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In-Game Ship Editor

#1
Not sure if anyone played this game:
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php


Aurora is my favorite Sci-Fi game, and in some ways it's got lots in common with Limit Theory. It got a pretty endless universe (1000 planetary systems or more to explore if you want). It also has a working economy, in the sense that all ships are made up from mined raw material, either from asteroids, comets, moons or planets.
Aurora is also designed by one single dedicated programmer.

In other ways it's the opposite of LT, Aurora has no 3d graphics (and hardly and 2d either)! Pretty much like a Dwarf Fortress but in space. Most of your game time will be spent staring down datasheets. Aurora is also a management strategy game, not about flying around in space yourself at all.


What it does have is a very cool system to design your own starships and navies that I hope LT can learn some from. Designing a starship in Aurora is truly an art of real engineering skills.

The big point that I love about Aurora is that everything with ship design is a tradeoff. You have to carefully distribute weight over components like engines, armor, weapons, shields, sensors, magazines, fuel, living quarters (to gain mission time) or engineering (to gain maintainence life) and many more. Further you tailor most components to your needs, sensors specialized in detecting missiles, small ships or large ships. Engines can be tailored to provide very high power at the cost of many times higher fuel consumtion. Weapons, missiles and launchers can be specialized too.

Do you want a slow missile that can be launched from huge range or one with extreme speeds that's almost impossible to shoot down but has to be launched from very close?
Do you want a few really big guns that fire slowly or many smaller guns that lack range and power but fire silly amounts of rounds?
Do you want a few launchers that can spit out missiles from your magazines at incredible rate, or 6 times as many launcher racks that can't be reloaded until your back at base?
Do you want a ship with high speed or one with loads of armor? Or why not have both but compromize in less weapon loadout and range?
Do you want a dedicated sensor ship in your fleet or distribute sensors on all ships for flexibility and redundancy? Without sensors your almost blind until something is ontop of you.

With a system like this you will try and fail many many times before designing a competetive ship, but that's all part of the fun :)

It sounds awefully complex (and in Aurora it also is) but it doesn't have to be.
Two very user friendly sliders could define an engine, one for it's size and one for it's efficiency vs power.
The same with guns. With sliders you could very easilly budget how much of the weight is distributed on barrel length (accuracy and armor piercing), barrel caliber (damage), turret gear (tracking speed) and reloading mechanics/cooling (firing speed).
Armor is simply a slider that adds to ship weight on top of everything else and slows down speed and manouverability as a result.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#3
In Aurora it's alot of drop down menues to design the components and then clicking to add components to actual ship model. So it's a bit complex and hard to get a good overview until all components are designed (and researched).


I hope something more basic that would fullfill the same idea of realistic priorities between ship abilities could be done in a few interfaces where you have sliders to set your priorities in LT.

Perhaps you could decide the number of engine or turrets you want too and click a button to generate random Procedual designes based on those input until you find one you think look cool.
Everything here is only wild speculation and suggestions really...
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#5
I would love to have a spore-ish ship builder of this complexity. it would allow us to (for lack of better words) build our dream ships. having a out of game tool for free building that would tally up 'component cost' that you could work towards in game would be useful then once you have a freight haulers worth of suplies stock piled tow it into a space dock and rent a constriction factory to build it in-game would be a fenominal asset. and as far as im concerned would seal the lid on this being the top rated game for me in over 10 years of gaming.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#6
I wonder how much of this the ship/station editor will have. So I asked Josh about it on the Kickstarter comments:

Me:
What is it we will be editing here?
Is it only the appearance of the ships/stations?
Is it their components weapons/defenses/engines? (if yes their amount and location or just type?)
Is it their size and function (I want a 1000m long cargo hauler)?
Is it how many engines and guns they will have and then we keep rolling random designs based on that until we find one we like?
How will the editor work?

Josh:
Hopefully all of the above. Size, function, and form of the actual hull, as well as locations and types of hardpoints. The mechanics on this haven't been worked out yet (obviously), but, like every other aspect of the game, I'd like to afford you as much creative freedom as possible!
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#7
Interesting stuff! I'd like to see a system somewhat similar to that employed by the little-known 3D space sim, Terminus. It's abandonware, and you can get it here: http://free-game-downloads.mosw.com/aba ... minus.html
Image In Terminus, you could do all the bread-and-butter stuff of open world space sims: dock, use warp gates, trade, take missions, etc. It was also quite "realistic" (as space games go) - you have to concern yourself with fuel, oxygen, power supply, and even radiation from your own reactor! And the way you design your ship will decide if you will have enough of those things. You could design the aesthetics of your ships, choosing different modules and changing their size, position, rotation and color. You could also choose what capacity nuclear reactor to use, what engines, weapons etc.
Image The crazy cool thing about Terminus' ship design was that it gave you a ton of freedom - so much freedom your designs could fail, in fact! I once built a ship I expected to be awesome - it had super powerful engines, plenty of weapons, etc. But when I launched from the station, it quickly became apparent that the reactor I added was too small and cheap, and the power supply quickly dropped. Thankfully, I was able to turn the ship around and get it flying toward the docking bay again before power totally died - and I was able to drift into the station (Newtonian physics) before I ran out of oxygen (O2 pumps die when the power does)!

