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Re: Generation Ship

#17
Given the time invested into making a game, for that budget, the amount of actual game-content created, and also the visual quality that can be archived ... I would certainly suggest Unity here.
There is also the option to switch to either a desktop, WebGL-browser or even mobile version of the game later in development.

Setting up a game (and thus the engine) from scratch, is either producing very basic visuals, or taking a lot of time for creating stuff wich is not actual game content.
Also testing the game in a variety of system-environments is a pretty large time investment not to be forgotten.

Unity pretty much covers the range from basic newbie development up to serious mid-size commercial teams. (7days to die, Empyrion just to name a few)
I would estimate 1 to 3 month time investment for an already experienced programmer to get productive with it. (after dabbeling with some prototypes, reading the API and watching some tutorials)
Last edited by Damocles on Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Generation Ship

#18
0111narwhalz wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:24 pm
Silverware wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:15 pm
With fallback to canvas if WebGL isn't supported.
If Tal's stuff is anything to go by, canvas seems to lose the "reasonably fast" trait. :ghost:
Canvas is *NOT* at all fast.
So yes, you lose 99% of the performance, or more.

But basically everything that supports canvas at all supports WebGL now too.

Damocles wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:35 pm
Unity pretty much covers the range from basic newbie development up to serious mid-size commercial teams. (7days to die, Empyrion, Stellaris just to name a few)
I would estimate 1 to 3 month time investment for an already experienced programmer to get productive with it. (after dabbeling with some prototypes, reading the API and watching some tutorials)
Except then Unity locks you into their weird format and design decisions.
Want to do anything outside of their fairly narrow decisions on how loops and objects work, and you cannot.

Edit: and Stellaris is *NOT* Unity. Stellaris uses the Clausewitz Engine.
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Re: Generation Ship

#19
Damocles wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:35 pm
Unity pretty much covers the range from basic newbie development up to serious mid-size commercial teams. (7days to die, Empyrion, Stellaris just to name a few)
I would estimate 1 to 3 month time investment for an already experienced programmer to get productive with it. (after dabbeling with some prototypes, reading the API and watching some tutorials)
Except then Unity locks you into their weird format and design decisions.
Want to do anything outside of their fairly narrow decisions on how loops and objects work, and you cannot.
Unity offers a lot of premade utilities, systems and implementations.
But a lot can be exchanged by custom systems.
I could not think of a specific system that would not be either already included, or could be customly made for a game.
C# in the end is a full fledged language, where you can create your own implementations of systems that you dont like in the Unity-package.

-> Im referring here to creating something the player will experience, not about the programmers personal style.
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Re: Generation Ship

#20
Silverware wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:03 pm
or more solar power...
in deep space?
if then as cargo for setting up the colony on the other side
(trading ship viability for end score multipliers)
The ship wont get enough use out of them to even bother using them during acceleration, as you quickly are out of effective solar range very fast.

Silverware wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:03 pm
More engines to make the journey faster, more fueltanks to fuel those engines.
just abstract it to drive systems, as more thrusters only increase your travel time as they reduce payload fraction for a minor gain to get to travel speed
as you are fundamenrally dV limited, not thrust.
if you're thrust not dV limited you build ultrarelativistic torch drive ships that do journeys in mere years of shiptime.
p
Silverware wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:03 pm
Pick breeding partners and attempt to prevent bad genetic matches. (although you cannot force two partners together, you can generally force them apart)
you can totally force them together, if not as romantic partners then as breeding partners.
small crew, literally no space for fooling around willy nilly with the health of the generations coming after.
build the crew out of people who have that mindset and encourage the propagation of it
nobody has anything from the expedition if the fifth generation is a bunch of quasi-inbred morons

in that vein:
Flatfingers wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:21 pm
Typical game might last 2-4 continuous real-time hours total (but player can save/load anytime)
Set crew lifespans so that ~50 generations pass, requiring breeding assignment choices
thats 2-5 minutes per generation, not much depth to be affordable in actually controlling the breeding choices.

Flatfingers wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:21 pm
Storage bays
  • Materials
  • Freezers
dont forget the ship itself.
cannibalising spent drive systems, damaged impact shielding, life support, cryo facilities, etc can all be disassembled in a pinch....

