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Topics - Ophidios

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Ideas and suggestions / Big list of ideas
« on: April 11, 2014, 11:44:57 am »
So, I avoided initially posting a big list of ideas, because I first wanted to have the capability to play the game extensively.  Also, I know there's probably a great deal of planned capability coming down the pipe.

After spending some time thinking about it, this is the list of features that I personally would really dig.  Some have been mentioned in other threads, or even by other posters, but this is pretty much my own personal wish list.

  • Simulated Economy/Logistics - It would be really great if, instead of random merchants floating around, that items and functions had purpose.  For example, instead of a station just selling parts that come from thin air, that there be manufacturing stations.  These manufacturing stations are build with a purpose (Such as a Mining Complex that manufactures mining devices, or a Ballistics Factory that manufactures ballistic weaponry).  These items are only manufactured from a supply of minerals, instead of just being generated at 'x' rate.  The minerals it receives come from mining ships (or players who sell minerals direct to the plants).  So the flow would be player or NPC ships mine for minerals, sell them to stations, who use them to manufacture goods, which are bought from the manufacturers at a price based on volume/supply, and are then sold to a station.  When a player docks at a public station, there would be an aggregate of items available, which would prevent the need to travel or seek our direct wholesalers, but would obviously cost more.  Stations could then use the income/profits to purchase ships, which could be used to bring in more minerals, defend the base, etc.
  • Police Force - It would be great if each faction had it's own police force.  Players could then obtain a Law Enforcement License from a faction, resulting in a 'bounty hunting' credit to their account for every pirate dispatched in faction space, and a small bump to reputation as well.  That would give players the ability to grind a better relationship with certain factions.
  • Contested Faction Space - Faction space should be fluid, with sectors changing hands depending on faction events.  As the game progresses, the controlled sectors should increase until each sector belongs to one of the factions.  The player could then fly to a sector adjacent to their own faction space, and through some form of military action (certain number of ships destroyed, controlling certain points for 'x' amount of time, or whatever) cause the sector to fall under faction control.
  • Detail Ship Identification - Using the above, it would be great if each ship flying showed which Faction it belongs to and which station it is based out of.  That way, if I decide I want to go rogue and attack mining ships to control the flow of minerals supplying to the Order, I can attack Order freighters based out of mining colonies, or that are supplying to weapons factories, for example.  This would drive up the price of that good in Order space, and I could then make a profit by selling these needed supplies to Order facilities.
  • Player-created stations - Should definitely have the ability to utilize minerals to construct a station.  So if the player wanted to make a manufacturing plant of their own, set base prices, and buy/sell limits, they could.  Or the player could just construct a general purpose station, allowing NPC ships to aggregate merchandise from all over the galaxy, at a minor profit to the player.  The player would also have the ability to construct a home base in a faction sector, giving them the ability to store hulls, items, and minerals to be utilized.
  • Jump Drive technology - The player would have the option to purchase items (and research requisite skills) to use a jump drive to travel to any sector where they have constructed a jump beacon.  This would make it so you could only quick-travel to sectors that you've already visited.  Doing so would consume a number of a particular mineral (or some other consumable item such as energy cells or fuel pellets).
  • Planet exploration - Would definitely like to see some planet exploration capabilities.  As I mentioned in another thread elsewhere, Something along the lines of how planet exploration was done in Star Control 2 would probably be best in the interest of simplicity and ease.  The player ship would require a mineral scanner device, and while flying around on the surface, triggering the device would cause a 'ping' that had a percentage chance of revealing minerals available on the surface of a planet.  Minerals would be classified into different ratings (such as common, uncommon, and rare), and more advanced devices (and requisite skills on the skill tree) would be required to locate or improve the likelihood of discovering rarer elements.
  • Remote ship commands - Player-owned ships could be commanded to do basic AI.  A mining vessel can be set to automate mining in a particular sector.  Or a ship with a full cargo hold can be told to dock at a particular station and sell goods.
  • Remote station communication - Players could (perhaps through the use of a ship device) use the galaxy map to communicate directly with stations previously visited, interacting with them as if they were docked there (minus fuel/repair, obviously).  This would allow the remote purchase and sale of items in station storage, communication with NPCs, etc.

