objects that can't be shared) then:

1 tile/hemisphere:  1,200+ km radius: Triton, Europa
3 tile/hemisphere:  1,697+ km radius: Moon, Io, Callisto, Mercury, Ganymede
7 tile/hemisphere:  2,939+ km radius: Mars
15 tile/hemisphere: 4,490+ km radius: Venus, Earth
31 tile/hemisphere:  6,573+ km radius: Any alien rocky planet even larger than earth.

A bit clunkier, but this would hold size range per tile to 6-18 million square km per tile for a 3x maximum area difference.

Q: Anyone have thoughts on if a uniform map or a uniform tile area is better?

As for minerals:
a) each region has a couple of minerals
b) each region shares the same planetary mineral pool, but each region has a unique accessibility bonus/penalty for each mineral.


@Wealth:
I imagine financial centers generate paper-assets (stocks, mortgages) that facilitate and encourage wealth generation/consumption.

The simplest way to model renting civilian industry would be to grant the 'unemployed' manufacturing sector conventional-industry like productivity that can be rented in part or in whole at double the normal imperial production rate cost. Placing a cap on stored wealth would also be easy to implement.


Keep the ideas coming.  8)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: ardem on November 01, 2012, 11:24:00 PM
Ground Combat
A 3D model with a very large Hex and pentagon Grid would be the best, adjustable hex and pentagon Grid dependent on the size of the planet. Hexes can be water/ice/land you could expand more

Like a socerball
(http://webmaths.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/soccerball1.png) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Truncatedicosahedron.gif)

Or you could go the standard grid but I think soccerball gives you easier movement concepts.
http://csem.engin.umich.edu/kdi/newgrid.php

But I do not ascribe to do 'Light of Altair' City development and huge icons popping out of the planet to be that break the immersion of a 'serious game'. Cities could be a Hex type, but would rather see abstract art like Flags or unit counters to signify combat troops and operations.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Ektoras on November 02, 2012, 12:18:02 AM
I really like planets maps, they will add another dimension. I prefer the 3D sphere, it feels more like a planet.  Grid size could be a parameter set by the user, as a bigger grid would mean he has to spend more time in ground combat.

 One concern with planet maps and ground combat is AI's ability to handle them.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: ardem on November 02, 2012, 12:22:35 AM
AI would be ok would big grid sizes, however smaller grid sizes and more terrain features would make AI harder to conquer. I think start with big ones and see how far you can go with limited AI.

But the AI should play it like Risk, which is put your most amount of troops able to attack a single hex at one time, within the boundaries of terrain.

How you determine terrain and the combat bonuses or modifiers will determine the real depths. Not so much as movement such as TOAW other top down strategy games.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Antagonist on November 02, 2012, 02:56:51 AM
If you wanna go the hex route I would advise applying icosahedron subdivision.

It is the best way I have found to subdivide a sphere into varying resolutions of grids.  You'll still sit with some variation in grid size with every step adding more hexes, but you'll have that problem no matter what you do.

You start with an Icosahedron (think a d12), then split triangles till you get to your needed resolution, then turn the triangles to hexagons (and pentagons, that is unfortunately unavoidable). At low resolutions it will look like a soccerball, as pictured above.  I have to say this is the same technique traveller uses.

Google 'Light of Altair' to see images of how another game studio does this, cept they use a electrons on the sphere model that they then triangulate.  The advantage of THIS method is far far far greater ability to custimize the number of grids per planet, though with the disadvantage of some irregular sized grids: while most are hexes, seen some squares or even triangles using this method.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: MattyD on November 02, 2012, 08:34:23 AM
Surely we are getting ahead of ourselves a little here, what do we want planetary maps for? is ground combat going to feature in initial releases...

Why not have something like this:

For a given diameter there will be a set number of long and lat slots. Then depending on the planets magnetic field, water present, star type we can create a base colony cost at the equator. Now the temps will change with latitude so on some planets it might be favourable to settle at the poles while on others only a goldilocks band at the equatorial zone. I would like some variation to colony cost as well, not all areas in the same zones are as viable.

As the planet is terraformed more to the ideal, more and more slots will become colony cost 0.



Numbers are colony cost for a world a little on the cold side.

               [3.1]                    +25
          [1.3][1.6][1.9]               +10
     [0.6][0.8][0.7][0.9][0.8]          +4  The temp at latitudes
[0.3][0.0][0.9][1.2][0.0][0.3][0.2]      0  affects colony cost,
     [0.7][0.8][0.4][0.6][0.3]          +4  for example here
          [1.1][1.4][1.3]               +10 increases by a %
               [2.9]                    +25

edit: I posted in courier because it would be quicker than knocking up an image. I got that wrong.


This should be simpler to code, and preserves some sense of long and lat for future expansion. I like the idea that a whole planet is available once you have the colony cost down to 0. This way, once you begin terraforming small pockets of viable land will open up. If we assume that each pocket might have in ideal circumstances enough land to house say 5 million workers and that as a democracy 50% of labour has to be civilian it means I can place 50 CF in this one slot and nothing else.

As long as we have lat and longs we can keep the same data and expand it when we want to move ground forces around on the dirt.

Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on November 02, 2012, 02:06:44 PM
We are currently putting finishing touches on system generation, so logically next will be planet generation code. For that, we need to first decide how/if regions will be mapped and what information is tracked at a region level rather than a planetary level. Any 'temporary' solution included in the initial beta release is likely to become permanent, so in the interest of the think-twice code-once philosophy I'd prefer to code now whatever we need to support ground combat and colony management latter.

Two concerns are:
1) Balancing detail, game play, and save database size. There will be hundreds of mapped bodies.
2) Balancing ease of coding and game play. The simpler the code, the earlier the release.

Grid Maps:
Similar to MattyD's latest example.
Pro: Easy to code and generate, scales well.
Con: Easy to make too big, less interesting to look at, will have some distortion between latitudes or along map edges.

Regular Polyhedrons or Archimedean Solids as Maps:
Pro: Preserves spateral relationships and distances on a sphere. Looks stunning if rendered in 3D.
Con: If. Its a big one. 2D projections may be awkward, poor scaling if small maps are used. Given our previous trouble with cross-platform UIs I'm in minor terror of the idea of finding myself trying to personally code/render some of those shapes.

Conclusion: We are not going to commit to using complex geometric shapes for our planetary map unless/until:
a) we find a shape/format that scales easily and can be displayed in a user-friendly 2D projection for the initial release
b) someone finds or writes working sample code for both Windows and OSX/Linux that both renders a geometric figure and records which face a mouse click event is on.

Why? I want us to have planet mapping done and coded by the end of the month preferably, by Christmas at the latest. We'll make the best map system we can in that time, but I don't think planet mapping is worth spending longer on.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: MattyD on November 02, 2012, 03:43:16 PM
The only way you could have stunning 3D planets, asteroids, gas giants and so on is to have procedurally generated textures, otherwise the same images are going to come round and round.

That's a lot of coding work for the sake of appearance.

In terms of gameplay, is it worth the trouble? How detailed is ground combat going to have to be to justify the coding?

I would prefer less time spent on eye candy but that's just me.

I suppose it comes down to the size of the universe, this level of individual detail on multiple planets is going to be a nightmare with the scope of Steve's game. If I have 10 colonized systems and I have to assign a governor to each zone, then a planetary governor to oversee them. Then do I have to set the industry up for each zone, station ground forces, arrange PDC's, civilian contracts?

If management takes place on a planetary level just like current Aurora then is it desired to add a layer of micromanagement below that?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: ardem on November 02, 2012, 07:50:51 PM
Surely we are getting ahead of ourselves a little here, what do we want planetary maps for? is ground combat going to feature in initial releases...

I only mention it cause, once you have an implentation of a map or idea what is done and done and never can be undone. Too many games I seen lack of foresight from developers, even games mods I been apart of and when you get to that next stage you hit the too hard basket.

Regardless of where ground combat is in or out I think a lot would agree there needs to be a form include and perhaps a form more details then Aurora. But hey that might be just me.

Forgetting the planet images being the same (which I think we all been accustom to with static image in aurora) A 3D implentation gives you several advantage that 2D cannot. Even if the implentation was hex colour change and nothing more then that. Visually it easier for the player to understand no matter how much you wrap out a 2D implentation. Also it does create more immersiveness.

This is the ideas thread I hope, even if my ideas are stupid, hope they are atleast valid to post.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: exdeathbr on December 04, 2012, 04:37:38 PM
Some idea: Multiplayer Empire.


Some say aurora 4x is very complex, one cool way to reduce the complexity would be allow 2 (or more?) players to play with the same empire, each one focused on some aspect of the empire.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: niflheimr on December 05, 2012, 09:14:35 AM
3D planet display - IMHO the easiest way would be to use a common unwrapping method like http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69961 for latitudes up to 70 degrees or so and two polar projections for the polar caps - sure , it takes a bit more work but you can accurately display all the locations on a planet.

Of course the better option would be displaying everything planet-related in 3d but that would require a bit more coding - and I understand your dread of doing it multi-platform - and the time needed to go through OpenGL or similar api's.

Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: IanD on February 18, 2013, 05:09:40 AM
For space drives can there be two modes? An efficient cruising mode and a combat mode. The first would give a large radius of action, the second the maneuverability required for combat. This could be done by using two different engines or one with two modes which could be activated by a tick box.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Nathan_ on February 18, 2013, 10:21:51 AM
One of the things that I would want to do first though would be to simplify towing which would probably accomplish that, though building just 1 drive for efficiency and power would basically eliminate any engine choices.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on February 18, 2013, 12:02:39 PM
I'm open to the idea of replacing the hyper-drive tech branch with an after-burner tech branch to give an increase speed check-box option. Such an engine would have to trade efficacy in both modes for the versatility to keep single-speed engine designs viable.

I'm not sure how the towing system can be simplified. It feels like the best ways to improve that system will add complexity, such as new code and selection options for individual engine activation/deactivation.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Nathan_ on February 18, 2013, 12:08:22 PM
A ferry system ala SC or by tg towing are the two things I have in mind.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on March 13, 2013, 06:47:31 PM
I was in the process of mapping out Newtonian Combat mechanics when I noticed an unforeseen limiting factor on railgun range: weapon jitter.

The hit-chance for any weapon will likely be [Weapon_Footprint / Uncertainty]^2

Weapon_Footprint = ProximityRadius + TargetRadius.
Uncertainty = WeaponDrift + TargetDrift.

WeaponDrift = sin(Weapon_Jitter) * Max( Ballistic_Distance, Closing_Velocity * 1second)

For missiles, the equation looks reasonable.

Consider a 2,500 ton patrol boat playing target, with a radius of about 20m.

Consider also a missile programed to close at 100 km/s, with fuel held in reserve for course correction. Steve's base nuclear-laser jitter was 0.1 degrees, or 6 arc-minutes. The missile is under power the entire way for course corrections up to the next-to-last second.

WeaponDrift = sin(0.1) * 100,000 meters = 175m.

If the missile is Kinetic Kill Vehicle still massing 2 tons and the target isn't maneuvering it has a 1.3% chance to hit with 10 TJ of impact energy. Thats a low probability shot for a 1-hit kill, or rather a 1-hit debris field.

If the missile instead carries 100kTon nuclear warhead set for 150m proximity, then there is a 94% chance that the patrol craft is going to eat 6 GJ/m^2, for a total of 240 GJ of hot nuclear fire. That probably is also going to 1-shot our patrol craft target, but the target had instead been a heavily armored and shielded orbital monitor then survival is hypothetically possible.


