Return to “Suggestions”

Post

Making mining fun

#1
So how do you make mining fun?

We all (Josh included as apparent in Gameplay video #1) have a childish desire to blow asteroids to bits, I think it's in the nature of gaming all the way back since the ancient arcade games!

So why not make this a core mining mechanic?

Mining would be done in 2 steps:

1.) Blow asteroids to small enough bits (using a special beam perferably so they don't fly all over the place, but any kind of weapon could work really)
2.) Vacuum up the useful bits. The none useful bits of rock in smallest size can dissapear after a short while to not impact performace, and bigger bits keep going until they hit something, perhaps they bounce of an asteroid and hit the player ship - ouch!

This would also open up a ton of options when it comes to combat. Hiding inside a dense asteroid field might not be such a good idea after all when the big guns start working on turning it into shrapnell and asteroid parts flying everywhere?

You could even push an asteroid with your ship and use it as a projectile accelerating it towards a space station. Sounds like an interresting mining oppurunity, I bet small bits of space station debris contain much more useful materials to vaccum up then asteroids do! :D
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#3
Shoot big rocks until everything is small rocks?

That doesn't sound like fun. It's a chore.
No decision involved. No challenge whatsoever.

"Manual" mining should let the player influence how the big rocks breaks up.

Say, you run a mineral scan and get some hints on where the heavy metal veins or diamonds are.
Then you blast away all the ice and silicates until you have "extracted" the platinum vein.
It would involve the player, let him influence the outcome.

Sure, you can still just auto fire and scoop everything into the cargo bays of your Galaxy class mining ship. In doing so you probably burn most of the valuables.
Or you're flying a small Prospector class and surgically cut out the the quality stuff.

Mining would be more interesting because the player could make a difference.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#4
Gazz wrote: "Manual" mining should let the player influence how the big rocks breaks up.

Say, you run a mineral scan and get some hints on where the heavy metal veins or diamonds are.
Then you blast away all the ice and silicates until you have "extracted" the platinum vein.
It would involve the player, let him influence the outcome.

Sure, you can still just auto fire and scoop everything into the cargo bays of your Galaxy class mining ship. In doing so you probably burn most of the valuables.
Or you're flying a small Prospector class and surgically cut out the the quality stuff.

Mining would be more interesting because the player could make a difference.
I like that concept of mining, and it's never been done in a space sim to my knowledge. I believe I've read that Josh plans to implement blowing up individual parts of ships - so why not make it possible to blow off individual parts of asteroids? Make an asteroid out of "chunks," from a simulation perspective, which can be blown off individually. A chunk of rock covering a vein of platinum could be blown off, exposing the vein - but the vein is also a chunk that can be blown off if you're hamfisted about it.
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#5
Build things from rules? Oh, please. That's bread and butter in procedural generation!
If you can PG a big rock, you can PG a big rock consisting of smaller rocks. And every asteroid can be a unique challenge!

And like you said, if ships already consist of discrete, destructible parts, so can asteroids. It's just a different name for the object.

In fact, LT might be the only game where this should be completely natural to the engine...


You can even spice it up! Some veins are volatile. Never miss a chance to throw a wrench into the player's finely tuned mining machinery.
If you can harvest them, you gain some rare, unstable [insert technobabble gibberish]. If you miss, you have an asteroid-sized fragmentation grenade on your hands. =P
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#6
Gazz wrote: "Manual" mining should let the player influence how the big rocks breaks up.

Say, you run a mineral scan and get some hints on where the heavy metal veins or diamonds are.
Then you blast away all the ice and silicates until you have "extracted" the platinum vein.
It would involve the player, let him influence the outcome.

Sure, you can still just auto fire and scoop everything into the cargo bays of your Galaxy class mining ship. In doing so you probably burn most of the valuables.
Or you're flying a small Prospector class and surgically cut out the the quality stuff.

Mining would be more interesting because the player could make a difference.
Do you have any idea how often this has popped up on the EVE Online suggestion board?
That said it's a great idea and would fit nicely with the overall complexity and detail control that is being promised in every other aspect of the game.
Image FAQ | Kickstarter | IRC | Common Suggestions
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#7
I just wanted to give my +1 to this topic, or at least Gazz's idea for mining. I of course will love exploring, fighting, trading, and all other aspects of this game, but personally, mining seems the most exciting for me. Something about going out and looking for those rare metals, and then personally extracting them from asteroids is just a dream of mine. And the way Gazz described it would make it such an immersive experience. I only hope this would implement well with the game engine so far.

