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Re: Abandoned ships

#61
Lum wrote:What I don't really understand is why can't abandoned ships be "out there" from the beginning of "the universe". The galaxy is p.generated from scratch (I don't know if all of it at the beginning or "on the fly" while we're playing). Like planets, systems, NPC-fractions, etc., space hulks could be p.generated somewhere at a very low spawn rate. Or if a system must be created because the player or AI-player decides to explore it, chances (like 0,01% or whatever) some kind of ancient structure appears in it could also exist... Or what I'm missing here?
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Re: Abandoned ships

#62
Lum wrote:Like planets, systems, NPC-fractions, etc., space hulks could be p.generated somewhere at a very low spawn rate.
Nothing is spawned "just so" in LT. If there's an abandoned ship hull somewhere, it must have been alive and flying before. If it turns out during the population and history simulation of a system that there is a crew that abandoned their ship and the ship has survived the incident that led to the crew abandoning it in the first place (and that's two pretty big ifs), there will be an abandoned ship.

But the LT engine will not just randomly spawn derelicts with no actual history (or spawn anything else out of nowhere, for that matter) just to please the player. That's just not how this game works.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#63
Commander McLane wrote:
Lum wrote:Like planets, systems, NPC-fractions, etc., space hulks could be p.generated somewhere at a very low spawn rate.
Nothing is spawned "just so" in LT. If there's an abandoned ship hull somewhere, it must have been alive and flying before. If it turns out during the population and history simulation of a system that there is a crew that abandoned their ship and the ship has survived the incident that led to the crew abandoning it in the first place (and that's two pretty big ifs), there will be an abandoned ship.

But the LT engine will not just randomly spawn derelicts with no actual history (or spawn anything else out of nowhere, for that matter) just to please the player. That's just not how this game works.
So LT just generates asteroids not directly but creates a protoplanetary disc system and sees how it develops? I dont think so.

The derelicts dont need a story when an new system gets created. Its just a long forgotten ship from a forgotten time.
Sure, in a system that is already known there should be no spawns for no reason, but why shouldnt there be ancient remains in space?
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Re: Abandoned ships

#64
Commander McLane wrote:Nothing is spawned "just so" in LT.
Everything is. =)

The exact rules (which we don't know anything about) are probably more complex than
"spawn 3 energy traders in this system when it's created from scratch"
but if everything had to be "built" when you enter a previously unexplored system, it would look really weird when the only ships in the system were in a long queue and still launching from the only space station.

In order to look "real", the game will have to spawn ships out of thin air to present you with an active sector when you jump there.
These ships may belong to an NPC living on a local station or have a fake history... but that's how procedural generation works.
It does not mean to start everything from zero and iterate from there. Instead, you can enter a seed number, feed it to The Math and you get a fully populated and "alive" sector that hadn't even existed 1 second ago.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#65
You're all making it rather difficult to stay on topic. We're here to suggest gameplay elements, not recap the details of Josh's procedural generation engine.
Whether these ships are simulated in the beginning of a new system, or just spawned randomly, the encounters to the player will be roughly the same, correct? However, now that I think about it, having the history of the ship might be useful if we want the player to be able to uncover data files on the wreck in some cases. The player might find maps of whatever areas that ship had been too.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#66
Yes, but the (fake) history can be generated without the requirement of it having actually happened.

If a system is generated with warring factions then the site of a skirmish or heroic last stand can be generated as well. And it will be generated in the universe of every player who uses the same seed.
So those stories and histories can be real enough even if none if it ever happened. =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#67
State 0 for the player shouldn't be State 0 for the rest of the galaxy. I've ever supposed so and with that in the hand, abandoned ships, stations, complexes... well, shouldn't be a problem at all. The point is to give a background for all of it, I think. From State 0 for the player onwards it's where we could discuss if things can be abandoned or not, but until that exact point in time...
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Re: Abandoned ships

#68
ThymineC wrote:Here's what I propose:
<snip>
Very nice, well done.

One thing you didn't address is HOW you salvage it. Maybe like mining, where your ship cuts and uninstalls intact weaponry and collects scrap metal over a certain period of time? Does the ship disappear after you do this?

And I've suggested this before, and Josh at the time wasn't sure if it could be feasible, but perhaps things have changed - towing the dead ship back to a space station with the facilities to dismantle it and keep parts in good condition or even repair the ship if it isn't too badly damaged.

Also, I don't think having an ejection feature is necessary - there are plenty of other reasons why a ship would be dead in the water. Even through gameplay.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#69
jawdan wrote:
ThymineC wrote:Here's what I propose:
<snip>
One thing you didn't address is HOW you salvage it. Maybe like mining, where your ship cuts and uninstalls intact weaponry and collects scrap metal over a certain period of time? Does the ship disappear after you do this?
Preliminary thoughts before I start revision for the day:
  • The player and NPCs will be able to salvage wrecks through the use of transfer units and salvaging drones.
  • There are two groups of items that can be salvaged from wrecks: raw materials and intact components.
  • Transfer units are general-purpose modules that direct a beam towards an object. Any matter the beam comes in contact with disintegrates into individual molecules that are then transported along the stream towards its source. Transfer units can be used for mining, salvaging,the transfer of material, etc. but can be specialised to perform some of these tasks better than others. A salvaging transfer unit will be specialised to perform salvaging best. This is based on ideas already discussed and should be amended if any of this information is incorrect. Because transfer units disintegrate matter, they are ideal for salvaging raw material. If they are used to salvage intact components, they will instead break those components down into their raw constituent materials and claim those instead. Transfer units are faster at salvaging raw material than disintegrating intact components and reclaiming the constituent materials from them.
  • Salvage drones are a type of drone, and will act as a subordinate crew-less NPC vessel to your ship. Hence, they will be controlled using some optimal combination of the ideas of roles/fleet management discussed in the Ship Roles (UI) thread. You will be able to control salvage drones through your ship's Command node and assign it orders on how to salvage. You can specify default salvaging behaviour by assigning the drones roles and setting its behavioural pattern accordingly.
    • Salvage drones have the following characteristics:
      • Durability - The drone's ability to withstand damage. I don't know how entity health/hitpoints will be implemented so this will need to be refined.
      • Tier - Higher-tier drones will salvage faster and with a higher probability of success than lower-tier drones, ceteris paribus.
      • Cargo size - Every salvage drone will have a cargohold where materials and components they salvage will be stored. They will only be able to salvage items up until the volume of the salvaged items equals the volume of the cargohold, but not past. They will not be able to salvage intact components whose volume is greater than the remaining free space of the drone's cargohold.
    • Salvage drones can be equipped with two different types of modules that will affect the way that it salvages wrecks:
      • Transfer units - As above. Salvaging drones with these will only be able to reclaim raw materials. If they salvage intact components, these will disintegrate into their constituent raw materials. These drones will prioritise raw materials over intact components, and can be configured to ignore intact components entirely. They will be faster at salvaging raw materials than the constituent materials of intact components.
      • Reclamation units - This is a complex suite of precise incision tools that will be able to salvage intact components without disintegrating them. The drone will need to be adjacent to the vessel to use this. These drones will prioritise intact components over raw materials, and can be configured to ignore raw materials entirely. They will be faster at salvaging intact components than raw materials.
  • As salvaging occurs, the state of the wreck will deteriorate at a faster rate based upon the rate at which it is being salvaged. When the wreck's "health" reaches zero, it will become unsalvageable debris.
    • In combination with the idea of visual procedural deterioration proposed in the original post, you should be able to see the wreck actively degrade as you salvage it. Again, Josh builds his ships procedurally rather than using static models, so in theory this should make it easier for this to be implemented, but I'm not sure how easy.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#70
ThymineC wrote:Cargo size - Every salvage drone will have a cargohold where materials and components they salvage will be stored. They will only be able to salvage items up until the volume of the salvaged items equals the volume of the cargohold, but not past. They will not be able to salvage intact components whose volume is greater than the remaining free space of the drone's cargohold.
I'd make an exception:

If the drone's cargo hold is empty, it can transport one component of any size.
This lowers the drone's speed in some relation to how "overweight" it is.