Now lets consider the terrifying newtonian rail-gun.
My first thought was to give starting rail-guns 60x the accuracy of missile with a rather steady 6 arc-seconds of jitter. This is comparable to a sniper hitting an apple from 1km away. I thought it was rather respectable for a turret on a moving starship at starting tech.

Let's consider point-blank aurora ranges of 10k km.
uncertainty = 10k km * sin(6/3600) = 291m.

That's a 0.5% chance to hit a stationary starship!
With that precision the odds of shooting down an incoming missile or or hitting a freighter at 10m km is 'No.'


Clearly, a turret weapon jitter of even 1 arc-second isn't going to be playable if our rail gun is firing single shots.

Newtonian Aurora will require either (A) gatling rail-guns firing volleys of dozens or hundreds of smaller projectiles  -and/or- (B) much smaller, or eliminated, weapon jitter for ship-weapons.

Thoughts anyone?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: interstellarshadow on March 13, 2013, 09:08:56 PM
Hi, I have been lurking for a bit, and saw an opportunity to put in my 2 cents.   

When it comes to the weapon jitter question, I think that Kinetic Weapon engagement ranges are just going to be plain shorter.  Missiles will only really be limited by drive distance and closing methods (along with tracking systems etc. ), but I do not see long-range kinetic bombardment against ships being feasible.  Lets look at an example:

A ship with a rail-gun sits at point A.  This rail gun will be 100% accurate and fire a round at about 100 kps (I am pulling a number out of a hat here).   

That ship's target is stationary at point B 10k km, and has a radius of 20 m.  Let's say this is your patrol boat, and it has a maximum accel of about . 2 g or 2 m/s^2.   

After firing the railgun, a very energy intensive process that is detected immediately, the patrol boat begins evasive manoeuvres at maximum accel.  It, in the ensuing 100 seconds before the railgun round reaches is, can dodge it by moving 2. 5 km (ending at rest) away from the the point where it was sitting.  Even if the accel was only 1/1000 of a standard earth gravity, it would be able to dodge it (while not ending at rest, but it can then slow down if it wanted to).   

A railgun with a 2 kg round (again, numbers out of a hat), would require about 10 GJ to fire at that speed, and thus would impart the same energy into the target (which would do some damage to the patrol boat, but not necessarily kill it).    It would also, if it hit, propel the boat at about 90 m/s in the direction opposite the hit.  Not an insignificant amount of damage, but still very significant travel times.  For a speed 10k km/s, a 10 GJ hit would use a 200 mg (less than 1/100th the mass of a . 50 calibre bullet).  It would be silly to use something this small in a weapon, as, weighing just over the mass of two large grains of sand, it would act like one when trying to load your railgun.   
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: OJsDad on March 14, 2013, 07:04:43 PM
Hello,

   I'm a newb to Aurora, though I've been playing around with it over the last few years.   I stumbled across your Pulsar project yesterday.   I've toyed around with the idea of developing a 4x game for several years now, but never got beyond a few ideas on paper.   I like what  you seem to be doing with this project and would like to throw out some ideas.   So, here we go.

1.   Industries vs factories.   Don't simply build a factory, but establish industries.   Instead of building a factory,  you would establish an electronics industry on a planet.   Some of this may make more sense in a bit.

2.   Industries need inputs.   Example, a weapons industry is going to require both certain natural resources along with electronics and metals to build weapons.   Missing a needed resource or not enough, and your output is limited.   Think Victoria or SimCountry

3.   Industries require various levels or trained workforce.   Have your population divided by education levels, say 0 - 25.   0 is no education and 25 is your highest educated.   Each industry is going to need a blend of people from different education levels to function.   No enough workers of a certain level, then production is going to be effected.

4.  I had also thought of dividing planets into regions.   I had also thought of setting a base starting population density for each region type.   This is how many people could like in a region at infrastructure level 0.   You could exceed this, but at the cost of pollution.

   Just to, maybe, make this easier to understand.   I live in NW Ohio in a rural area.   Less than 50 people living on my 1 square mile block.   Our infrastructure consists of power lines, phone lines, a road just wide enough for two cars to pass and that's it.   Our water comes from wells and sewage goes to sceptic system.   Now, take that same area of land in New York City, where you could have 10's of thousands living and working, and you need wider roads, sidewalks, water and sewage systems, higher power requirements, etc.     Without that more advanced infrastructure and NYC would be abandoned in less than a year.   

   A regions population could be increased with increased infrastructure levels.   It also gives you something else to research.   

5.   Fresh water/polluted water.   An ocean planet is worthless is the water is not drinkable.   People and industry require freshwater and leave polluted water behind.   Again, forces some infrastructure to make water fresh and clean polluted water.

6.   Pollution.   Use pollution to force infrastructure investment and research into cleaner tech.   If you don't you could make a region or entire planet uninhabitable.

7.   While designing, building ships and assigning them to Task Groups in the beginning is fun, as your empire grows, trying to run around building ships and then organizing them can get old.   Allow a player to design Task Groups based on existing designs.   You can then assign one or more shipyards to build said TG.   
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Nightstar on March 19, 2013, 10:23:56 AM
The obvious comment right now is that you can split each ship into its own TG manually. This means the salvo rules are just an interface pain. Even if that came with PD penalties, I expect most ships will be unloading their ordnance long before they start getting hit.

There will be a binary difference in TG size: Big enough to nuke all large incoming salvos, and not big enough to nuke all incoming salvos.

Absolutely everything that's intended to go into combat will need enough PD to swat a few nukes. Interesting, as this means all combat ships will have dangerous weapons up close.

It looks like one of the better tactics will be detonating a debris field in front of the TG and dedicating everything to combat maneuvering. Such a particle shield would stop most missiles farther away than they can hit anything, leaving the rest of the mass of the TG to PD and guns.

The only effective defense against the non instakill missiles is a lot of armor/shields. Boring.

GRASERs will have to have really crappy damage compared to lasers, given that they have more range AND penetration.

Single kinetic slugs vs. scattershot: Scattershot will only be useful if you can't have enough guns to reliably hit the target, due to lesser damage. This means kinetic slugs will be instakills most of the time?

Random thoughts ^^
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: sublight on March 19, 2013, 07:20:01 PM
@OJsDad: I'll put this down as 'Request to make Trade Goods Meaningful'
I'm afraid we won't be doing much planet-side until Pulsar is functioning in space so it might be a few years before we get around to filling in regional detail.

@Nightstar: That... is a good point. About Salvos and task groups. I was trying to reduce micromanaging, not create it. There are probably much better ways to adjust the missile beam balance. So..

Hmm.

Ok, as a revision maybe we'll trash those salvo rules, and while we're at it we'll trash all salvo rules and preconceptions. A 'salvo' is now only a human-level distinction to un-clutter the system map display.

There will be no weapon turrets. Or rather, all direct weapons include the turret to achieve their low jitter.

Rather than try to impose balance, lets go for constancy and use the same fire control rules for both missiles and direct weapons.

Fire_Control_Range = size * squareRoot( activeTech * passiveTech * resolution / #_missiles) * 10,000 km.

If Resolution is >=1, then the control system is a Missile Fire Control. #_missiles is the maximum number of out-going guided missiles that the fire control can direct. If a missile fire control changes targets, all controlled missiles will attempt to use their remaining fuel to change direction toward the new target.

If Resolution is < 1, then the control system is a Beam Fire Control. #_missiles is the maximum number of incoming missiles that the fire control can track and attempt to engage when used in point defense mode. If a beam fire control resolution is greater than the weapon jitter, then the weapon system will use the beam fire control resolution in place of their own jitter value.


Does this sound any better?



I think the tactical variation will be more interesting than you fear. There should be many viable tactics, and the most effective counter to one may not be effective against a second.

While bomb-pumped-laser missiles may be unstoppable by final-defense fire (1k km), the defender is free to use anti-missiles, or extend the final-defense range at the cost of accuracy. Of course, a pumped-laser might detonate at an even greater distance to strike with even less accuracy and damage, and so on. At some point in the arms race the attack will switch back to armored high-speed proximity nukes, or the defender will either switch to anti-missiles: else choose to ignore the puny beams of sunshine.

Swatting an unarmored missile with 100% reliability will require ~ 2.5 MJ/ton, same as a generic internal component. By comparison, the starting Duranium ship armor will ignore anything that does less than 50 MJ/sq-meter. As a result, a ship that relies on batteries of small weapons for point defense might not be particularly dangerous to another ship.

At a given tech level GRASERs will have less damage and less range than a generic laser. It's the maximum capped GRASER range that will be higher, making those a high-tech weapon that performs below-average in the early game and above-average in the late game.

Kinetic slug damage is highly dependent on ship speeds. At the Nuclear Thermal and Nuclear Pulse propulsion levels a single kinetic slug is unlikely to do more than maim, but once either the defender or attacker reach the Magneto-Plasma tech stage single-shot kill firing solutions will become a simple matter of careful advanced planning.

Scatter shot is useful because I intend to rig the hit-chance calculations to make Golden-BB shots impossible. If I didn't, I would have to make rail-guns use maintenance supplies or have ammunition lockers to prevent unlimited railgun ammunition from breaking the game. So yes, not only can you not have enough guns to reliably hit the target, you can also have situations were a solid slug could never hit the target while a scatter shot fragment might.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Erik Luken on March 19, 2013, 07:55:03 PM
My first thought on the scatter shot is point defense. Fill space around the ship with lots of bits of metal to prematurely detonate missiles.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: chrislocke2000 on March 20, 2013, 06:28:49 AM
This is all looking really good and can't wait to see some of the results.

Regarding some of the recent posts on engines and slowing the ship speeds down to make them less game breaking is a great idea however this introduces some major issues in its own right:

Firstly the extended build times now make the loss of any ship substantially more severe and also challenges against what we can achieve today - going from 1.5 years to build a frigate to six years just feels wrong to me. It also means that any engagements with NPRs are likely to be win / loose overall as once one side has lost a slug of ships its going to be almost impossible for them to come back from that loss before the opposition invades et.

Secondly the required mission duration of ships is going to be hugely extended, I may now need to plan on keeping ships out from the docks for 6 years at a time rather than 18 months just to address the extended travel times - that’s a lot more maintenance and crew quarters to say the least!

What I would really like to see is the build speed remain as is, the relative engagement speeds to be low enough so as not to be instantly deadly / game breaking against planets and finally for travel times between planets and systems to be in line with current Aurora. No easy task at all!

My view on how to address this is through the wider use of jump drives combined with the suggested further restrictions in fuel efficiency, max delta V and acceleration rates of ships. In this case each body would have a gravity well in which jump engines would not work, ships would use conventional engines to move in and out of the gravity well and then use a jump drive to jump relatively close to the destination body (this could be instant or involve transit time in its own right) and then return to the use of conventional engines to slow down. Higher rated engines would be capable of jumps between systems as with Steve’s current Newtonian Aurora and you could perhaps distinguish between civ and military grade engines through recharge rates / proximity tolerances to jump and damage tolerances.

This would keep ships relatively slow whilst still allowing for a reasonable pace on the exploration and exploitation of space. It could also make ship combat an interesting game of chess as you commit ships to jumping into weapons range (balance with time to charge jump engines and time to actually align and jump) etc.

On reactionless drives I must admit I’m not a big fan of the idea. I think however an anti-grav drive could be interesting. Ie something that “reacts” with the gravity of planets and other bodies such that it is very effective close into large gravity wells but rapidly becomes totally ineffective outside of them. It might therefore work well in system but be useless for wider exploration / interception.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Nightstar on March 20, 2013, 01:54:35 PM
New fire controls sound cool. Very cool.