Flatfingers wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:21 pm
Select target planet
why land?
build habitats using the skills and tools you already have available in the location you are in.
in space, with a factory complex capable of building anything you need for space habitats with a crew experienced in space operations.
theres nobody aboard who even saw a planet, much less has any idea of how to live on one (compared to living on a space habitat)

settle some moons and asteroids with shallow gravity wells and settle the planet as a luxury destination after you are established
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Re: Generation Ship

#21
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:28 pm
Silverware wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:03 pm
Pick breeding partners and attempt to prevent bad genetic matches. (although you cannot force two partners together, you can generally force them apart)
you can totally force them together, if not as romantic partners then as breeding partners.

Breeding assignment is absolutely a component of the basic game design I have in mind.

You'd be able to inspect an individual's genetic highlights, run a simple simulation of what you MIGHT be able to get from the offspring of two individuals, and assign two individuals to breed. (There's an interesting question here of whether a "breeding" assignment includes mating, and only breeding with that partner from then on, or whether it should be permitted -- or in some cases necessary, given low numbers -- to deny that whole "mating" thing and breed anyone to anyone. I feel like there's room for some interesting story and moral choice elements there.)

Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:28 pm
Flatfingers wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:21 pm
Typical game might last 2-4 continuous real-time hours total (but player can save/load anytime)
Set crew lifespans so that ~50 generations pass, requiring breeding assignment choices
thats 2-5 minutes per generation, not much depth to be affordable in actually controlling the breeding choices.

Yep, fair point. Let's say a typical game runs around 8-10 hours, then, with an alternative "quick game" mode of only ~20 generations.

Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:28 pm
Flatfingers wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:21 pm
Select target planet
why land?
build habitats using the skills and tools you already have available in the location you are in.
in space, with a factory complex capable of building anything you need for space habitats with a crew experienced in space operations.
theres nobody aboard who even saw a planet, much less has any idea of how to live on one (compared to living on a space habitat)

I hear you, but you're thinking practically -- colonizing a new planet is sort of baked into the "generation ship" story trope as The Goal.

I don't hate the idea of subverting that goal by allowing alternate endings, including ones that are a bit more shocking as conclusions of the story of a generation ship. But I'm trying to keep the basic project simple to start with: pick a target planet, win the game when you land there without leaving a big crater. :D

Now, as for implementation frameworks:

Unity is not a horrible choice. But I did include it with the more Out There notions of Unreal/CryEngine because it's become so big (like them). From my very light experience with it a few years ago, it does require a lot of Unity-specific knowledge to make things work in it. That's not "wrong"; it just makes it harder to find people who can do it well who aren't already doing some other big project with it.

C# is a maybe; I hadn't really thought about it. Does it lock you into .NET?

As for HTML5 canvas, I have some experience there -- see my jsfiddle that benchmarks multiple methods for drawing to a canvas. You can also check out the in-progress version of my own 4X-style game (pick the Autoplay option), which while not an action game does some pretty deep things with canvas.

Canvas certainly is slower than calls to a graphics library in a compiled language. But it's not necessarily "slow," depending on what you're doing. A mostly static background with some moving animated images -- such as a 2D ship schematic with NPCs moving about on it -- could easily be performant enough for any normal desktop or mobile device.

My main gripe about that is the lack of pre-built routines to do basic game display stuff. So I will be looking into PIXI.js -- the idea of third-party libraries annoys me, but without spending two years designing and coding my own toolkit, some such external toolkit would be non-optional if going the HTML/CSS/JS route.

Keep those suggestions coming!
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Re: Generation Ship

#23
I love the sound of this game. From a scientific perspective, by the time such a generation ship would be possible, I would also guess that things like artificial wombs would be in existence. It would make a lot of sense for a generation ship to be equipped with such devices. However, from a gameplay perspective, that would largely eliminate a lot of interesting gameplay surrounding the breeding system.

I think you could make some interesting gameplay in how you choose to equip your ship. Just focusing on artificial wombs, I would say that there would be some benefits to such a system, as well as tradeoffs. Benefits would obviously be that you could get greater genetic diversity and possibly greater numbers. Women would have no down time due to pregnancy. You could also say that the artificial womb would allow for greater genetic modification of the developing child.