This amounts to towing and a drone bringing in a capital ship engine would likely be crawling.

I did this with the MARS drones in X3. They could tow cargo or abandoned ships... and their speed while "towing" was noticeably reduced. More so if the object had a lot more mass than the drone.
It was a simple concept and looked very believable. (alas it was terribly hard to implement due to some engine quirks =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#71
Gazz wrote: I'd make an exception:

If the drone's cargo hold is empty, it can transport one component of any size.
This lowers the drone's speed in some relation to how "overweight" it is.

This amounts to towing and a drone bringing in a capital ship engine would likely be crawling.
Or at least be able to introduce the mechanic in a way that might allow you to use multiple drones a la tugboat style.
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Re: Abandoned ships

#72
JoshParnell wrote:The reason I haven't given official word on this yet is that it raises a surprising number of secondary issues. I love the idea as well, especially from a standpoint of yielding another way to make a living - getting really good scanning equipment and hunting for abandoned ships to salvage. That would be super cool :)

But, if we were to do this, I would want it (like most things in the game) to be "real," in other words, the ship was actually abandoned by its pilot, probably in the midst of a large battle, not just spawned randomly as a "special event." This brings up the question of ejection mechanics. If an AI pilot can abandon ship, presumably there needs to be some kind of mechanic for ejecting from a ship. Alternatively, we could have a mechanic for "killing the pilot without killing the ship," which seems a bit more tractable.

Then there's the question of recovery / salvage mechanics. If you actually want to be able to use the ship again, there needs to be a way for you to "inject" a pilot, which suggests that there needs to be a mechanic for transporting and managing your crew. That's something that I was avoiding, as I think a full-blown crew mechanic would add a significant cost in dev time to the game. Salvage seems more tractable, perhaps being able to use a mining beam to cut through the hull and retrieve alloys, basically treating the ship like an asteroid.

I'd love this feature, but as you can see, it ties into several other mechanics in a nontrivial way. I'm not saying I can't do it or that these problems are particularly hard, just stating that they do exist and will / would require more concepting & design time in order for this to be implemented. As such I won't promise it, and will leave it in the bucket of "things I'd really like to do if I had extra time." :thumbup:
Bumping the thread in light of the fact that crew mechanics have been implemented since this post, and people are asking about it. Perhaps you can send one of the weaks among your crew to capture a derelict vessel for you.
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Re: Abandoned / Derelict Ships

#73
necro!

i thought this thread quite fitting for my general brainstorming/question:


what could cause a ship/station/construct to get abandoned besides direct attack?

for example in freelancer the ithaca research base, some tradelane segments leading to it and the magellan jumpgate behind it werent abandoned because of an attack

they were abandoned because of practicability/profitability issues and not because of a direct attack


so how can we include similar effects in LT?

because old, abandoned ships, stations, warp rails etc would be an interesting thing for explorers in general
but in the current target state of LT theres no possibility (known to me) that some still working fine things would be abandoned and left behind to rot
no upkeep, no fuel, no maintainance

why should anyone mothball something?

things like increasing repair costs would again only work under direct attack, as you dont have to repair things that arent damaged, and degradation over time was ruled out.
(some more realistic approach on that would be that you need the right materials to repair things, and that material science marches on and the required materials dont get produced anymore, thus increasing repair costs, but that doesnt change the core problem)

a mining base or warp rail simply getting unused would also not change anything, as there is no cost in keeping them working and doing something and stay active/occupied etc.


which reasons could there be to abandon a facility?
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Re: Abandoned / Derelict Ships

#74
No upkeep/fuel/maintenance tends to make me think it'll only really be abandoned when it's too painful for the player to micromanage.

You could introduce a value simulating station activity based on the amount of traffic in the area, and say a station is "abandoned" when there's no nearby traffic for a prolonged, arbitrary unit of time... While it would feel realistic, I wouldn't want to worry about keeping people around my old stations. On the other hand, that might make for some interesting gameplay additions.

The only other option is to say "When you run out of missiles, tough luck" and just keep supplying minerals/missiles to it for all eternity. :P
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