Anti missile doctrine looks like nuke any big salvo, intercept the first salvo as far away as is near 100% kill in case it's nukes, adjust to range of standoff missiles. I'll grant that that there's some design choice in how good you make your firecontrols. 100% hit rate at 1000m may not be so good when you need to hit missiles detonating 5000m away.

Range advantage is going to be more interesting with newtonian mechanics. Kiting will be more difficult. There will be choice in engagement speeds. Railguns want to close very fast, long range lasers as slow as possible.

Railguns may not be able to one shot ships... Missiles should be easier. Very obvious use for scattershot I missed.


Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: 3_14159 on April 19, 2013, 01:41:35 PM
Another time for a round of ideas I had, this time for weapons.

Basically, the idea is to let nearly every aspect of weapon systems be changeable. What this means in particular? Well, let's look at some weapons:

Missile Launchers
Parameters:
So, what design possibilities does that leave us?
No-Bells FAC launcher
Calibre whatever it is, without much speed imparted to save weight, six missiles, fire rate of two seconds per missile, no transfer rate and not choosable missiles.
The launcher can shoot the missiles in twelve seconds in order. No bells and whistles, just close to the target, fire the missiles and burn as hard as possible to get out of enemy range.
Revolver FAC launcher
Calibre whatever it is, without much speed imparted to save weight, six missiles, fire rate of two seconds per missile, no transfer rate and choosable missiles.
The launcher can shoot the missiles in twelve seconds, and can choose the missile to actually shoot on-the-fly. That allows it to, for example, take four ASMs, one anti-FAC missile and one EW missile.
Capital Ship Launcher
Calibre whatever it is, much speed imparted, no missiles in internal magazine, fire rate of p.ex. ten seconds per missile, transfer rate of ten seconds per missile and separately fired missiles.
This launcher is more single-purpose: Deliver the most punch you can as fast as you can, and be able to launch all available ordinance as fast as you can. It requires special magazines to keep up the firing rate (which will require more tonnage per missile), but that can well be worth it.

Energy Weapons
This only looks at energy weapons from their similarities, of course, Railguns and Lasers and... will have additional design aspects.
So, the tonnage is didived in the weapon itself, the capacitors, the connections from capacitor to weapon and the connections from reactor to capacitor. One question remaining is whether the fire rate can be set under one second (Either all shots at once, or p.ex. 0.5 = two shots per second). The rest assumes the second case.
Let's chose lasers as an example.
PD Laser
Fire rate as small as possible, 0.2 seconds (five shots per second); internal capacitor storage for ten shots, capacitor reload rate small, maybe completely full after ten seconds. Very, very small calibre.
The final fire laser cluster. Equipped to deal with big salvoes it can lose ten shots in two seconds, allowing it to destroy up to ten missiles nearly at once. After being drained it can fire either one shot per second, or wait ten seconds to be full again and any variation.
FAC Laser
Fire rate one second; internal capacitor storage for ten shots; Capacitor reload rate very small, maybe a minute per shot.
This laser is designed as main armament for a FAC class ship. It is able to fire a high-calibre weapon ten times, within ten seconds, hopefully shattering the oponent. After the attack, the FAC has to break off and reload for ten minutes from undersized power plants. The tactics probably would be to attack from the front, accelerate as hard as possible, shoot ten times during the fly-by and then deccelerate again and accelerate in the other direction to attack again.
Capital Ship Laser
Fire rate is two seconds; internal capacitor storage for one shot; capacitor reload rate two seconds.
Feeding directly from the power plant, this massive laser is thought for capital ships that can be sure that the opponent can survive several shots. Sustained fire is possible, and the power plant needs to be equipped for this.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on that. Basically, Newtonian Aurora and Pulsar especially are for me "Give the player as much possibility to change parameters as possible." Thanks for reading.

Edit: And forgot: I may crunch some numbers for better examples, some time next week or so.
Title: Inertial compensators
Post by: doomsought on June 21, 2013, 09:11:34 PM
If you want to keep Newtonian mechanics on mind, inertial compensators will be an important gateway tech for late game combat.  Without them not only would high accelerations be unattainable without a crew, but any possible shield generators will be knocked off their moorings by high momentum impacts.

By the natures of their intended effect, spreading the impulse of forces through the entire volume of an object, they should be in the gravity tech/science tree.   I hope you guys like the idea.  For extra fun, not only should it be possible for shield generators to be knocked off their moorings and likely do internal damage, but ships with powerful inertial compensators and shields should be able to bounce off each-other and projectiles.

That also brings to mind that one possible defense system would be an inertial compensator that simple spreads the force of armor impacts over the ship.  It won't do much about thermal effects but would take the edge off some attacks.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: alex_brunius on July 08, 2013, 09:28:49 AM
I really love the Conventional Start in Aurora, so I'll confess right here, my dream game is something akin a newtonian Aurora, but starting at today's tech with a detailed research and resource path up towards TN tech.

I'm talking Rocketry (fossil) -> Nuclear (fission) -> Fusion -> TN.


While you may say that it's useless to try to model spacetravel using rockets I disagree. Is it ineffective? Yes.

But consider that it was possible to put a man on the moon, using almost 50 year old technology. And consider that today the US Military budget is around 50 times larger then that of NASA. Or for an International approach by taking 1% of the global GDP and devoting it to space exploration we would end up with around 50 times NASAs budget again.

If not for (cold) war, greed and general lack of interest I am convinced we technically could have been a good way into colonizing the inner Sol system by now using mostly rockets.

Another early propulsion system that I think would prove very useful and effective (once hauled into orbit) is the Orion nuclear pulse drive. This propulsion is well within our technological means and vastly more effective then rockets, but it's usage is banned due to nuclear space treaties, so it has not seen much further study.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_pulse_propulsion



The thing I am after is a more natural expansion into Sol before venturing further, just colonies on 1-2 planets/moons with resources and auto-mines on a few comets, or even the option to skip it entirely does not feel natural to me. Sol system should be to the brim full of colonies and lively traffic before you can consider (or even have resources needed for) venturing further, if for no other reason for that of the difference in distances involved.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on January 16, 2014, 12:54:40 PM
HEAT.

Mass Effect lore is pretty great.  One of the things they brought up that I had never really considered before is heat during ship combat.

Basically, Beam Weapons of the kinds of power we're talking about would generate significant amounts of heat.  Additionally, shields could also generate heat during use.  Engines and Powerplants could be additional (albiet, much lower) sources of heat.

Here's a telling quote from Mass Effect's Codex

Quote
Space Combat: Combat Endurance Edit

Heat limits the length and intensity of ship-to-ship combat.  Starships generate enormous heat when they fire high-energy weapons, perform maneuvering burns, and run on-board combat electronics.

In combat, warships produce heat more quickly than they can disperse it.  As heat builds within a vessel, the crewed spaces become increasingly uncomfortable.  Before the heat reaches lethal levels, a ship must win or retreat by entering FTL.  After an FTL run, the ships halts, shuts down non-essential systems, and activates the heat radiation gear.

Combat endurance varies by ship design and by the battle's location.  Battles in the deep cold of interstellar space can go on for some time.  Engagements close to a star are brief.  Since habitable worlds are usually close to a star, battles over them are usually more frantic. 

This could be used to balance shields.  If heat can't be dumped while shields are up, and taking shield damage generates heat as shields get used, then ships with large, quickly recharging shields with tanker support can no longer tank indefinitely.  As heat builds up, components could fail, crew could die, etc.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: iceball3 on February 01, 2015, 08:46:22 PM
HEAT.

Mass Effect lore is pretty great.  One of the things they brought up that I had never really considered before is heat during ship combat.

Basically, Beam Weapons of the kinds of power we're talking about would generate significant amounts of heat.  Additionally, shields could also generate heat during use.  Engines and Powerplants could be additional (albiet, much lower) sources of heat.

Here's a telling quote from Mass Effect's Codex

This could be used to balance shields.  If heat can't be dumped while shields are up, and taking shield damage generates heat as shields get used, then ships with large, quickly recharging shields with tanker support can no longer tank indefinitely.  As heat builds up, components could fail, crew could die, etc.
Wouldn't being close to a planetary body you control (or perhaps one you don't...) provide a decent location for dumping heat? I can also imagine certain vessels having compartment for heatsink material, anything from crappy-yet-cold rock and dust you picked up on a nearby asteroid to some deeply cooled heatsinking liquid that may potentially take slight resources to make. All of which would/could be dumped into space once it has expired it's purpose. An overheated vessel may likewise begin to emit thermal signatures, as well as utilize it's armor as a heatsink. As it is though, crew spaces should be the last system to fail due to overheating, due to atmospherics requirement to keep the living spaces safely temperatured or die trying.
PDCs should not get penalties for overheating except for on planets which are both blisteringly hot and tectonically active, such that it does not have a particular amount of existing unused infrastructure.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: misora on February 05, 2015, 12:13:18 PM
Maybe, there could be different types of beam weapons, and if you add the heat creation maybe they could also generate different amounts of heat.

What I am thinking of is instead of just a particle beam like Aurora has maybe there could be different subsets that could be researched that do slightly different things, IE a plasma beam vs a particle beam.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: iceball3 on February 05, 2015, 10:38:49 PM

What I am thinking of is instead of just a particle beam like Aurora has maybe there could be different subsets that could be researched that do slightly different things, IE a plasma beam vs a particle beam.
You mean like in aurora?
Laser: Highest potential range, most dynamically changeable, turretablr. Piercing Profile. Spinally Mountable. Reduceable size.
Particle Beam: Highest damage at end of range, with no damage dropoff. Higher general range per HS excluding laser reductions. Piercing Profile.
Plasma Carronade: Deals explosive damage profile. Damage drops off extremely with range. Highest point blank damage.
Microwaves, mesons, Et cetera. So there are different beam types, but i wouldn't mind a few more if they could meaningfully have a reason to exist in the combat system.

I honestly would personally like if all the beams had more modifiers to how they preformed. A couple of ideas:

Meson Attenuation:
Five levels at most, each level increases meson damage by 1, decreases range to (1/level^1.5) it's previous range, with level 1 being 1 damage. If pulsar is using the current system of minimum range increments, having a range less than a minimum increment should render the meson innefective at the minimum range increment. Each level should require research to ascend.
Mesons with damage more than one have a random chance of having their damage partially absorbed by shielding, but will damage shields in the process and 1 damage will always leak through.

Plasma Carronade Encasement: Plasma Carronades with a metastable encasement to hold it stable briefly in flight.
Range increase in the same manner range tech affects lasers.
Will still have damage falloff proportional to original, so the initial damage falloff will be steep relative to the significantly weaker end of the range. This could lead to an interesting effect with rather long range carronades that hit 1-5 damage on the ending range of the weapon, sharply increasing at shorter range.
The main distinguishing part of this tech from other range techs is that it will also increase the size of the carronade a bit with each level.

Streaming particle beam: Particle beams which rake across the target as opposed to piercing. Each level halves the depth of a particle beam rounded up but widens it, to elaborate :
Code: [Select]
Intact Armor
OOOOOOO
OOOOOOO
OOOOOOO
OOOOOOO

Particle Beam Str 6 No Streaming
OOOXOOO
OOOXOOO
OOOXOOO
OOOXOOO

Particle Beam Str 6 Streaming 1

OOXXOOO
OOXXOOO
OOXXOOO
OOOOOOO

Particle Beam Strength 6 Streaming 2
OOXXXOO
OOXXXOO
OOOOOOO
OOOOOOO
And so forth. Streaming particle beams which miss should have a very slight chance of hitting their target anyway, doing small amounts of damage. The chance is slightly higher at higher streaming levels.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: misora on February 06, 2015, 09:21:18 AM
You mean like in aurora?

With the plasma beam thing I was thinking along the lines of Stargate, where they use plasma weapons that deal lots of damage against shields, so maybe just a look into other forms of fiction for weapons that might work within a Newtonian setting.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: iceball3 on February 06, 2015, 11:08:33 AM
With the plasma beam thing I was thinking along the lines of Stargate, where they use plasma weapons that deal lots of damage against shields, so maybe just a look into other forms of fiction for weapons that might work within a Newtonian setting.
Aurora has Microwaves and Railguns, both which seem to specialise as Anti Shield. Microwaves doing 3 damage with no dropoff, and railguns having high spread out DPS which is pretty effective too.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: rcj33 on February 06, 2015, 10:14:25 PM
At low range and low caliber, sure, HPMs are good versus shields. Unfortunately, the 25cm version (which can fire every tick with capacitor rating 16, but cannot hit max range) is outperformed by a PB-9 (1dmg/HS versus 3dmg/8HS). You can even use 2 10s PB-9s if you only have cap 12. They'll still be cheaper than the one HPM and do more damage. I don't have time to do an in-depth analysis, but I remember somebody did one awhile back. I think the HPM needs a shield damage buff in Pulsar  ;)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Nathan_ on February 06, 2015, 10:20:14 PM
At low range and low caliber, sure, HPMs are good versus shields. Unfortunately, the 25cm version (which can fire every tick with capacitor rating 16, but cannot hit max range) is outperformed by a PB-9 (1dmg/HS versus 3dmg/8HS). You can even use 2 10s PB-9s if you only have cap 12. They'll still be cheaper than the one HPM and do more damage. I don't have time to do an in-depth analysis, but I remember somebody did one awhile back. I think the HPM needs a shield damage buff in Pulsar  ;)

well right now the focus is on getting the TN rules set out, but I am concerned both about the opportunity cost involved in not researching lasers(or missiles for that matter) and investing in a more exotic beam and their utility. I don't necessarily intend for all weapons to be equally useful, but they certainly shouldn't be flat out worthless.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: misora on May 29, 2015, 02:48:37 PM
I was wondering if it would be possible to simulate biospheres on planets. It could provide incentive for not terraforming every planet you come across and might add more flavor to the universe if used in creative ways. One idea I had was splitting the biosphere into components, being Complexity, Diverseness, and how healthy the biosphere is. A healthy Biosphere could more easily withstand terraforming than one that is on the brink of collapse, while an extremely diverse one would suffer from terraforming as well.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on May 29, 2015, 04:07:48 PM
Have you not considered mixing rail-gun and missile or guided ammunition technology?

I really think that shooting semi and/or fully guided ammunition (some even with nuclear warheads) can be an interesting weapon platform. Pretty useful for point defense as well, also more useful in space than the traditional rail-gun as in Aurora.

Rail-guns would in practice be pretty poor weapons in anything but knife fighting distances in a game such as Aurora or Pulsar... but with guided ammunition they can be much more useful although susceptible to PD weapons as well as other ECM or counter measures. They would be like todays mortars versus missiles (artillery).
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on May 29, 2015, 07:40:50 PM
I was wondering if it would be possible to simulate biospheres on planets. It could provide incentive for not terraforming every planet you come across and might add more flavor to the universe if used in creative ways. One idea I had was splitting the biosphere into components, being Complexity, Diverseness, and how healthy the biosphere is. A healthy Biosphere could more easily withstand terraforming than one that is on the brink of collapse, while an extremely diverse one would suffer from terraforming as well.

Possible? Yes.

My problem with biospheres is its a very complex thing to realistically generate, let alone simulate. While we're trying to make Pulsar4x a deep, complex, and realistic game, we do have our limits.

Have you not considered mixing rail-gun and missile or guided ammunition technology?

I really think that shooting semi and/or fully guided ammunition (some even with nuclear warheads) can be an interesting weapon platform. Pretty useful for point defense as well, also more useful in space than the traditional rail-gun as in Aurora.

Rail-guns would in practice be pretty poor weapons in anything but knife fighting distances in a game such as Aurora or Pulsar... but with guided ammunition they can be much more useful although susceptible to PD weapons as well as other ECM or counter measures. They would be like todays mortars versus missiles (artillery).

Personally, I have thought about this, especially for beam weapon combat at 1 second intervals (To increase the range past 1-second speed of light). I'm on the fence. While it would be a good realistic delivery system, it would blur the line between missiles and energy weapons and would be adding another type of weapon (Guided Railgun, Missiles, Lasers). I'm not sure it quite fits from a gameplay perspective.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Hydrofoil on May 30, 2015, 07:27:41 AM
Possible? Yes.

My problem with biospheres is its a very complex thing to realistically generate, let alone simulate. While we're trying to make Pulsar4x a deep, complex, and realistic game, we do have our limits.

Personally, I have thought about this, especially for beam weapon combat at 1 second intervals (To increase the range past 1-second speed of light). I'm on the fence. While it would be a good realistic delivery system, it would blur the line between missiles and energy weapons and would be adding another type of weapon (Guided Railgun, Missiles, Lasers). I'm not sure it quite fits from a gameplay perspective.

Plus you also have to consider the scale of the game you could be fighting over millions of KMs of distance. This would be very very hard to represent on the User Interface. Guided munitions whilst would be a thing in any modern space faring races arsenal for game play purposes i dont think it would be easy to represent.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on May 30, 2015, 03:41:01 PM
Personally, I have thought about this, especially for beam weapon combat at 1 second intervals (To increase the range past 1-second speed of light). I'm on the fence. While it would be a good realistic delivery system, it would blur the line between missiles and energy weapons and would be adding another type of weapon (Guided Railgun, Missiles, Lasers). I'm not sure it quite fits from a gameplay perspective.

From the free material that are available on the subject that you can find about war in space there actually seem to be a consensus on magnetically launched missiles would be the most logical progression of long range weapon capabilities above one light second range. Due to relativistic limitations we are limited to the distance of roughly one light second as the maximum distant to hit something unless it is guided somehow. We are however not constrained about this here though, but it is worth noting.

What I could see would be missiles that is launched by a rail-gun mechanism and that is what they get their main momentum from and then basically just keep enough fuel and engines for maneuvering... but they are for all intents and purposes missiles. I really believe that missiles fired from really great ranges such as millions or even billions of kilometers must need some self guidance to actually hit a moving target... even with advanced tech such as in Aurora. They should be able to be guided by a ships fire-control to some extent, but not for their final approach or run against a target. That might give the game a better balance between the options. You would simply remove the more traditional missile type...

You can then have rail-guns that fire smaller nuclear charges which are semi guided and with rather limited maneuvering and targeting capabilities and can only be fired shorter distances but still beyond that one light second distance... This way you can actually use rail-guns as an effective long range weapon and laser beams would be more of a short range weapon and mainly for point defense. In my opinion more probable in long range engagements (not missile range). Or you can replace the name to torpedoes or something cooler... ;)

You also get around some problems such as why missiles can't be grouped up in one large salvo even if launched in many separate salvos. With the way missiles work in Aurora and the times involved there are no real reason why you can't have several salvos fired arrive at the same time. But if you can't really control the actual speed of the missile this is not a real issue anymore.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Thundercraft on December 04, 2015, 07:03:48 PM
I see (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8060.msg83075#msg83075) that the aim of Pulsar right now is to be a faithful reproduction of Aurora "as a baseline." But it sounds like some room is left for differences in mechanics and modification.

So, if players want certain things to be different, they will need to modify the game's JSON files. Correct? Or are there any plans for full-on mod support down the road?

Also, I found a brief mention in one of the Development Progress reports of "future multiplayer development." Will there be a configuration window specifically for a host or Space Master to configure multiplayer campaigns? (I'm reminded of multiplayer configure menus in other 4X games, like MOO2.)

I was wondering, among other things, if racial abilities might eventually be options that the Space Master could turn on or off (i.e., left off for those who want to enforce a purely vanilla Aurora experience) in an SM Mode or multiplayer config window. And by racial abilities I mean stuff inspired by other 4X games, beyond Aurora's adjustments to breathing gas and tolerances to temperature, gravity and pressure. I'm reminded of the THEORYCRAFT: Wierd Races (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=5101.0) thread and how Aurora players must merely roleplay them as we can't customize races very much.

Common 4X examples of racial traits:
 * Bonus to ground combat
 * Bonus to mining production
 * Bonus to industry
 * Bonus to research
 * Bonus to tax rate (Aurora has "Wealth" generation and income from CMCs)
 * Bonus to trade income
 * Bonus to espionage
 * Bonus to diplomacy
 * Hostile Xenophobe: Not able to engage in diplomacy or trade

Further ideas:
 * Bonus to shipyard production
 * Bonus to geological / gravitational surveys
 * Bonus to terraforming
 * Bonus to commercial shipping (Cheaper? Faster? More prolific?)
 * Aquatic: Requires a hydrosphere, but wider (hotter) temperature and atmo tolerances
 * Robotic: No atmosphere or gas requirements, requires minerals or industry to reproduce
 * Siliconoid: Subsist on a wider gravity range, requires minerals or industry to reproduce
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Travis on February 02, 2016, 02:54:49 AM
Was referred here by someone after I complained about a really annoying quality of life improvement I'd be unlikely to see in Aurora 4x.   The situation:

Half a dozen colonised systems, with a few dozen PDC's.   An absolute pain to micromanage when I'm under constant invasion, so they're on auto-fire (yes, I'm a lazy noob).   Problem is they're equipped with both meson cannons and missiles.   The meson cannons are for point defense.   If you set a PDC to auto-fire and the beam fire control to point defense, the PDC overrides your command for the beam FC as soon as you increment time and instead opts not to use the meson cannons.   Could this be fixed in Pulsar 4x?

Edit: Oh, while I'm here, any chance of transiting through wormholes to another galaxy to kick the invaders' arse?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: se5a on February 03, 2016, 02:15:22 PM
I'd like to have a better combat control than aurora, we're a little way off that though.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on February 12, 2016, 12:27:07 PM
I see (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8060.msg83075#msg83075) that the aim of Pulsar right now is to be a faithful reproduction of Aurora "as a baseline." But it sounds like some room is left for differences in mechanics and modification.

So, if players want certain things to be different, they will need to modify the game's JSON files. Correct? Or are there any plans for full-on mod support down the road?

Currently, Pulsar4X has decent modding support. We're open source, so anyone can change the game code as they want. This represents the ultimate in mod support.

When most people talk about mod support, they don't talk about changing the source code.  I understand that. Pulsar4X (ECS-Crossplatform branch) currently supports mods in the following way:
Pulsar4X loads "Static Data" from JSON files. Pulsar4X allows users to select the directory they want to load the Static Data from. Static Data is generally things like component definitions, atmospheric gas definitions, types/names of minerals, and tech tree. If you look at https://github.com/Pulsar4xDevs/Pulsar4x/tree/ECS-CrossPlatform/Pulsar4X/Pulsar4X.ECSLib/Data/Pulsar4x you'll find all the JSON data that's currently loaded, and can be easily modified and redistributed without changing source code.


Also, I found a brief mention in one of the Development Progress reports of "future multiplayer development." Will there be a configuration window specifically for a host or Space Master to configure multiplayer campaigns? (I'm reminded of multiplayer configure menus in other 4X games, like MOO2.)

Space Master has the ultimate authority in Pulsar4x. SpaceMaster owns everything and can modify attributes that other players can't. While multiplayer is very long down the road, I envision SpaceMaster being the one responsible for initial game creation, including mod selection.

I was wondering, among other things, if racial abilities might eventually be options that the Space Master could turn on or off (i.e., left off for those who want to enforce a purely vanilla Aurora experience) in an SM Mode or multiplayer config window. And by racial abilities I mean stuff inspired by other 4X games, beyond Aurora's adjustments to breathing gas and tolerances to temperature, gravity and pressure. I'm reminded of the THEORYCRAFT: Wierd Races (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=5101.0) thread and how Aurora players must merely roleplay them as we can't customize races very much.

Custom racial abilities will be implemented as StaticData, meaning a mod can modify or remove these features as they wish. A SpaceMaster can decide to start a MP game with a mod that doesn't have racial abilities.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on February 13, 2016, 06:00:51 AM
I was wondering, among other things, if racial abilities might eventually be options that the Space Master could turn on or off (i.e., left off for those who want to enforce a purely vanilla Aurora experience) in an SM Mode or multiplayer config window. And by racial abilities I mean stuff inspired by other 4X games, beyond Aurora's adjustments to breathing gas and tolerances to temperature, gravity and pressure. I'm reminded of the THEORYCRAFT: Wierd Races thread and how Aurora players must merely roleplay them as we can't customize races very much.
Racial abilities is one of the easiest things to create, just make sure you have global modifier for each aspect of  eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate game.

With that said, i prefer Aurora like system with a small number racial traits. These traits may be governed by multiple modifier, but should have distinct effect on play-style and used to affect AI decisions. Because while I can RP the AI can't. For example see http://www.hoi3wiki.com/Politics#laws

Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 01, 2016, 10:21:44 PM
I am not sure how or if, you guys are planing to change\enhance the offensive\defensive scheme. So I'll toss here the idea I had from the other thread, just in case it will be useful.

Basically, if ever the need arise for counter to energy weapons, you can use  reflection coatings. It is a common technology even today, and it would makes sense that it would improve in a future of TN fueled super laser. For those unfamiliar with concept, you can think about it as the high tech version of WW2 slopped armor, or:

(http://wiki.gcdn.co/images/d/df/Frame_1a_V04_eng_small.gif)
http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Gunnery_%26_Armor_Penetration_(WoWS)#Armor-Piercing


EDIT:
For example, Something like that can allow to decrease the effectiveness of Beam Fleets without chunking a whole lot of Armor, but would keep you vulnerable to kinetics.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on March 01, 2016, 11:52:22 PM
I don't think we need to decrease the effectiveness of beam weapons. They're already woefully under-powered.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 02, 2016, 12:38:48 AM
I didn't said that you should, certainly not with the Aurora's rule book for which you are aiming for.

In Aurora, you have random initial research point allocation and few spoiler tech, but overall there is not a whole lot of variety, its not a question of whether an NPR has some tech but how big he can build it.. I think that Steve's recent particle lance specialization is good idea, but I wish there was more variety, some random element that assigns some basic research path to Races e.g.if you didn't roll cloaking\shields you can't use them, until you recover\steal the tech from someone who has. In such a scenario, having an alternative to shields, can be useful. For example.

So I am just tossing around ideas that might be interesting down the road. Unless Unless, you have a specific topic in mind concerning current progress that you'd like some input on.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: alex_brunius on March 02, 2016, 08:35:35 AM
What I would like to see when it comes to offense & defense is external modules.

On real military ships, submarines and airplanes alot of systems need to be located outside of any kind of armor layer in order to work.

Things like parts of propulsion ( propellers / exhausts ), search radars, turrets, rangefinders and targeting radars, sonars, sensors, Ewar modules and weapons.

Some of these are easier to protect using separate armor like weapons which can be encased in turrets, retracted into the hull behind missile doors, pop up systems or similar.

But many are almost impossible to protect like sensors that have the job of seeing the enemy tend to stop working if you put a big fat slab of armor between them and the enemy!


It would make sense if it worked in a similar way in the game so at least weapon turrets and sensors were located outside the armor layer and thus not protected by it.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: iceball3 on March 02, 2016, 10:15:32 AM
What I would like to see when it comes to offense & defense is external modules.

On real military ships, submarines and airplanes alot of systems need to be located outside of any kind of armor layer in order to work.

Things like parts of propulsion ( propellers / exhausts ), search radars, turrets, rangefinders and targeting radars, sonars, sensors, Ewar modules and weapons.

Some of these are easier to protect using separate armor like weapons which can be encased in turrets, retracted into the hull behind missile doors, pop up systems or similar.

But many are almost impossible to protect like sensors that have the job of seeing the enemy tend to stop working if you put a big fat slab of armor between them and the enemy!


It would make sense if it worked in a similar way in the game so at least weapon turrets and sensors were located outside the armor layer and thus not protected by it.
Though, there is the potential explanation that the detection and emission equipment is both on the surface and reasonably redundant, while the actual processing stuff is the main mass of it all, underneath the armor. Though, can still all be fried by microwaves.
Turrets might need to be external though.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 02, 2016, 01:47:15 PM
On real military ships, submarines and airplanes alot of systems need to be located outside of any kind of armor layer in order to work.

Things like parts of propulsion ( propellers / exhausts ), search radars, turrets, rangefinders and targeting radars, sonars, sensors, Ewar modules and weapons.
Such attention to details can be very useful in a 3D sim, but it has to be abstracted in a strategic view we are aiming for (we don't have directional hits, or 3rd dimension) Still, the DAC (http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/index.php?title=Internal_Damage) gives a fairly well approximation of this, with large components like engines being more likely to get hit, and there is special weaponry that address the issue of electronics.

EDIT:
Also on topic of variety mentioned in my previous post. It doesn't have to focused on weapons, why not have several modes of FTL travel each with its own benefit, with each Race only having access to one at the start. ( e.g. Aurora used to have Warp drives as well)

Which would make much more sense then all races across the galaxy developing the exact same approach to FTL, when even on earth most countries can't agree on one approach to anything. And this could spice things up, making better RP experience than "yeah another completely alien race, that has the exact same techs I have only +1 level above me". But again its something to consider   long post 1.0 goal.

EDIT2:
corrected verity  -> variety, for the sake of the weak of heart native English speakers.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: DIT_grue on March 02, 2016, 11:26:05 PM
verity

*twitch* *twitch*

That word does not mean (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/verity) what you think (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/variety) it means.

And furt- *mmf grmph mfm!* (*muzzles criticism for civility's sake*)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: alex_brunius on March 03, 2016, 02:44:03 AM
Such attention to details can be very useful in a 3D sim, but it has to be abstracted in a strategic view we are aiming for (we don't have directional hits, or 3rd dimension) Still, the DAC (http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/index.php?title=Internal_Damage) gives a fairly well approximation of this, with large components like engines being more likely to get hit, and there is special weaponry that address the issue of electronics.

For all intents and purposes the DAC is a pretty good model of what would happen in a 3D world, since each armor box corresponds to a certain area and DAC randomly selects which area is hit. If there happens to be a turret in that area it's hit, if not the armor is hit.

To make it work you simply need another layer to the DAC where external stuff have their own that is rolled/checked first to see if any are hit, or share numbers with internal and damage gets applied to the external modules first ( if they are hit ) before its applied to armor.

Having some modules be external also means advantages since the main armor don't need to protect 100% of the tonnage any more, so it can be made thicker.

Basically you could have a more interesting and deep combat simulation and ships with external sensors or unarmored turrets would be quite vulnerable to sandpapering hits or you could render ships "blind" more easily by knocking out their sensors like you can in reality.



I also disagree that you are "aiming for an abstracted strategic view" when you want to simulate each second of combat in great detail!!! If you were aiming for an abstracted strategic view instead in the game then each ship would just have broad overall stats like cost, hitpoints, beam attack, missile attack, armor, and then you would simulate combat like a turn based game with say 1 hour ticks where you roll dice and blow up ships depending on the result of a single dice roll.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 03, 2016, 05:42:57 PM
Quote
I also disagree that you are "aiming for an abstracted strategic view"
What I meant to say is that Pulsar is aiming for Aurora-format. Which is abstract in the sense that it does not perfectly model all aspects of space combat. Notably, the 2D strategic map and lack of directional fire. Hence, why  armor and component placement, ship facing and target tracking, and other operations that would be too complicated to manually control in large scale combat are abstracted.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: alex_brunius on March 04, 2016, 03:41:17 AM
I still think if components need to be placed outside armor or not could be a very meaningful distinction, without any directional 3D combat.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 04, 2016, 05:05:50 AM
I am not saying that its a bad idea, many games has internal\external slots, just that it has many consequences. For example, by making sensors external, you effect HPMs. And while there is zero sense in spherical armor that encompass the whole ship, how would you decide what should be external and what shouldn't, based on your personal idea of how a future spacecraft would be designed? I can see a lot of exploits, and once you get past that abstraction, questions about blind spots in offensive\defensive capabilities start to creep in, and hence my previous post. But that just my opinion, concerning the suggestion details provided here.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: alex_brunius on March 04, 2016, 08:43:34 AM
And while there is zero sense in spherical armor that encompass the whole ship, how would you decide what should be external and what shouldn't, based on your personal idea of how a future spacecraft would be designed?

No, what modules are external or internal would be based on the game designers personal ideas of how a future spacecraft would be designed. Just like all other systems and weapons in the game are based on that same vision / assumption of how future spacecrafts would be designed!

I can see a lot of exploits, and once you get past that abstraction, questions about blind spots in offensive\defensive capabilities start to creep in

I don't see much difference actually on the exploit front, external modules would behave to all normal weapons exactly like all modules today behave when hit by mesons ( armor does nothing ). It would make mesons a bit relatively weaker and sand-papering stronger ( both of these being balancing things I think would be healthy ).

Can you think of any specific exploit?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Hamof on March 04, 2016, 11:14:14 AM
Quote from: alex_brunius link=topic=5177. msg87632#msg87632 date=1457102614
I don't see much difference actually on the exploit front, external modules would behave to all normal weapons exactly like all modules today behave when hit by mesons ( armor does nothing ).  It would make mesons a bit relatively weaker and sand-papering stronger ( both of these being balancing things I think would be healthy ).

Can you think of any specific exploit?

Sand-papering?

Also, I agree with you that external modules could be nice.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Erik Luken on March 04, 2016, 01:06:01 PM
Sand-papering?

Also, I agree with you that external modules could be nice.

Scraping off armor one layer at a time, usually by small/low damage weapons.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Hamof on March 04, 2016, 01:09:37 PM
Quote from: Erik Luken link=topic=5177.  msg87639#msg87639 date=1457118361
Scraping off armor one layer at a time, usually by small/low damage weapons. 

Ah, what's the advantage over just hitting them with a really big gun? I guess you'd have multiple to-hit rolls so there's a higher chance that at least some of that damage will hit. 

"this gun is based on the principle that given enough bullets, even a blind monkey will eventually hit the target.  " Gratuitous Space Battles, one of the AA guns.   Something like that anyway, I don't remember the exact quote and I'm not going to check. 
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: TheDeadlyShoe on March 04, 2016, 01:15:55 PM
In Aurora, smaller weapons tend to have much higher DPS; small missile launchers & small beam weapons have significantly higher rates of fire than their larger counterparts. 

The primary advantage of larger weapons is range and armor penetration.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Hamof on March 04, 2016, 01:29:45 PM
Quote from: TheDeadlyShoe link=topic=5177. msg87642#msg87642 date=1457118955
In Aurora, smaller weapons tend to have much higher DPS; small missile launchers & small beam weapons have significantly higher rates of fire than their larger counterparts.   

The primary advantage of larger weapons is range and armor penetration.

OK, makes sense to me.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on March 04, 2016, 01:45:25 PM
My concern with surface-mounted components is that it will encourage AMM sandblasting, which in my opinion is not a healthy balancing change. AMM spam is already difficult to counter as is. Some of the changes here that I've considered would additionally encourage AMM spam, such as the explosive reactive armor coating that would reduce ASM damage to 1 for the first row of armor.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 04, 2016, 02:01:21 PM
@alex_brunius. Unlike that WW2 ship above, today we have multiple ways to collect data and protect said devices actively or passively. Even, If we go with your misguided notion of how future tech\mterials should behave (i.e. that TN sensors would stop working if we put a big fat slab of TN armor between them, as oppose to using the same advanced composites that allow our instant communication, miniature shields or whatever we use to protect airlocks) and dispense with abstraction.

Then, unlike said 3D games, your suggestion offers no real gameplay benefits to the attacker or the defender. Except:
1. Defender, reduce Armor requirements. If this is the goal, then your suggesting is inadequate e.g. there is no reason why I should be forced to pay premium to pad my cargo holds with armor...
2. Attacker: Making HPMs Obsolete. HPMs are situation weapons, that allow a little more tactical verity, by allowing any weapon to take pot shots at array it would make missiles even more effective and other brute force strategies.

Also, this would effect current DAC, damage\destruction, and armor\weapon balance mechanics.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: littleWolf on March 04, 2016, 02:14:52 PM
Greetings !  I view savegame from Universe Sandbox 2.   This file is JSON file, packed by RAR or ZIP compressor.

How about create tools for import/export data (stars, planets, moons, asteroids, comets) from/to  US2 saves ?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: TheDeadlyShoe on March 04, 2016, 02:16:02 PM
honestly, if you are translating aurora mechanics directly, i think the damage profile of sandblasting is fine; between better armor pen, shock damage, and longer range, larger damage patterns have a lot of virtue.

the true issue with AMMs is the massive advantage small missiles possess in penetrating anti-missile defenses.  AMMs are the most common expression of this but the issue persists when looking at anti-ship missiles size 1-3 in particular.

the two big concerns for penetrating missile defense are speed and volume.  Since speed doesn't change much between small and large missiles, you're left with volume as the difference between the two; and small missiles just have a ridiculous advantage in this respect.  If you have 1000 magazine space filled with 250 size 4 missiles and the enemy has 500 AMMs, you'd probably get about 90 missiles through assuming a ~33% hit rate. But if you fire 1000 size 1 missiles than you are going to get 834 missiles through, more than double the weight of missiles. Except its worse than that because you're also only spending a quarter the tonnage that the size 4 strategy is on actual launchers while still maintaining 4 times the fire rate, leaving you room for even more missiles and the possibility of entirely overwhelming their defenses.  Or you could spend the same tonnage on launchers as the size 4 strategy, and have 4x the salvo weight with 16x the total rate of fire.

and thats when compared to size 4 missiles, which arn't even very large; typically not large enough to even mount the kind of warheads that give a significant advantage on shock damage or armor penetration.

Quote
Your suggestion has no obvious gameplay benefit to the attacker\defender except
That's not true.  There would be increased emphasis on design decisions like armoring weapon turrets and any other form of hardening for exterior components that might be implemented.  There's also the possibility of Starfire-esque external rack components that are very cost effective but are often destroyed or rendered useless by even the lightest of incoming damage.  There's also the possibility of exotic changes to the design paradigm, like a seperation between an emitter and a weapon system for some weapon types (with only the emitters being exposed.)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 04, 2016, 02:34:21 PM
Quote
That's not true.  There would be increased emphasis on design decisions like armoring weapon turrets and any other form of hardening for exterior components that might be implemented.
It is exactly the same internal HTK system only backwards, after rebalance to account for even weaker defensive capabilities, those will be exactly the same ship design decisions. Although, you might get a little more mileage out of this by playing on the disabled vs destroyed balance, but overall the only to add depth to the design decision is if you add and have to account for blind spots in offensive\defensive capabilities.

Edit: With that said, IMO it makes sense that all weapon 'mounts' would be on the outside, but not sensors. Still this would need a more detailed suggestion to account for "exotic changes".

In Aurora, smaller weapons tend to have much higher DPS; small missile launchers & small beam weapons have significantly higher rates of fire than their larger counterparts. 

The primary advantage of larger weapons is range and armor penetration.
and Shock Damage (http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/index.php?title=Shock_Damage)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: TheDeadlyShoe on March 04, 2016, 02:45:19 PM
I'm not really sure how you come to that conclusion, since it would be a different paradigm to concern yourself with when designing a ship:  whether or not to spend tonnage armoring or creating redundancies for exterior components, above and beyond your general armor level.  Asserting that it's the same doesn't make it so.

Another advanced implementation would be creating a distinction between internally and externally mounted sensors; external would have more capability, but be far more susceptible to battle damage.

Personally, I think the biggest strike against an external-damage system is that Shock Damage occupies a similar, uh..rhetorical space?  We don't need vulnerable components to ensure even heavily armored ships are susceptible to battle damage.

Although - both Shock Damage and any sort of external-components implementation are rendered a minor concern by heavy use of normal Shields, which I've never been a fan of. *shrug*.  Absorption Shields 4 Lyfe!


Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on March 04, 2016, 03:12:26 PM
Greetings !  I view savegame from Universe Sandbox 2.   This file is JSON file, packed by RAR or ZIP compressor.

How about create tools for import/export data (stars, planets, moons, asteroids, comets) from/to  US2 saves ?

Can you provide an example US2 safe file for me to work with? We already Import/Export to/from Json with GZip compression available, but I would need to check the data that's saved in a US2 save. The way US2 handles orbits may not be compatible with Pulsar star systems. (We use a simplified, "On the rails" model, where US2 simulates gravity)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: littleWolf on March 05, 2016, 02:58:54 AM
https://yadi.   sk/d/lrkZMSjfpvfzn

Copy link to url field, remove spaces, Download and unpack to any folder by WinZip or WinRar.        You can rename this file (change extention to .     zip) , before open.      This archive  contain file simulation.     json

All system bodies parameters contains in the "body" branch:
Quote
"Name":"Solar System",
"TargetTimeStepPerRealSec":1296000,
"Tolerance":3387298137.     54558,
"TimePassed":569559.     460494319,
"Accuracy":0,
"IntegratorId":2,
"IntegrationMode":1,
"Gravity":6.     6725985E-11,
"GravityFactor":1,
"SlidingMotionDampning":0.     002,
"AbsorptionRadiusScalar":1.     1,
"ConstantCenterOfMass":false,
"Bodies":[
{
"$type":"Body",
"Name":"Sun",
"Id":1,
"Age":1.     46963778308399E+17,
"Color":"RGBA(0.     750, 0.     487, 0.     335, 0.     750)",
"Mass":1.     9891E+30,
"Radius":702019916.     635428,
"Density":1372.     52324304209,
"Generation":0,
"Flags":113,
"DisplayFlags":0,
"Orientation":"-0.     03229236;0.     7049474;0.     05437494;0.     7064345",
"AngularVelocity":"0;-2.     77102522215336E-06;0",
"Position":"11440.     8103302727;181.     034671800605;-37626.     3857737438",
"Velocity":"0.     0408738109478346;0.     000653609867149931;-0.     131952011253311",
"Suspended":false,
"Components":[
{
"overrideStartingTemp":false,
"TemperatureInitialized":false,
"Albedo":0,
"SurfaceTemperatureOverride":0,
"AtmosphereMass":0,
"MassAirColumn":0,
"SurfaceDensity":0,
"MeanMolecularWeightDryAir":0,
"DegreesOfFreedom":0,
"SpecificHeatConstPressure":Infinity,
"LapseRateDryAdiabatic":0,
"AtmosphereHeightMultiplier":1,
"EmissivityIR":0.     74,
"SurfaceTemperature":5775.     46629139993,
"VisualTemperature":5775.     46629139993,
"GreenhouseEffect":0,
"EffectiveTemperature":0,
"StartingTemperature":0,
"SurfacePressure":0,
"ScaleHeight":0,
"$type":"Celestial"
},{
"ShowMagneticField":false,
"ShowMagAxis":false,
"ShowAurora":false,
"PrefabSource":"",
"ColorMapSource":"",
"HeightMapSource":"",
"NormalMapSource":"",
"EmissiveMapSource":"",
"SpecularMapSource":"",
"VegetationMapSource":"",
"LightColor":"RGBA(1.     000, 0.     948, 0.     904, 0.     000)",
"Tint":"RGBA(1.     000, 1.     000, 1.     000, 1.     000)",
"Planet":{
"HeightmapIndex1":0,
"HeightmapIndex2":0,
"RandomOffset":0,
"Colors":[
],
"AtmosphereColor":"RGBA(0.     200, 0.     600, 1.     000, 1.     000)",
"AtmosphereOpacity":0.     2,
"CloudOpacity":1,
"CloudRotationRateMidLat":0,
"AutoHeight":false,
"Randomized":false
},
"$type":"AppearanceComponent"
},{
"MoltenLevel":0,
"targetMoltenLevel":0,
"LiquidLevel":0,
"targetLiquidLevel":0,
"VegetationLevel":0,
"targetVegetationLevel":0,
"targetRadius":0,
"targetLiquidState":0,
"liquidState":2,
"depots":{
"Hydrogen":{
"Phase":2,
"TargetPhase":0,
"Mass":1.     9891E+30
}
},
"$type":"Composition"
},{
"Opacity":1,
"Length":1,
"$type":"TrailComponent"
}]
},{
"$type":"Body",
"Name":"Mercury",
"Id":2,
"Age":1.     4200920000057E+17,
"Color":"RGBA(0.     635, 0.     635, 0.     635, 1.     000)",
"Mass":3.     30104E+23,
"Radius":2439700,
"Density":5426.     91349520121,
"Generation":0,
"Flags":113,
"DisplayFlags":0,
"Orientation":"-0.     02878437;0.     9360092;0.     05393353;0.     3466257",
"AngularVelocity":"0;-1.     24001303010989E-06;0",
"Position":"-37293163192.     2622;-7649077792.     56021;51733684833.     151",
"Velocity":"-29805.     9292937227;-214.     294714390021;-30857.     1163248382",
"Suspended":false,
"Components":[
{
"overrideStartingTemp":false,
"TemperatureInitialized":true,
"Albedo":0.     119,
"SurfaceTemperatureOverride":0,
"AtmosphereMass":0,
"MassAirColumn":0,
"SurfaceDensity":1,
"MeanMolecularWeightDryAir":43.     5,
"DegreesOfFreedom":7,
 .     .     .     .     .     
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: littleWolf on March 05, 2016, 03:09:41 AM
Maybe  for star system map view  Pulsar create savefile for US2, and user open it from US2 ?

http: //imgur.     com/4NzVKx2

I have some C++ code for  simulating @true@ system newtonian bodies with gravity.            But calculate too slow and have low precision.             

And .  .  .     maybe i can join to developer team ? Have some ideas about create GUI for System map  on QT.           

Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on March 05, 2016, 10:11:37 AM
Maybe  for star system map view  Pulsar create savefile for US2, and user open it from US2 ?

I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly, but Pulsar will have its own star system map view. Any export to other game's save files will mostly be for fun.