This page contains a short article on Terminus' ship design system and how you can makes ships that hilariously fail: http://www.dailyvillain.com/gaming/?cat=8

I'd like to see that level of freedom in LT's ship design - and I believe Josh is able to deliver it. What about the rest of you - would you like to see that level of freedom, including the freedom to make a ship design that fails?
Last edited by insolent on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#8
I actually love everything I've heard so far. I assume many here are fans of Kerbal Space Program. Somewhere between KSP, Spore, and Star Trek would be the butter zone. Enough freedom to make something that doesn't even work seems fun, if not a bit less accessible to the less, shall we say, spacetime enthused. Perhaps a random generation tool with the ability to tweak or full on ground up construction with procedurally generated components?

I personally would want to be able to design every switch and button, but I'm kind of a head case that way. Being able to build your own flagship this way then a much faster way of generating similar-type craft after your original design would be cool for fleet builds, etc.
"The end is always coming, and the beginning will never come back..." --Nutty
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#9
with the addition of the ship builder Im rather hopeful that after you build your ideal ship you could ether import the game (manual or automatic) into your game and ether start with said ship as you designed it or gather materials in the game and use the 'blueprints' to figure out how much your dream ship will cost you.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#10
Dadalos wrote:with the addition of the ship builder Im rather hopeful that after you build your ideal ship you could ether import the game (manual or automatic) into your game and ether start with said ship as you designed it or gather materials in the game and use the 'blueprints' to figure out how much your dream ship will cost you.
The ship/starbase editor is going to be an in-game feature, not a stand-alone program, so there is no need to import anything. I don't think Josh has said anything about whether you can design a ship from scratch or if it's just for modifying existing ships though.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#11
Bele wrote:The ship/starbase editor is going to be an in-game feature, not a stand-alone program, so there is no need to import anything. I don't think Josh has said anything about whether you can design a ship from scratch or if it's just for modifying existing ships though.
I know that the ship builders ingame ( and i think its a rather nice one from the vid relesed erlier today.) but i was hoping for the ability to work on ship designs without loading the game. (or at times when it wouldent be practical for me to have the game installed.) for instance if i had a cool idea for a design while on my luch break at work ( like right now XD ) it would be nice to have the builder on a thum drive and quick edit a rough sketch of the ship in the editor and be able to import it into the game when i got back home to test it out (or export a ship you like to a save folder to be used in other saves or shared with friends). also someone else mentioned a cool feature to scan other ships into the builder (*as a preset to work from). another nice feature would be to be able to share our ships on a forum like this for anyone to share and discuss.

during the showcase of the builder today (and i know its a proto builder and not the 100% finished version) i noticed there was no cost for live editing your ship. and while thats nice for testing purposes i wonder if it will be optional to set it to that mode to test ships or if there will be cost to it.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#12
Dadalos wrote: I know that the ship builders ingame ( and i think its a rather nice one from the vid relesed erlier today.) but i was hoping for the ability to work on ship designs without loading the game. (or at times when it wouldent be practical for me to have the game installed.) for instance if i had a cool idea for a design while on my luch break at work ( like right now XD ) it would be nice to have the builder on a thum drive and quick edit a rough sketch of the ship in the editor and be able to import it into the game when i got back home to test it out (or export a ship you like to a save folder to be used in other saves or shared with friends). also someone else mentioned a cool feature to scan other ships into the builder (*as a preset to work from). another nice feature would be to be able to share our ships on a forum like this for anyone to share and discuss.
@Jason - Yes, I think export/import will be a must :)
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jos ... nt-1814616
Josh seems to plan to make a stand-alone version as well as the in game one.

Dadalos wrote:during the showcase of the builder today (and i know its a proto builder and not the 100% finished version) i noticed there was no cost for live editing your ship. and while thats nice for testing purposes i wonder if it will be optional to set it to that mode to test ships or if there will be cost to it.
I'm just guessing here but it would make sense for the ship/station editor to simply be a blueprint creator that you then have to build to actually get in game.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#14
Skyfligher wrote:Would there be a possibility of solar sailors by chance?
You will be a solar sailor.
I assume you meant solar sails, I'm not sure why you would want them as they would be vulnerable and aren't really built for quick acceleration. Even if they aren't in the game as modules you'll still be able to create things that look like solar sails with the editor if you want to.
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Re: Ship editing (Anyone played Aurora?)

#15
soler sails might actualy be a good backup if you find yourself out of fuel and outside of high traffic space... oh it would not be fast but like in the old days it would get you to where you need to be.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.

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