Drawbacks would be that the system would probably require a large amount of energy and a significant workforce to maintain. Also, the artificial womb system would likely be heavy and take up a lot of space in the ship. From a biological perspective, such children would likely have weakened immune systems because the mother shares antibodies with the child in the last few months of pregnancy. You could also justify having a lower level of viability for such children. Humans were not designed to develop in tanks.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. I think this game is a great idea. Coming from a biology background, I'm always interested in how development and genetics are reflected in games. The closed population can create all sorts of interesting phenomena. I'm sure you've seen Ascension, but if you haven't, it might provide some interesting ideas for social/governance systems that could be in the game.
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Re: Generation Ship

#24
masseffect7 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:50 am
From a biological perspective, such children would likely have weakened immune systems because the mother shares antibodies with the child in the last few months of pregnancy. You could also justify having a lower level of viability for such children. Humans were not designed to develop in tanks.
are you claiming those as non solved problems from a realistic "when we have those" standpoint or for gameplay purposes? :V

because from a realist view i expect every problem one can think aboit in 5 minutes to be solved in a device thats expected to work for an interstellar expedition
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Re: Generation Ship

#25
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:31 am
masseffect7 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:50 am
From a biological perspective, such children would likely have weakened immune systems because the mother shares antibodies with the child in the last few months of pregnancy. You could also justify having a lower level of viability for such children. Humans were not designed to develop in tanks.
are you claiming those as non solved problems from a realistic "when we have those" standpoint or for gameplay purposes? :V

because from a realist view i expect every problem one can think aboit in 5 minutes to be solved in a device thats expected to work for an interstellar expedition
While we do have the capability to isolate antibodies, the sheer number of different antibodies that would have to be isolated, replicated, and subsequently supplied to the child would make it an extremely difficult task. There's also the problem of how quickly viruses change. This would essentially require the system to maintain an extremely current antibody, as well as all of the previous ones since old strains tend to come back over time. Immunology is incredibly complex and our understanding of our immune system lags behind our understanding of all other systems, except for some brain functions which still elude us.

Sure, you could have the ship be leaving a civilization that is so advanced that every medical issue has been conquered. But, that simply would not be interesting at all. I could argue that such a civilization would be so advanced that their engines never break down and their computers always function perfectly. That sounds like that would be a lot of fun. Not. I could also make the argument that such a civilization would not need to travel so slowly as to need a generation ship, thus eliminating the point of the game altogether. I imagine that if you are utilizing a generation ship that you aren't so advanced that everything is going to work perfectly. That's from both a realist and gameplay perspective.
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Re: Generation Ship

#26
masseffect7 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:00 pm
While we do have the capability to isolate antibodies, the sheer number of different antibodies that would have to be isolated, replicated, and subsequently supplied to the child would make it an extremely difficult task. There's also the problem of how quickly viruses change. This would essentially require the system to maintain an extremely current antibody, as well as all of the previous ones since old strains tend to come back over time.
so we have a reason for the system being maintainance intensive and being dependent on a still healthy crew to provide "seed" immunocytes for the vatgrowns :mrgreen:
masseffect7 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:00 pm
Sure, you could have the ship be leaving a civilization that is so advanced that every medical issue has been conquered. But, that simply would not be interesting at all. I could argue that such a civilization would be so advanced that their engines never break down and their computers always function perfectly. That sounds like that would be a lot of fun. Not. I could also make the argument that such a civilization would not need to travel so slowly as to need a generation ship, thus eliminating the point of the game altogether. I imagine that if you are utilizing a generation ship that you aren't so advanced that everything is going to work perfectly. That's from both a realist and gameplay perspective.
im not saying that it'd be perfectly solved, just addressed and there being a workable solution that doesnt implode at first real-world contact :D
because a population of immunologically dead vatgrowns would be pretty useless
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Re: Generation Ship

#29
Yeah, I see very little reason to do this SPECIFIC project with the LT Engine.

However if you wanted to alter the gameplay scope...
You could include searching planets as well as dealing with incidents/issues.

Then *maybe* 3D would be justified, and the highly procedural oriented nature of the LT Engine could be applicable.
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