I have some C++ code for  simulating @true@ system newtonian bodies with gravity. But calculate too slow and have low precision.     

This is why Pulsar is using "On the Rails" orbital simulations. We're not simulating angular speed or gravity directly, because without high precision calculations the star systems wouldn't be stable over long periods of time (Pulsar Games will likely last over 100 years)       

And .  .  .     maybe i can join to developer team ? Have some ideas about create GUI for System map  on QT.         

Sure! Currently 'Being on the developer team' consists of showing up on #Pulsar4x on IRC. We all lurk there 24/7 and talk when we're coding. If you make a pull request to the github repository with substantial changes we'll give you direct push access to the main repository.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 06, 2016, 02:15:18 AM
There's also the possibility of exotic changes to the design paradigm, like a seperation between an emitter and a weapon system for some weapon types (with only the emitters being exposed.)

My first thought was, Ohh hell no! Way too much micro... But this is actually a very interesting idea in it self. For example, currently when design CIWS, the summary field gives us a breakdown of its sub-components:

Dual GC: 5HS    Turret: 1.87 HS    Fire Control: .16 HS    Sensor .03 HS    ECCM: .5
Overall Size: 7.6    HTK: 2

As far as the game goes, those has zero implication, the CIWS behave like any other non-electronic component i.e. it has total size and HTK. But what if those sub-components actually exist?

Player wise, it would be designed the same i.e. no added micro-management) Technically, after some balance, it wold work the same, just using a bigger DAC table. And it could offer interesting way to expand, for example you could assigning properties to each component. Designing the Weapon mount as Turret and External; the FC and Sensors as Electronic. This way we could use HPMs to disable specific guns ( avoiding the all or nothing hunt for the FC ) and by not actually destroying them completely the enemy fleet can still regroup and recover, making combat more dynamic.

With such extension we can separate Capacitors from Energy weapons, internal magazines from Missile Racks... But not just weapons, many background-tech we commonly select during Component design can be represented as a sub-system linked to a specific game function e.g. Engines, thermal reduction = Heat Sinks, reduce the Thermal Signature emitted by the component. If hit you can still move but have bigger bulls-eye on your ass.

Basically something like that can be used, to broaden the target list, expand the list of effects from electronic\explosive and can make damage events that much more interesting to read and RolePlay.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 06, 2016, 08:59:43 PM
This is why Pulsar is using "On the Rails" orbital simulations. We're not simulating angular speed or gravity directly, because without high precision calculations the star systems wouldn't be stable over long periods of time (Pulsar Games will likely last over 100 years)

On the Rails? Does that mean that you are currently planning not to use circular orbits like in Aurora?

Because one of the first things that didn't make sense to me were the planet designations. Its hard to RP anything beside Humans, when every designation is Human centric. For example, gameplay wise the distinction between Terrestrial planet and Dwarf Planets is meaningless. without things like Electromagnetic activity, Orbital eccentricity, Planetary discriminant... say what?! Only thing that matters and or can be effected is: gravity(Size), Atmosphere(color), and Mineral content(color?).
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Hamof on March 07, 2016, 12:16:22 AM
Quote from: Mor link=topic=5177. msg87714#msg87714 date=1457319583
On the Rails? Does that mean that you are currently planning not to use circular orbits like in Aurora?


Presumably, "On the rails" is referring to the way a planets orbit is determined at system generation, and then it sticks to that orbit for the rest of time with no further maths.  Just like in Aurora.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on March 07, 2016, 08:39:27 AM
"On the Rails" means we're using Keplerian Orbital elements to determine and orbital body's position.

This means that orbits will not be Aurora's circular orbits, they'll have proper eccentricity and even inclination. However, we're not simulating gravity, velocity or forces between the bodies. We're simply calculating position relative to parent based on unchanging Keplerian elements.

This means orbits will look and move more realistically. When an object is at its perigee, it will move quickly, at its apogee it will move slowly, just like in real life. However, in the real world some orbits precess (The orbital elements slowly change over time), like the moon. Our orbital code doesn't handle that. Something like Universal Simulator 2 does because it's fully simulating the gravitation pull and forces between the bodies.

This means you might notice Earth isn't in the same position every 365 days, but because we're calculating earth's position from unchanging elements, it'll also never go flying off in a weird direction because of some floating point issue.

Presumably, "On the rails" is referring to the way a planets orbit is determined at system generation, and then it sticks to that orbit for the rest of time with no further maths.  Just like in Aurora.

Yes. This is true. System generation is the only time gravity, mass, etc. is taken into account. We ensure that orbit paths are gravitationally clear for major planets and moons, and after that we set the orbital elements and don't look back.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: alex_brunius on March 07, 2016, 01:48:25 PM
"On the Rails" means we're using Keplerian Orbital elements to determine and orbital body's position.

This means that orbits will not be Aurora's circular orbits, they'll have proper eccentricity and even inclination. However, we're not simulating gravity, velocity or forces between the bodies. We're simply calculating position relative to parent based on unchanging Keplerian elements.

This means orbits will look and move more realistically. When an object is at its perigee, it will move quickly, at its apogee it will move slowly, just like in real life. However, in the real world some orbits precess (The orbital elements slowly change over time), like the moon. Our orbital code doesn't handle that. Something like Universal Simulator 2 does because it's fully simulating the gravitation pull and forces between the bodies.

This means you might notice Earth isn't in the same position every 365 days, but because we're calculating earth's position from unchanging elements, it'll also never go flying off in a weird direction because of some floating point issue.

Sounds interesting.

Does this means potential for great FUN with elliptic orbits where you settle at the point furthest away from the star in nice cosy temperatures and then have your colonists roasted alive as it passes closer to the star?  ;D
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: littleWolf on March 07, 2016, 02:55:32 PM
1.   Simplify model to Keplers  make calculations easier, but  prevent some interrest possibilites - changing for bodyes orbit, space disasters (collide and other).   
2.   For Kepler orbits need gravity focus.   Orbit Moon around Earth, orbit Earth around Sol.  .   Need new parameres - gravity weel radius for switch between focuses. 

3.   We have TN-physics, any ships ignore inertion force.   But if ship no have powered TN engine or reactor, he must change physics to newtonian without save TN speed (maybe remaining speed = TN speed / sqrt(mass) and save direction of speed vector), and moving by Kepler orbit. 

4.  Maybe adding 3D to system map ?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: iceball3 on March 07, 2016, 05:42:27 PM
4.  Maybe adding 3D to system map ?
You wot?
I am 99% sure that is not the direction this project is intended to go, though, I'm not really a major contributor. Still, though...
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: littleWolf on March 08, 2016, 02:17:25 AM
we have now 2d coords - X and Y.   Adding Z - is not too hard work, simply change Point2d to Point3d class with same metods (set, get, getRange)and operators.  (add, substact, scalar and vector multiply and anoter needed). 

in first time we can simple set Z coord to 0.

Why we need Z coords ? 
1.  For some calculation (btw angle velocity)  most using vector multiplycation ( elliptic orbit:  V x R = const).   
2.  For suitable observation of star system  point view (players eye) must have a variable Z coord and angle of view.  Zooming and moving realize very simple - by apply transform matrix to scene.
3.  in future Steve may simple add Z coord field for upgrade game to true 3D 4x.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: iceball3 on March 08, 2016, 02:22:38 AM
we have now 2d coords - X and Y.   Adding Z - is not too hard work, simply change Point2d to Point3d class with same metods (set, get, getRange)and operators.  (add, substact, scalar and vector multiply and anoter needed). 

in first time we can simple set Z coord to 0.

Why we need Z coords ? 
1.  For some calculation (btw angle velocity)  most using vector multiplycation ( elliptic orbit:  V x R = const).   
2.  For suitable observation of star system  point view (players eye) must have a variable Z coord and angle of view.  Zooming and moving realize very simple - by apply transform matrix to scene.
3.  in future Steve may simple add Z coord field for upgrade game to true 3D 4x.
I think you are overstating the simplicity of the matter.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: littleWolf on March 08, 2016, 03:22:43 AM
its really easy mathematic !

Create or use exists 3D point type (maybe OpenGL standart vector types) and adding  set Z=0 to default class constructor.     Then with directive #define or #typedef  replace vector2D (or Point2D) to your new  3D type.   

struct s3fVector
{
   double X;
   double Y;
   double Z;
   s3fVector (double x, double y, double z)
      :X(x),Y(y),Z(z)
   {};
   s3fVector ():
      X(0),Y(0),Z(0)
   {};
   s3fVector (const s3fVector& v2)
      :X(v2.    X),Y(v2.    Y),Z(v2.    Z)
   {};

   double modul()const {return sqrt(X*X+Y*Y+Z*Z);};
   bool operator ==(const s3fVector &v2)const
      {return(X==v2.    X)&(Y==v2.    Y)&(Z==v2.    Z);};
   s3fVector operator + (const s3fVector& v2) const
      {double x=X+v2.    X; double y=Y+v2.    Y;double z=Z+v2.    Z; return s3fVector(x,y,z);};
   s3fVector& operator += (const s3fVector& v2)
      {X+=v2.    X; Y+=v2.    Y; Z+=v2.    Z; return *this;};
   s3fVector operator - (const s3fVector &v2) const
      {double x=X-v2.    X; double y=Y-v2.    Y;double z=Z-v2.    Z; return s3fVector(x,y,z);};
   s3fVector& operator -= (const s3fVector& v2)
      {X-=v2.    X; Y-=v2.    Y; Z-=v2.    Z; return *this;};
   s3fVector& operator = (const s3fVector &v2)
      {X=v2.    X; Y=v2.    Y; Z=v2.    Z; return *this;};
   s3fVector operator * (double M) const
      {double x=X*M;double y=Y*M;double z=Z*M;return s3fVector(x,y,z);};

   double operator * (s3fVector v) const
      {double r=X*v.    X+Y*v.    Y+Z*v.    Z;return r;};

   s3fVector& operator *= (double M)
      {X*=M; Y*=M; Z*=M; return *this;};
   s3fVector operator / (double D) const
      {   if (D==0) return s3fVector(0,0,0);
         double x=X/D;
         double y=Y/D;
         double z=Z/D;
         return s3fVector(x,y,z);
      };
   s3fVector& operator /= (double D)
      {   if (D==0) {X=0;Y=0;Z=0; return *this;};
         X/=D;Y/=D; Z/=D;return *this;};
      bool operator > (const s3fVector &v2) const
      { return modul() > v2.    modul();};
      bool operator < (const s3fVector &v2) const
      { return modul() < v2.    modul();};
   s3fVector vmult(s3fVector v2) const
      {
         double x=Y*v2.    Z - Z*v2.    Y;
         double y=Z*v2.    X - X*v2.    Z;
         double z=X*v2.    Y - Y*v2.    X;
         return s3fVector(x,y,z);
      }
};


Lol.   I read source codes - you already use 3d vectors !:)  Need only polish 3d engine for real 3d navigation - and add mouse interact with displayed objects:)
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 08, 2016, 06:05:47 AM
Sounds interesting.

Does this means potential for great FUN with elliptic orbits where you settle at the point furthest away from the star in nice cosy temperatures and then have your colonists roasted alive as it passes closer to the star?  ;D

After thinking about it, I am not certain that they should. Modeling the intricacies of realist-ish orbits is no small challenge. like you said, it can lead to variable temperatures->colony cost, or collisions and eventually become a performance hog when you need to calculate hundreds of bodies in every system.

In games that focus on space flight, with realistic propulsion (like karbal) such things would be an integral parts of mission planning and add depth, but in 4X strategy game, that span multiple system, it might be a distraction and cause of UI confusion and might be better to abstract with circles.

