Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

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Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Eric0965 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:29 pm

I'm wondering if capital ships will function like "moving space stations" or aircraft carriers. Can you garage/store smaller ships on a capital ship in Limit Theory, or will they be limited to simply following the larger ship around?

Maybe, like there will be hardpoints for weapons and mounts for engines, maybe there will be something like hangar "blocks", that can be fitted on larger ships (in the builder, in the game large capital ships are of course fitted with them as part of the ship generation), the amount of hangars on a ship determines how many supporting craft can be docked and then launched in its defense, and each "block" can house a set amount of smaller craft. For example, one hangar block can hold a maximum of 5 smaller ships. As the owner, you decide what to put in the hangar. All escort fighters to protect you from those irritating pirate bombers? Or a mix of fighters and bombers that can take out other capital ships? Or maybe even a squadron of miner ships or repair vessels!

This could also make for some interesting ship designs. From light pocket-carriers used by mercenaries and pirates to hulking motherships that can scramble a hundred fighters in mere seconds. Like stated above they could also function as a mobile base, with large cargo bays for storing all the valuable cargo your smaller ships gather for you, until they are full and you jump your carrier to another system to sell off the goods for a better price. They are mobile, which gives them an advantage over space stations, that cannot really move anywhere.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Grumblesaur » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:37 pm

I think a Miner-Carrier is just about the coolest corporate idea I've ever heard of in a space game, when it comes to turning a profit.
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Gazz » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:00 pm

I'll take a mobile moon. Just takes a lot of engines but what else are you going to do with money after a while? =)

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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby DWMagus » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:04 pm

That sounds pretty cool.

I've always liked the idea of a large capital ship with large 'pods' that can launch off of the ship and explode into tons of fighters. Kinda like swarming style missiles, but with fighter ships instead.
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Dadalos » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:04 pm

from day one of seeing this game my intention was to build a mobile base kinda like the mother ships from Homeworld. and fly around mining and producing ships and buying/selling/trading in systems as i float from one system to the next. though this will only be doable really if he adds docking as a main function. it was mentioned some place and i think it ended with him sayign hed look at doing 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: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Bele » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:40 am

@redstripe - I haven't determined yet whether I will do carriers/dockable ships. Probably not, as it's a pretty serious bit of dev work.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jos ... nt-1821097

So it's unlikely we will get them at release.
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Gazz » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:53 am

The only point of (internal) docking would be the creation of short range craft that cannot operate independently.

That alone requires a lot of effort on the AI part because you'd need ways to handle "stuck" fighters or have carriers replace theirs. And more.

If every ship is a fully spaceworthy vessel, docking becomes moot.
You merely start with corvette sized ships instead of fighters. That makes a lot of sense in light of a player ship anyway. The player could start in the smallest ship class and there would be no ships that the player would be completely stuck in. =)
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Eric0965 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:58 am

Bele wrote:So it's unlikely we will get them at release.


Thanks for fetching that quote. A little sad, but I guess it's true that it would be some work to do.

Gazz wrote:The only point of (internal) docking would be the creation of short range craft that cannot operate independently.

That alone requires a lot of effort on the AI part because you'd need ways to handle "stuck" fighters or have carriers replace theirs. And more.

If every ship is a fully spaceworthy vessel, docking becomes moot.
You merely start with corvette sized ships instead of fighters. That makes a lot of sense in light of a player ship anyway. The player could start in the smallest ship class and there would be no ships that the player would be completely stuck in. =)


True. I still hope we will be able to do things like transfer cargo from ship to ship and stuff. Having a large freighter-like vessel that will handle all the cargo mined by your npc miner minions and then be protected by your npc warship minions as you fly it to the most profitable space station/planet for $$$ would be really cool.
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Dadalos » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:00 pm

Docking Bays and Carriers are now up on the polls (and must win)

and docking has propose outside of transferring cargo. for one smaller ships could dock for warp jumps seeing as how smaller ships are to small to be equipped with them. also smaller ships might dock for repair. also smaller scout vessels might be docked for a slower less maneuverable craft.
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: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Eric0965 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:17 pm

Nice, looks like we'll be going all the way then :P

I just want docking/carriers because I think would be a cool feature for this kind of game. Like I've said they'll be like mobile space stations, they can hoard your goods, store all your custom ship designs (except for the really big ones :P) and bring a sh*tload of firepower to a fight. And again, unlike space stations, you're free to move this one across the infinite universe as far and as many times as you want.
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Gazz » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:58 am

Dadalos wrote:and docking has propose outside of transferring cargo. for one smaller ships could dock for warp jumps seeing as how smaller ships are to small to be equipped with them. also smaller ships might dock for repair. also smaller scout vessels might be docked for a slower less maneuverable craft.

None of that is a real requirement.

A flagship / carrier type ship could generate a jump bubble of range x, taking with it all it's small escorts.
Repairs can be done with repair drones that the flagship launches.

Fact remains that "landing on a carrier" is a feature of considerable complexity.
You need starting / landing bay that needs to be fitted into PG ship models without clipping and looking awkward and is are not obstructed with other random components that were added in front or on top of it. Ships need to be able to navigate into / out of it without crashing into the carrier.
The entire management of docked ships needs to be implemented and needs UI support to both operate it and visualise which ship is currently where.
Of course it would be nice to have! It's just that there are more interesting areas of gameplay beyond just docking one ship inside another.
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Hardenberg » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:49 am

And those repair drones wouldn't have that problem? :roll:

Depending on the scaling, the whole hangar bay shebang could be little more than some hull indentations with doors/energy screens to cover them. Docking/launching could be mostly handwaved - use a missile-launcher style tube for deploying the snubfighters, and simply tractor them into the designated landing areas if they are to be recovered. No need to bother with excessive collision detection or AI pathfinding for both (the auto-pillock from the X-series says Hi, btw...), provided the size difference between the carrier and the carried craft is large enough.

For smaller mothership/subcraft size ratios with only a few carried ships, external docking clamps might be an option, where (technically) the smaller ships are glued to the hull of a larger one.
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby DWMagus » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:03 am

But in the off chance that it isn't 'handwaving' as Hardenberg said, who wouldn't want to fly into an enemy's hanger and tear up the place so that they can't launch fighters? :twisted:
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Re: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Dadalos » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:47 pm

i dont see docking being such an issue. Look at an old game like Homeworld you have a screen over the hander and ships path to and from it...as for an interface you need a ship manifest with a launch button (launch/launch all) simple, ships auto repair while docked (although slowly). i dident think this would have been a big issue for most ppl. i do like the idea of having a warp bubble used for jumps but sounds like a higher tech level then using a transport ship (energy requirements and what not to be done safely).
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: Capital ships - Carriers and mobile bases?

Postby Burneyx » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:13 am

Well, there is still external docking as an option. Instead of installing an weapon mount on an players flagship, you can install an external docking mount, so your freighter/mining ship can simply be tractored at his place to be stored. Still this ships can be manned with NPC, or you can switch to fly one yourself if wanted. This would give alot of design options, want more fire power, or more escort ships? Thats up to you.

I agree that CPU hungry colliton dedection isn't needed for docking tasks, more so, not wanted if i think about X-series auto pilot problems.....easier to program without it and less frustrating for players ;)
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