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GLaDOS
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PostSubject: Flag Ships   Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:29 pm

I think that a "flag ship" or Admirals ship, Mother Ship, Leaders Vessel, whatever you call it, should have certain benifits associated with it. For example, it gets increased turret points, shielding, armor, or just a general increase in abilitys. For balance issues I believe that only ships of Cruiser level or above can aquire a flag ship benifit and only the admin can pilot a flag ship. Only one ship at a time could be the flag ship. You can switch which one is the flag ship but it takes time, you can not just switch it in the middle of battle so that you can the benifits if the flag ship was shot down. I'd say it takes, oh, 10-30 minutes depending on ship size(as in real life you have to add more armor and guns if the ship was bigger). The flag ship could be any size, as though I would prefer to have some monster super dreadnought, my best friend would prefer smaller ships because he likes to skirt around huge ships, taking pot shots. I like this because it would add more life to a battle as the enemy desperately tries to take down the flag ship before their own is destroyed.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:42 am

Nope, not going to happen.

Ship "classes" are going to be quite limited. A flag ship will simply be a big ship with lots of sub modules. There wont be a specific flag ship class.

These ships arn't going be be built on a crafting table, they're going to be build block by block around a controller block, the controller block will specify how big a ship can ultimately be, so the idea that there will be such a thing as ship classes and specific types of ships is pretty much out the window.

I'd assume that people will make "types" of ships in the long run, like use certain controllers for things like trade vessels and use others for large ships like carriers or battle cruisers. Classification of these designs will be almost impossible as the only limits will be on your imagination and on the size restriction of the controller block.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:25 am

I think it'd be a good idea to have a "Mothership" - command and control vessel - but there's no reason for extra benefits. A C/C ship would be used to manage a battle, not to roll in and blast away the enemy.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:28 pm

Actually, I think it is a good idea.

A new class of ship, specifically called a flagship, will be added. It will be 500,000-2,000,000 blocks in size. It will have a lot more turret points, life, shield, and special weapon points than all the other ships. However, there are limitations: you can only build one per server (if it gets destroyed, you can make another), and it must have a ZPM to run it (considering how hard they are to make, this is a severe limitation).


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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:11 pm

Well the concept is cool, its like the titans of Eve, HOWEVER, the programmatic problems could be insurmountable depending on how the Engine handles ship rendering of blocks. 2 million individual blocks isn't bad, but can you imaging the system resources needed to make them move? update? And then do this over a broadband connection? LAG..... lag some more..... and boom, crash.

I don't like to be a buzz kill about these things but as I've mentioned before, people are just unrealistic with their ideas of what the Java engine is capable of. Yes, we could make a giant 2 million block ship and render it, but you better have a very fast processor and more so, have about 2 gigs of ram dedicated solely to running Java with about 2 more gigs available for swap. And even then, you'd be able to render the ship alone. Frostbyte may prove me wrong, I know the engine he's working on will have an advanced updating engine that should reduce the foot print, but I don't foresee any Java based engine capable of doing the amount of renders needed to make that happen with any sort of high efficiency, Java just isn't meant to be a pure "game" language.

Anyway, wish people would think of the performance when they think of the scale. I'd suspect 20,000-50,000 block ships would be plenty large and have a small enough foot print that rendering 10-20 on a server wouldn't crush it, but thats just my mind thinking about all the little 1's and 0's flying around I guess.

And just as a test, someone go build a ship out of 20,000 blocks and post a screen shot, that would give us a sense of how large 20k blocks really is.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:05 am

Reduce the size, a lot. Remember, Motherships are generally command and control ships and not front-line Battlestars.

Hmm....Battlestar....interesting thought, that.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:31 pm

Well see thats what I'm failing to understand about people's posts. It's like "I want a battleship!" or "I want a mother ship!" well, there wont be technically a specific class that you can just "make", there wont be ship blue prints. There will be controller blocks, expansion modules to control guns, engines and what not, and there will be blocks. You would technically be able to take a 4x4x4 cube, slap some engines in it and call it a space ship. Is it a battleship? Who knows? Maybe you packed it full of TNT to make it a suicide fire ship, maybe you packet it full of gold and use it as a inconspicuous trade vessel.