Josh, if you see this, would you be able to give us some more insight on mining? I'm sure you may not be that far in the game process, but what are your thoughts, and how do you envision mining in Limit Theory?
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#8
Short version: Instead of putting developer design and code time into making mining fun, lets just focus on player prospecting and make mining automagic.

To quote another game developer, the fun in games is a series of interesting choices for the player. Sure the player may decide to mine, but as many others said, just shooting or drilling a rock is no fun. Market prices will also tell you what you need to mine to get the most dollar time value, so that isn't much of a choice either.

One thing to remember is that NPCs will be mining too. So whatever is come up with has to be doable by an NPC with low computational cost (unless they cheat). My personal bias is to minimize time coding a "specialized" feature that not everyone will do, like mining, so more time can be spent developing features that all players will use.

I think the most fun for players is prospecting where they explore to discover the ore and figure out the best way to mine it and get it to where it needs to go. I am personally a fan of having mining done automatically by autonomous mining drones/platform that the player can place, leave, and return later. It is a mechanic that works for NPCs reducing code needed. There is still something vulnerable to defend. Mining platforms can scale from feeble one time use rigs to giant, permanent, self defending super stations.
David -- Proud to be saving the world since 1984
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#9
Bele wrote:Do you have any idea how often this has popped up on the EVE Online suggestion board?
Never played EVE. That kind of gameplay and especially the player interaction thingy never felt like something I want.

croxis wrote:Short version: Instead of putting developer design and code time into making mining fun, lets just focus on player prospecting and make mining automagic.
I don't think that suggestions should ever focus on making the game bland and automagic. =P



Been thinking more about the mining. The only hurdle is probably the UI. I don't want one. =)
The major problem of X3 is that every little thing you do requires multiple key presses to achieve. Every. Single. Time.
Initially I was writing scripts / mods like that, too. With more and more experience, I designed them to require less and less UI, letting the player have the feature without the hassle.

The mining feature I suggested could be completely organic, requiring zero "special" actions at all. It would all depend on how you equip your ship and how skillful you wield your lasers.



Asteroid rotation

While rotating asteroids look cooler, this would be highly annoying if you had to accurately carve out a mineral deposit.
I suggest to reduce the rotation of an asteroid every time some bit of it is chipped away.
This isn't even unrealistic but an abstraction since you would have to shoot it in a very specific way to get that effect. There is a point where gameplay outweighs cool physics. =P


Ship equipment: Mineral Scanner

This is a passive always-on system. Working in general like a seismic survey that is used in real geology.

When you shoot at an asteroid for long enough to chip away a little bit, the scanner gives you some information about what's under the surface.
Several "pings" will be generated for mineral "veins".

The ping starts as a full-sized circle. (important) The size of the circle shows the size of the deposit.

The colour of the circle shows the type of deposit. Yellow for heavy metals, red for volatile elements... whatever makes sense.

Then the circles start to contract all the way to a dot / tiny circle.
The speed at which they do so displays the depth. How far do I have to dig to get there?

Once enough slag is stripped away so that such a "detected" vein is visible from the surface, the vein is visible as a rock in the colour that the ping was in.
This is the minimum information that the player needs to be able to use some skill.
A mineral vein - regardless of actual size - always counts as "collectable sized rock". After all the trouble, having to shoot it just because it violates some size restriction would just be lame.


Ship equipment: Mining Laser

Heavy equipment.
This laser is used for large scale mining operations.

You do shoot everything. Or maybe you just let a turret do it. A big mining ship probably wouldn't be very agile.
Whenever a mineral vein is hit, only a portion of the mineral content is destroyed. The rest floats away as a collectable mineral thingy.

While "surgical" mining requires no heavy equipment, it is more work and requires skill.
It would be something that a starting player can do to make a few credits...

Mining lasers and strip mining is what NPC miners would use. This way they don't need to be excessively smart or skillful.
They can be mining lots of asteroids in the same time you dissect one so on average, using heavy equipment would yield more minerals faster.