To me, I think VoidExpanse's greatest power would lie in it's ability to simulate an entire universe.  If this is just based upon scripted events and a few linear quests, then despite the enormity of the universe, people's interest will wane.  When I look at games like Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress, or even space games like X3, the reason people dump hundreds or even thousands of hours into them is not necessarily because they are complicated or full of features, but because of the emergent gameplay that is inherently created by a simulated universe.  Design the systems, plan how they work, and let the story tell itself.  Not that quests and storyline shouldn't be included - they should.  But when I look at a game like Freelancer (which was cool, by the way), once the story was over, the universe felt vast and empty.  Sure you could "trade", but there was no real profit in it.  And it didn't feel like doing so built toward anything.  People will spend dozens of hours mining if there's a sense of accomplishment tied to that.  Filling your account with credits doesn't give that feeling.  Constructing a station filled with a fleet of your own manufactured ships and weapons that sweep Xengatarn space clean?  Now you're talking.  If I could spend 40+ hours coloring the entire galaxy map into my faction's control?  Yeah, now we're talking a damn fun game.

Modding info / Interesting modding bug - help?
« on: April 06, 2014, 02:22:06 pm »
So I was testing the waters for modding (I'm not completely new to scripting and game modding, so I figured why not?)

I started out simple by changing a line of dialog just to see how it all shakes out (adding the word TESTING to the Freedom faction dialog).  So I made a single text change to the "data/topics/any_jobs.js" file, packed ONLY that file (in the same directory structure) using the guidelines posted here, and made the appropriate changes to the Header file and the ModsConfig file.

But when I load a game with this mod activated, it causes all conversations with all characters to simply not trigger.  Clicking on them causes nothing to happen.

The any_jobs.js changes made:
Code: [Select]

function OnCheckRequirements()
return true;

function OnStart()

function OnDialogue()
var npc_ship_id = topic.GetCurrentNpcShipId();
var faction = relations.GetShipFaction(npc_ship_id);

if(faction == "order")
topic.AddPhrase("100", "We, The Order, always have some job for gifted young fellows, like you.");
topic.AddPhrase("101", "If you feel like killing pirates and other criminals, you might want to talk to our Security Officer, he is in charge of this sort of stuff.");
topic.AddPhrase("102", "Talk to our Intendant for delivery and other supply jobs. Dull stuff, but well-paid.");
topic.AddPhrase("103", "You can visit our Commander, if you think you're ready for real challenges.");
else if(faction == "freedom")
topic.AddPhrase("200", "TESTING - Well, of course, brother, if you're looking for an honest work, we will gladly provide!");
topic.AddPhrase("201", "Talk to people on the station, there bound to be someone looking for some help.");
else if(faction == "fanatics")
topic.AddPhrase("300", "Our masters will highly appreciate your services to them. Working for masters is the only way to true ascension.");
else if(faction == "pirates")
topic.AddPhrase("400", "We'll give you job, just don't blew it.");
topic.AddPhrase("401", "Go talk with someone on the station.");
topic.AddPhrase("500", "Well, try to walk around the station, ask some people, maybe you'll find some job.");


The header.xml file:
Code: [Select]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<title>Language test</title>
<modtype>2</modtype> <!-- 1 - server, 2 - client-server, 3 - client -->

And the ModsConfig.xml file:
Code: [Select]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>

Everything looks kosher to me.  Anything I might be missing?

Ideas and suggestions / Tracking Speed
« on: April 06, 2014, 06:30:26 am »
Included in the weapon tooltips, it would be very nice to see some numerical representation of weapon tracking speeds (since they are all different).

Additionally, it would be nice to be able to affect this with pilot skills.

As a side note, it would also be a nice feature if we could CTRL-click multiple items for sale, purchase, jettison, or destroy.  A "Sell All" button wouldn't hurt either.  :)

Ideas and suggestions / 2 Suggestions
« on: April 05, 2014, 08:17:32 pm »

I've got about 3.5 hours in so far, and I really like what has been done so far.  This has massive potential.  It's like Star Control 2 and Freelancer had a baby.

2 things I would like to see that I have thought of so far - One, there should be a visible, real-time way to track fuel quantity in flight (other than the <50% pop-up).  Perhaps a thin, orange bar below the bars for shield/energy/hull?  Additionally, I think it would be nice to see a HUD element showing current ship speed.

Just a few thoughts for the moment.  I'll be happy to report back if any others pop up.

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