That was the whole point of this mod, was to allow people to free themselves of the restrictions of current "space" sims where you start off in a fighter and work your way up to a larger ship. The point of this mod was to allow someone to make a ship using their imagination, not some pre-planted blue prints.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:26 pm

ectrimble20 wrote:
Well see thats what I'm failing to understand about people's posts. It's like "I want a battleship!" or "I want a mother ship!" well, there wont be technically a specific class that you can just "make", there wont be ship blue prints. There will be controller blocks, expansion modules to control guns, engines and what not, and there will be blocks. You would technically be able to take a 4x4x4 cube, slap some engines in it and call it a space ship. Is it a battleship? Who knows? Maybe you packed it full of TNT to make it a suicide fire ship, maybe you packet it full of gold and use it as a inconspicuous trade vessel.

That was the whole point of this mod, was to allow people to free themselves of the restrictions of current "space" sims where you start off in a fighter and work your way up to a larger ship. The point of this mod was to allow someone to make a ship using their imagination, not some pre-planted blue prints.

From what i understand, your saying that there will be expansion modules that allow more things like engines and weapons and such? I support this, because I think ship's abilitys should be based entire on how their made, but how would you handle the modules?

Would they increase a hard limit on whatever their limiting, or would they basically be 'Controllers', and contain the required electronics to control and use whatever their for.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:33 pm

I sort of get your point, but I think the more you deal with classes and such, the more that creativity is crushed. Maybe my clan wants to have an army of 20 fast fighters and one carrier. Maybe the other team wants 2 battleships. The possibilities are endless. Same as if we want ranks, we could chose what we are called. Just like in the factions mod, where the faction leader can give you whatever rank they want.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:55 pm

Quote :
From what i understand, your saying that there will be expansion modules that allow more things like engines and weapons and such? I support this, because I think ship's abilitys should be based entire on how their made, but how would you handle the modules?

Would they increase a hard limit on whatever their limiting, or would they basically be 'Controllers', and contain the required electronics to control and use whatever their for.

Well, basically what I'm seeing as the way it "should" work is like so:

You want to build a battleship style, large scale war vessel. You'll need a lot of metal blocks for the ship alone, you'll need a 20k controller block (or w/e size you need), you'll also need two large weapon controllers for the main cannons, you'll then need to worry about control and power for life support, system computers, aux weapons, lighting, artificial gravity, damage control and all sorts of other componets, which are all optional. Once you know what you need you'll then have to design the layout of your vessel, placing controllers at various locations throughout the ship, remembering that if a componet controller is destroyed or loses power, its attached components might be cut off and disabled, so planning a backup power grid is nessisary so that one source of power can fail. You'll then need to plan where to place the power generators, taking damage and fail safes into account. So after much planning and block laying the ship will come together slowly but surely and will eventually be completed.

Once finished you should have a feeling of accomplishment. Ships wont be something you'll want to just go out and get blown up for fun, especially not the larger ships. The cost to build something on the scale of a typical sci-fi battleship would be so immense to the point that building a large one could very well bankrupt a planet of resources, you're talking 20k+ blocks of metal just for the ship, let alone whatever the component costs come to. Personally, I'd find that to be extremely challenging but highly rewarding because you and your friends are responsible for the success or failure of the ship, not whomever designed it at some game studio.

Quote :
I sort of get your point, but I think the more you deal with classes and such, the more that creativity is crushed. Maybe my clan wants to have an army of 20 fast fighters and one carrier. Maybe the other team wants 2 battleships. The possibilities are endless. Same as if we want ranks, we could chose what we are called. Just like in the factions mod, where the faction leader can give you whatever rank they want.

Well that was my point. No ship classes, period. Just controller blocks to handle different size vessels. If you make a ship and you want to call it a "Bazooka Class Battleship" go right ahead, but you're friends wont be able to copy it, each ship will be unique. As for people, classes wouldn't make sense except as personnel definers, like for keeping track of who is "allowed" to do this or that. That wouldn't be too hard to implement so I could see a sudo-class system taking effect for people.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:54 pm

ectrimble20 wrote:
Quote :
From what i understand, your saying that there will be expansion modules that allow more things like engines and weapons and such? I support this, because I think ship's abilitys should be based entire on how their made, but how would you handle the modules?

Would they increase a hard limit on whatever their limiting, or would they basically be 'Controllers', and contain the required electronics to control and use whatever their for.

Well, basically what I'm seeing as the way it "should" work is like so:

You want to build a battleship style, large scale war vessel. You'll need a lot of metal blocks for the ship alone, you'll need a 20k controller block (or w/e size you need), you'll also need two large weapon controllers for the main cannons, you'll then need to worry about control and power for life support, system computers, aux weapons, lighting, artificial gravity, damage control and all sorts of other componets, which are all optional. Once you know what you need you'll then have to design the layout of your vessel, placing controllers at various locations throughout the ship, remembering that if a componet controller is destroyed or loses power, its attached components might be cut off and disabled, so planning a backup power grid is nessisary so that one source of power can fail. You'll then need to plan where to place the power generators, taking damage and fail safes into account. So after much planning and block laying the ship will come together slowly but surely and will eventually be completed.

Once finished you should have a feeling of accomplishment. Ships wont be something you'll want to just go out and get blown up for fun, especially not the larger ships. The cost to build something on the scale of a typical sci-fi battleship would be so immense to the point that building a large one could very well bankrupt a planet of resources, you're talking 20k+ blocks of metal just for the ship, let alone whatever the component costs come to. Personally, I'd find that to be extremely challenging but highly rewarding because you and your friends are responsible for the success or failure of the ship, not whomever designed it at some game studio.

Quote :
I sort of get your point, but I think the more you deal with classes and such, the more that creativity is crushed. Maybe my clan wants to have an army of 20 fast fighters and one carrier. Maybe the other team wants 2 battleships. The possibilities are endless. Same as if we want ranks, we could chose what we are called. Just like in the factions mod, where the faction leader can give you whatever rank they want.

Well that was my point. No ship classes, period. Just controller blocks to handle different size vessels. If you make a ship and you want to call it a "Bazooka Class Battleship" go right ahead, but you're friends wont be able to copy it, each ship will be unique. As for people, classes wouldn't make sense except as personnel definers, like for keeping track of who is "allowed" to do this or that. That wouldn't be too hard to implement so I could see a sudo-class system taking effect for people.

Sounds about the same as I imagined it, but I think there should only be one controller block that auto-detects the size of the ship, and that some systems should need to have powerlines directly attached to them, instead of to a controller which would then route the power to them.

And technically, they could copy it, if they had acess to it they could build a copy of it and make it exactly the same, theres no wall preventing it, only information. Like what the ship looks like on the inside, what's where, what goes to what, that kind of stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:00 pm

well yeah, but you can't "download a copy" and just do it that way, that was what I ment, I'm sure people can make a clone by following directions.

I agree about the power systems, but things like engines and what not need to be routed so the computer can control power consumption etc. Anything that just runs and doesn't have to do extra thinking should be just plug and play to the power grid.

The controller block auto detect might be the simpler route. My issue with that is that the same block that controls a tiny frigate will be able to control a massive cruiser. Issue? Don't know. Might cause balancing issues, might not. Either way, I still believe that we need an upper cap of around 20-50k blocks for a ship going back to my post about performance issues. Kinda curious as to what Frost's take on this will be.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:40 am

No. You are wrong. Do remember the video of the ship in the OP? It was 600,000 blocks and you can all see that it had little effect on the computer.
Also, there are very good reasons that the classes of ships are the way they are. First, if you only had one core block for every ship, than the larger ships would be immensely easier to make. The amount of valuable and rare resources, plus the time needed to research some of the technologies that go into the making of high tier core blocks... If you were to only have one core block, than it would cause some major power balance issues.
Even if the restrictions on weapons and hit-points were removed, we would also face an unbalance issue. Namely, you would find small ships, only several hundred blocks in size, with enough weaponry to take out a dreadnought, plus enough health to survive a MAC.

So as you see, everything is here for a reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:54 am

600k? Really? Somehow I highly doubt that unless it was on some kind of a super computer. Doesn't look to scale imo and I've seen the videos of the 1 million block structures that are not being rendered as moving object and that stuff lags the crap out of people on normal computers. But regardless of what it is, I'll yield this argument and let it be what it is, I'm tired of the back and forth about it anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:04 am

alright, well having re-reviewed the video. Perhaps my thoughts as to what the engine will be capable of are a bit narrow minded and old school.

I watched it a couple times to kinda get a sense of the scale next to the mountain, and it is FN huge, so ok, 600k blocks, maybe giant ships will be the way to rock out.

Anyway, like I said before, Doc, let u know how to roll and I suppose we'll roll on that path.
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PostSubject: Idea   Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:58 am

For each class, an idea:

There is only 1 controller block. "Starship Core". However, the number of blocks in said spaceship determines it's class.

Build it, activate it once, deactivate and apply shields and weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:42 pm

I personally am against ships or subsystems having X amount of hitpoints until they just explode. You should have to disable the ship by actually destroying important blocks to make it stop functioning.

And for the controller blocks, the real challenge of having a massive ship should not be obtaining some ultra-hard-to-get controller block but actually getting the systems and fuel to propel it based off the weight. That would also discourage killing new systems/small ships beacuse it would be expensive to use that much fuel.

A "class" shouldn't be something hard-coded into a game it should be the function/size of a ship.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:54 pm

roguenerd wrote:
I personally am against ships or subsystems having X amount of hitpoints until they just explode. You should have to disable the ship by actually destroying important blocks to make it stop functioning.

And for the controller blocks, the real challenge of having a massive ship should not be obtaining some ultra-hard-to-get controller block but actually getting the systems and fuel to propel it based off the weight. That would also discourage killing new systems/small ships beacuse it would be expensive to use that much fuel.

A "class" shouldn't be something hard-coded into a game it should be the function/size of a ship.
You and I were separated at birth.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:42 pm

tonyri wrote:
You and I were separated at birth.
Umm...
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:21 pm

I suppose this will ultimately come down to how the Copernicus frameworks works. If we can do it where an individual block can be destroyed from a space craft, that's the way it'll be done, otherwise, we may have to settle for the combined HP. Wouldn't be nearly as cool IMO, but then again, we'd have space ships either way Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:09 pm

My two cents, there shouldn't be defined ship classes. If it's technologically feasible, a single control block that can run any size ship.
Scale fuel consumption to the size, though. Perhaps samewise with computer/power grid attributes like in eve, to use an example. Have block modules that can boost one at the cost of the other, and balance costs of other modules with those requirements in mind.
Basically have a general base that's easily expanded upon to become specialized if the player so wishes.
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:17 pm

ectrimble20 wrote:
I suppose this will ultimately come down to how the Copernicus frameworks works. If we can do it where an individual block can be destroyed from a space craft, that's the way it'll be done, otherwise, we may have to settle for the combined HP. Wouldn't be nearly as cool IMO, but then again, we'd have space ships either way Very Happy
Individual blocks could be destroyed, but doing so would impact the aesthetics of ship design. Assuming you have to work with no knowledge of the overall structure of a ship (a safe assumption), individual blocks would either be overly-strong or overly-weak. Sharp edges would get knocked off and you would end up seeing a lot of Borg cubes. Also before anyone asks, I will not be doing structural stress simulation. It's way too computationally intensive and a waste of development time.

That's why preset parts are a good idea. You can specify damage resistance, mass distribution, power consumption and abilities, and all of that fun stuff and get the thing nice and balanced. Which is not to say that custom ships are impossible. Just like how every house has certain rooms and structural requirements, ships can be assembled from a library of parts but then be customized afterward. That's my overarching plan for how this would work, anyway.

It'll take a lot of trial and error, but ultimately it could be a lot of fun. What would be really cool is setting up a sort of online schematics store where users can purchase parts and ship schematics (with in-game money) and use them in-game at shipyards, or even put their own designs on the market. This of course would be something for way in the future.


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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:33 pm

So does that mean that we're going to have to have some sort of module system for ships?

such as "Battleship Module" and what not to define the ship as a battleship and allow the engine to calculate strength and what not based on that? Or is there more to it than that?
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:45 pm

I was thinking more along the lines of, hull-plating, wings, engine assembly, power plants, sensor arrays, cargo holds, cores, etc, rather than a whole ship.

You could assemble a ship from a mix of different classed modules, but then you might run into a problem of high level component being too heavy and slowing down the ship or drawing too much power, not to mention the expense. Or maybe the stats should be separate from the physical model to give you more control over the looks...
There would also be components for things like hallways and preset rooms, just to help expedite construction, but you could still construct the ship however you want. I'm not entirely sure what would all be useful in ship design, actually. Probably when we are done with the more pressing stuff, we should look around for experienced builders and ask them what sort of tools and preset options they would want to use (like how voxelbox made the voxel sniper).
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PostSubject: Re: Flag Ships   Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:57 pm

Agreed about finding someone who's experienced with the ship stuff, I'd just as soon throw some wings on a hull and strap an engine on it and expect to conquer the universe. Probably fail miserably, but eh, who's cares? I suspect the individual components being placed together to make a ship would make sense and I don't think there should be limitations to how you do it, just let the physics take care of itself as obviously a massive ship weighing 5,000,000 tons will need more than a single engine or it will never move, so people would be forced to plan their ships intelligently.

Anyway, like the ideas so far, suppose we'll cross those bridges when the time comes.
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