Same goes with 3d, the question isn't whether they can model it, but what would it add gameplay wise and how well can they design the UI to account for it.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Rod-Serling on March 08, 2016, 12:55:00 PM
Does this means potential for great FUN with elliptic orbits where you settle at the point furthest away from the star in nice cosy temperatures and then have your colonists roasted alive as it passes closer to the star?  ;D

Not right now. I think planet temperature is currently set by the SemiMajorAxis. Additionally we generate orbits with a constrained eccentricity and within the habitable zone of the star in order to be able to easily balance the number of number of habitable worlds in the game.

1.   Simplify model to Keplers  make calculations easier, but  prevent some interrest possibilites - changing for bodyes orbit, space disasters (collide and other). 

Yeah it does. But it's also easier and faster to program and easier on run speed. Trust me, I would simulate every atom in the entire universe if it were possible. In the end every game has to make considerations for both the hardware its running on and the gameplay considerations we actually want. Personally I don't see a whole lot of added value in doing stuff like radically changing a bodies orbit. To do so would require massive amounts of energy (both in terms of kinetic energy to change the orbit, and programmer energy actually implementing it). Space disasters and collisions would be cool, but just not worth the programming and runtime cost.

 
2.   For Kepler orbits need gravity focus.   Orbit Moon around Earth, orbit Earth around Sol.  .   Need new parameres - gravity weel radius for switch between focuses. 

I know. I wrote the orbit code in Pulsar. We calculate the gravity between the star/planet based on mass and we use that to generate a sane orbit for the body in a place where we want it to go. I don't know what you're trying to say with the last third of your message.

3.   We have TN-physics, any ships ignore inertion force.   But if ship no have powered TN engine or reactor, he must change physics to newtonian without save TN speed (maybe remaining speed = TN speed / sqrt(mass) and save direction of speed vector), and moving by Kepler orbit. 

Again, your grammar makes this impossible to decipher. I don't have to change physics to Newtonian, because I decide how the game universe works. I decide how the game physics work, and right now they work with orbits that never change and ships that move in a TN manner.

4.  Maybe adding 3D to system map ?

Maybe. We haven't ruled it out. It's more of a long-term "Maybe we'll eventually do this once everything else is done" thought on our minds right now. As Mor said, the biggest limitation is creating a good UI to use it. I've seen a lot of space games mess up in the 3D UI controls. I'd rather have a nice 2D UI than a 3D one with bad controls.

Lol.   I read source codes - you already use 3d vectors !:)  Need only polish 3d engine for real 3d navigation - and add mouse interact with displayed objects:)

Oh all we need is a polished 3D engine? We also need more programmers, maybe some 3D modellers, maybe some guys good at texturing and other asset design...

You have to remember that Pulsar is a game that's currently being built mainly by two people. Se5a and myself. Nathan's working on another branch and is kind of doing his own thing. Most of the other contributors are extremely irregular. We've had some hopefuls show up, but nobody seems to really stick with it save for se5a and myself. We not a game studio. We have real jobs and college and lives. We don't get paid for doing this and likely never will (at least not anything significant). Pulsar is our free-time hobby just like Aurora is Steve's free-time hobby. We don't even have a 2D display yet, let alone a polished 3D game engine. We can't do everything and it's unrealistic to set our goals that high.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: se5a on March 08, 2016, 02:52:57 PM
I'd like a 3d system map. but definitely not in this iteration.
Newton is not getting any more of a lookin in this iteration either.

The engine will currently handle 3d orbits, but as rod as pointed out, UI controls for that need to be done right.
We need to triage and get something out that's somewhat playable. 
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: littleWolf on March 09, 2016, 03:55:28 AM
Quote from: Rod-Serling link=topic=5177.   msg87759#msg87759 date=1457463300
Again, your grammar makes this impossible to decipher.    I don't have to change physics to Newtonian, because I decide how the game universe works.    I decide how the game physics work, and right now they work with orbits that never change and ships that move in a TN manner.   

Sorry, my english too bad for open community,  but i good C++ programmer with great experience in mathematic modelling.    And i have some knowledge in space flight and celestial mechanic.   

Maybe anyone developers of "Pulsar 4x" know russian language and can help me  for breaking "language barrier"?
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: exdeathbr on March 09, 2016, 06:47:45 AM


4.  Maybe adding 3D to system map ?
This would be awsome as frakk.
In my opinion this is sort of a must to turn spaceship games into really spaceship games, instead of "futuristic planes" game
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: Mor on March 09, 2016, 07:20:48 PM
we generate orbits with a constrained eccentricity and within the habitable zone of the star in order to be able to easily balance the number of number of habitable worlds in the game.

That sounds interesting and full of promise.

Maybe anyone developers of "Pulsar 4x" know russian language and can help me  for breaking "language barrier"?
Not a developer nor Russian. But I understand Russian as well as English (both are second languages). I recommend that you keep trying.. every now and then you'll get *twitch* or two from the natives, but its the best way to practice in non english environment.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: mrwigggles on January 16, 2017, 07:30:54 AM
HEAT.

Mass Effect lore is pretty great.  One of the things they brought up that I had never really considered before is heat during ship combat.

Basically, Beam Weapons of the kinds of power we're talking about would generate significant amounts of heat.  Additionally, shields could also generate heat during use.  Engines and Powerplants could be additional (albiet, much lower) sources of heat.

Here's a telling quote from Mass Effect's Codex

This could be used to balance shields.  If heat can't be dumped while shields are up, and taking shield damage generates heat as shields get used, then ships with large, quickly recharging shields with tanker support can no longer tank indefinitely.  As heat builds up, components could fail, crew could die, etc.

This is a great idea.  Shields take damage, the damage is turned into waste heat.

This would be a very neat energy tech line to have. Heat Sink Batteries, Heat Loss, and Heat Pump. The tech should be a simple linear efficiency. And these would be components you add to ships. No design would be needed.

All weapon systems when engage should produce excess heat, active sensors should produce excess heat, and shields while running should produce excess heat. Or if a simpler binary 'in combat' can be detected, then the ship produces heat as a function of its tonnage. And the components that produce heat would be a function of its hull space. I would keep this rate pretty flat. More advance components would more then likely need more joules of energy and it would get hotter, but active and passive cooling would probably keep it about the same.

The only problem with this, is that Fighters, and  FACs would probably be pretty dampen in combat time by heat. This may not be a bad thing.

Heat Sink Batteries, would be components that just absorb heat. The maximum amount of heat it would sink, is how many hull spaces it was given multiplied by its current technology level. I would also say as soon as it 90 percent capacity, that it starts to have a failure chance, adjusted by the ships overall failure chance. And I would probably start with letting then have a max heat sink of 150 to 200 percent over capacity before it is destroyed.

I dont know if internally the game recognizes the difference between equipment failure and being damage in combat, but I would say that if it was destroyed in combat then the heat it contained would disappear. If it failed because it melted the heat would radiate to the rest of the ship.

As the ship gets hotter, it affects morale. Or it affects crew efficiency. The goal would be that everyone does their job on the ship worse because their being baked. Once the ship overall has taken heat to its tonnage or hull space, it'll start to cause system failures else wear. It would trigger maintenance failure checks with the heat exceeding the ship hs or tonnage, as a multiplier to this chance with it being multiplied by the ship overall failure chance.

Depending how you view things Lore wise, this can then cause fuel to ignite and missile to detonate.

As this is happening, every pulse that the ship is over its hs or tonnage, its killing crew. I would probably make this an exponential curve. The goal being that the ship crew can be literally baked but the ship itself can be recovered and repaired then restock with new ingri... crew.

Heat Loss components, would disperse stored heat from the sinks over time. They cant be used while shields are up. Lore wise, this would be miles and miles of tubing that the ship would push into space to increase the ship surface area. The tubes would be filled with some TN medium for pushing the heat.

Heat Pumps would be a support ship component. This component would let Support Ship pump the heat from the Combat ship, into the Support Ships own Heat Sinks, and use its own Heat Loss system. The transfer would be at the same rate, and rule as Heat Loss.

Hangar Components are assumed to come with Heat Pumps. Docked Ships would pump their heat into its Mothership, unless told otherwise. Docked Ships cannot disperse heat while docked, unless its pumping it into the Mothership.

And for spoiler races. They can ignore these rules. Star Swarms would defiantly need to for their well, swarms.

I am also curious if this is taken on, if just hitting ships with IR lasers or resonate frequency microwaves or something would you let you cook ships.

PDCs would assume to have infinite cooling and infinite heat absorption. Since their build on planets. This would also be true for PDC with hangars.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: TaliesinSkye on January 22, 2017, 02:48:45 PM
Some thoughts on heat, if implemented -

Heat Loss components could properly be called radiators. 

There might be special shield and weapons tech that actually reduced heat, as an interesting design possibility.

I'm not sure what purpose exactly heat pump tech would serve.

The amount of heat being actively radiated could of course add to thermal signature.  There could be a 'stealth mode' toggle where ships turn off their radiators temporarily and let heat build up, like the shields up/down or sensors on/off toggles.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: iceball3 on January 23, 2017, 05:34:53 AM
Some thoughts on heat, if implemented -

Heat Loss components could properly be called radiators. 

There might be special shield and weapons tech that actually reduced heat, as an interesting design possibility.

I'm not sure what purpose exactly heat pump tech would serve.

The amount of heat being actively radiated could of course add to thermal signature.  There could be a 'stealth mode' toggle where ships turn off their radiators temporarily and let heat build up, like the shields up/down or sensors on/off toggles.
I imagine heatpumps would be specifically designed around moving heat from critical components into more massive heatsinks, where it could either be stored within or transferred to radiators.


Speaking of which, would it be reasonable for ships to convect their heat against atmospheres (at variable efficiency, depending on heat/pressure) of planets they're stationed at by coasting off the top, or even perhaps straight into the ground if fully docked?

Also, I gain great amusement knowing that with a heating system, someone's probably going to take the newly re-balanced beam weapons (designed to be smaller and otherwise cheaper/more potent to compensate for all these new effectively-logistics-nerfs to them) and make the space 4x equivalent of the giant robot in this video:
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: mrwigggles on January 24, 2017, 02:52:45 AM
The Heat Pump would take one Heat from ship to nother. So you could have Combat Ships, with Heat Sinks but with little to no Radiators. (Yea, better word.) ANd so you can multiple ships service by one Support Ship cooling them off. 

FACs may be weaken quite a bit with heat. Though if they could return to a Support Ship where they can off load their Heat, this would mitigate it.

The Stealth Tech themselves would generate heat, and would already doing its job at lowering the heat profile of the ship regardless. This wouldnt really need to be changed mechanically. Its numbers would need to be tweaked. This would make Stealth maybe weaker, but more interesting as it'll be limited by how long it can be an oven.

This may also require to generate an ambient heat map of a given system. It may be fast enough to know how warm the dead of space is compared to the distance (and stats of the star). The further away you are, the more efficient radiators are.
Title: Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
Post by: planetfall on September 16, 2017, 09:22:43 PM
I think it would be really nice if instead of made up elements like duranium you used real ones like iron, nitrogen, carbon etc.  I also think it would be cool if you could gradually disassemble whole planets and turn it into Dyson swarms of rotating habitats.  Also just a small tweak I'd really like is if you could install a pair of mass drivers inside a jumpgates so that you don't need to use ships to ferry goods between them.  As for ships I think it would be cool if you had a 3d building system like Children of a Dead Earth so you can see what your doing, kind of far out there but that is what this thread is about.