Salvage

Shooting a ship with a mining laser would do low damage... but would chip off collectable chunks of "alloys" - with a small chance of higher value minerals.

That way you (and NPC!) could also salvage derelict hulls and other space junk. This is usually a design problem in games where the player is the only being in the game who can interact with such wrecks. Makes no sense.

When there is a way to deal with space junk, it can be included naturally without being a player-only special reward. Wrecks can be found drifting in space, can occasionally occur in combat. Pirates can play wreck to lure enterprising miners because it looks natural.
Salvaging becomes part of life in the universe.


Mineral Collector

Heavy equipment.
This item is used for large scale mining operations.
It's sort of an automated tractor beam.

Whenever collectable minerals are floating around the ship and there is space in the cargo hold, the minerals slowly float towards the ship and are collected when they get there. (visualisation of the process is important)

This eliminates the need to navigate a hulking mining ship to "pick up" tiny pieces of rock without blowing up all the others.
Last edited by Gazz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#10
croxis wrote: One thing to remember is that NPCs will be mining too. So whatever is come up with has to be doable by an NPC with low computational cost (unless they cheat). My personal bias is to minimize time coding a "specialized" feature that not everyone will do, like mining, so more time can be spent developing features that all players will use.
That can be said about combat, trading, production, diplomacy and exploring as well. Just about the only thing you can be sure everyone is going to be doing a fair bit of is flying, I for one will play in at least one universe where I will not fire a single beam/missile/shot at another ship. All included features should be fun, otherwise there is no point in including them.
As has been pointed out earlier the modular combat system lends itself perfectly to Gazz's idea.
Image FAQ | Kickstarter | IRC | Common Suggestions
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#11
I like the mineral scanner idea and i like the mining lazer idea. and that there are more advanced versions of both that do let you do more faster. so it would alow people like me who intend on making mining a big part of there game play invest in equipment that would actually benefit us. but still have basic equipment that anyone could use if you notice something in passing as opposed to me whose actively looking for and mining as a priority. I dont however like the idea of blowing big rocks into little rocks and then have to chase them donw to collect them. id prefer usign something akin to a tractor beam to maneuver the rock into position and use a mining lazer chew through the softer usless rock and have the ore be collected into a storage hold automatically. something similar to the way harvester ships on homeworld work. and as far as getting NPC's to do the brute force of all your mining go right ahead (Though i plan on doing all of my mining) just remember that they might require compensation for doing the work in the first place and even have the option of mining all the good stuff and then skipping town as it were...ive seen it mentioned as well that some would like to use automated droid bots to mine and you recollect them when your ready to move to the next area. thats a reasonable idea as well but i wouldent be surprised if some pirate hasent figured out how to remote in and have those droids reroute to his ship when there at full payload and hes out of there faster than youd have time to react to. XD
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.
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#12
Dadalos wrote: I dont however like the idea of blowing big rocks into little rocks and then have to chase them donw to collect them.
Way ahead of ya. =P
It would ruin the consistency of large scale mining.

Pirates would certainly be interested in big, slow, and easy to find mining ships with a hold full of refined ores and a small crew.
That's one reason why I considered how a mining laser would work against a ship. A big mining ship with very strong mining lasers could mine more than just asteroids. =)
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
Post

Re: Making mining fun

#13
Gazz wrote:Pirates would certainly be interested in big, slow, and easy to find mining ships with a hold full of refined ores and a small crew.
That's one reason why I considered how a mining laser would work against a ship. A big mining ship with very strong mining lasers could mine more than just asteroids. =)
it certainly wouldn't be the first time. and it would make since that the lasers would be rather effective at breaking down other ships XD.
though i doubt that would be their main line of defense. after-all the main mining laser would be fore mounted and fixed . the real power would be a tractor system that would imobilize a would be attacker(woot bonus pre-refined metals to sell XD ). and if your familiar with Homeworld ships a gravity generator would disable anything smaller than say a frigate level ship. and who knows i wouldent have any qualms about doing in this game what i do in homeworld and have 50-100 defense drone ships guarding me at all times. if im going to invest in the level of mining that i am id wnt to protect it XD.
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.

Online Now

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron