Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

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Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Flatfingers » Tue May 06, 2014 11:41 pm

As part of a thread about mining, Poet1960 asked whether miners might be able to tell each other about a rich asteroid.

It occurs to me that the general version of this is a really interesting question: how will communications work among NPCs in Limit Theory?

Some specific questions come to mind:

1. What are the rules under which NPCs (executive or worker) will be able to send messages to each other?

2. Will all communications have to use a ship's comm system, and thus be subject to all the limitations of that system (such as causing a frequency spike and not being able to go past the boundary of a star system)? Or will inter-NPC messages be sendable though some instantaneous internal method?

3. Can communications be directed only to members of your faction? How? Or do signals go out to everyone, but communications equipment encrypts and decrypts signals with a key known only to your faction?

4. Will communications travel instantly through a star system? Or will signals take time (lightspeed) to propagate?

5. Will the strength of a signal attenuate with distance from its source? (This implies both value for signal amplifiers and that you can't hear someone past a certain distance from them.)

6. Can signal relay stations be constructed? Would they serve everyone for free, or everyone except the builder's faction at a price, or only the builder's faction?

7. Can some communications be tight-beamed (like a beam weapon) to a known location for security? Or are all communications broadcast with equal strength in all directions?

8. Can NPCs dynamically generate any messages they want to send to each other? Or must all possible message types be pre-determined by Josh or modders (message type ID, message content, rules under which message is sent)?

9. If message types must be defined, which is better: many very specific message types that fit particular situations, or a few general message types that can (must) be used for different situations?

I don't have super-strong feelings either way about any of these possibilities (plausibility + gameplay > realism). But the implications for gameplay could be pretty interesting either way, and I'm curious what people think about them.

Bearing in mind those questions, here are some use cases that they could affect in LT:

1. You find a rich strike that you can't haul off all by yourself. You call your closest allies over to help mine it.

2. You're pretty sure you've mined out an area of most of the good stuff. You tell your allies not to bother mining there.

3. You're mining happily when you're set upon by nasty pirates. You call your allies on the emergency channel.

4. You're mining happily when you're set upon by nasty pirates. You have no friends in the area, so you broadcast a distress call for anyone to hear.

5. You are hiding with your ship's emissions shut down. Your ship is damaged, and you need help... but the bad guys are nearby and watching for spikes in the communications frequencies.

6. You are a minor commodities trader working for a trading firm. You notice that a valuable commodity has reached an unusually low price point at a nearby station. You buy up all you can with the funds allotted to you, and you call your associates to let them know about the opportunity.

7. You are lying in wait with your friends to attack a merchant convoy. You want to schedule your attack to take out a strong guard before the others are able to mount a defense. You tell the other ships in your group to wait for your signal, and you all attack when your signal is given.

8. You are lying in wait with your friends to attack a merchant convoy. When you begin the attack, you all send a routine signal as powerfully as you can... on the emergency communications frequency. This prevents your target's calls for help from being recognized as such.

9. You and an ally are attacking a larger ship that has multiple defenses. You realize that your weapon is doing no damage against one of the target's defenses, but you know that your allied ship has a weapon that's very effective against that defense. You transmit this tactical information to your ally.

10. You and an ally are attacking a larger ship, and you're taking a beating. You need to retreat, but if you do the target will come after you. You signal your ally to get the target's attention, allowing you to withdraw safely.

11. You are out in space when the ships from a faction you thought was friendly attack you. You try to signal your home office to warn them of this treachery before your ship is lost.

12. You are happily minding your own business, tending to the constructive growth of your empire, when picket ships arrive in your home system with the news that multiple fleets have emerged through the various massholes in your empire and started attacking your most distant star systems. You broadcast an emergency message to every courier ship in your home system, telling them to take orders to all of your patrol fleets to regroup at a strategic fleet depot. You also signal every colonized planet in your empire to activate their defenses... if they have any.

So which of these scenarios will be possible in Limit Theory?

Which ones should be possible, and which ones aren't that important to have?

Any other interesting questions related to how communications should work in LT?
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Wed May 07, 2014 12:53 am

to 5,6,7:related

(The post contains the mechanic Thymine and I agreed upon in the end, IIRC)

Tl;dr.
Instantoneous communication within limited (interstellar) ranges that can be jammed/interrupted.
The longer the comms range the brighter you shine. (interplanetar as well as interstellar).

Messages should have some communications delay, but not limited by absolute distance but by the amount of "hops" they have to take through the network.
so a long-range comms station reduces delay for all messages passing through it, but is a shining beacon for everyone, even for those who do not communicate through it.

the messages would be sent through micro-wormholes and as such would not ecperience signal degradation.
But comms have limited range, as you cant connect over infinite distances.

This ties also in with the internet of LT

To 2: I think all messages should use the comms system.
The only exception where you should not generate emissions should be when communicating with a docked ship.
As you would use contact based communications when communicating between hangar and docked ship.
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Behemoth » Wed May 07, 2014 7:55 am

For 8 and maybe 9: Communicating with NPCs.

If there are tight beams, realistically the sender would send its location everywhere, and the person a channel is wanted to would beam his location to the coordinates the sender sent, and rest of the conversation would be beam-only. This would however be only for out of scanner range, and the ships would have to be stationary.

Inside scanner range, using just beams would be quite understandable, as location of the receiver wouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby DWMagus » Wed May 07, 2014 9:38 am

Cornflakes_91 wrote:Messages should have some communications delay, but not limited by absolute distance but by the amount of "hops" they have to take through the network.


I will say this straight out; I absolutely abhore this mechanic. Why?

So, we know that from an RTS point of view, you're going to be able to control your ships. So what happens if I have three ships in my 'fleet' with each one at extreme distances from each other?

If I want to zoom out to be able to tell Ship A "Go over here" (I want manual control over my assets like any RTS game) even though I'm not piloting that ship, this means either the ship will have lag-time (because of communication delay) or by controlling that ship I pre-empt the whole idea of delay (see: really long non-compressible stick). However, I never got into that argument in that thread is because I'm not going to argue against those who will try to convince me that there must be a delay and a hundred reasons why it's good when it hasn't even been decided by Josh if that's the way it will be in-game.
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Wed May 07, 2014 9:51 am

DWMagus wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Messages should have some communications delay, but not limited by absolute distance but by the amount of "hops" they have to take through the network.


I will say this straight out; I absolutely abhore this mechanic. Why?

So, we know that from an RTS point of view, you're going to be able to control your ships. So what happens if I have three ships in my 'fleet' with each one at extreme distances from each other?

If I want to zoom out to be able to tell Ship A "Go over here" (I want manual control over my assets like any RTS game) even though I'm not piloting that ship, this means either the ship will have lag-time (because of communication delay) or by controlling that ship I pre-empt the whole idea of delay (see: really long non-compressible stick). However, I never got into that argument in that thread is because I'm not going to argue against those who will try to convince me that there must be a delay and a hundred reasons why it's good when it hasn't even been decided by Josh if that's the way it will be in-game.


i personally did not think about long delays.
In retrospect i dont even think that my delay would be noticeable in-game.
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby ThymineC » Wed May 07, 2014 11:30 am

Some of these things I've given a lot of thought to along with others, some will be preliminary and I may completely reverse my stance later.

Flatfingers wrote:What are the rules under which NPCs (executive or worker) will be able to send messages to each other?

Any agent can send messages to any other agent so long as:
  • It's physically possible. See below for how this is determined.
  • The would-be receiver hasn't blocked communication from the would-be sender. Agents should in theory be able to block communication from any other, though I think this will only be valuable for the player. If it's not valuable for the player, I don't think this is necessary at all.

Flatfingers wrote:Will all communications have to use a ship's comm system, and thus be subject to all the limitations of that system (such as causing a frequency spike and not being able to go past the boundary of a star system)? Or will inter-NPC messages be sendable though some instantaneous internal method?

All ships will have comm systems, and a ship's comms systems will need to be functional in order for it to be able to communicate with other entities.

This is how I view inter-agent communication to work:
  • Inter-system communication:
    • Corporations can build W-tech routers inside systems. These routers are stations equipped with WHMs (wormhole modules) capable of producing microscopic J-type wormholes (cf. Jumpdrives, Jumpgates and Wormholes) to pair with each other. This allows for instantaneous communication between routers in different systems, and therefore low-latency inter-system communication.
    • Agents can operate as message couriers, which deliver messages between systems where communication infrastructure has not been established.
    • Two systems can communicate if a communication route exists between them consisting of W-tech routers and/or message couriers.
  • Intra-system communication:
    • If at least one (friendly) W-tech router exists in a system, then whenever a ship enters a system, either:
      • The router will initiate a handshake with the incoming vessel, if the vessel is coming in via a known route, or;
      • The ship will produce a signal burst to find the router, the router will receive the burst and send an acknowledgement to the ship

      In either case, a permanent communication link is established between the ship and the router while it remains within the system.
    • If a router exists within a system, all vessels friendly to that router can communicate with each other by proxy using the router as an intermediary.
    • Ships can communicate "publicly" by making the router re-transmit information to all ships in the system. This is like EVE Online's "local" channel.
    • If no (friendly) W-tech router exists in a system, then ships will need to communicate directly with each other.
    • If ships are within sensor range of each other, this is trivial.
    • If ships are outside of sensor range with each other and system sizes are assumed to be small, a ship will perform a signal burst encoding information on the ship it's trying to communicate with. The other ship will detect this and return an acknowledgement, at which point tight-beam communication occurs.
    • Ships can communicate "publicly" by carrying out all communication through wide-beam signal bursts.
We assume that ships will communicate using something like highly-accelerated neutrinos, so that the existence of planets or other celestial bodies does not block communication between two entities. If system sizes are realistically-sized or at least sufficiently large, then I suppose for the sake of gameplay we assume communication is done via tachyons and ignore the physical ramifications of communicating using particles that can travel faster than light.

To keep this all straightforward for the player (and other agents), the player will be able to bring up a contacts list (or select an agent to communicate with either through the AR HUD or through the system/galaxy map or the Tactical/Strategic UI [see below]) and, if communication is possible with that agent, there will be a panel or button or other UI element for it with the following associated information:
  • Estimated RTT (round-trip time) of i.e. how long it's predicted to take between sending a message to the agent and receiving a reply.
  • Price of sending the message in credits.
  • Estimated probability that the message will be successfully delivered.
These values can be colour-coded, with the first two values appearing greener the lower they are and redder the higher they are, and the opposite for the third value. The game will intelligently pick what it considers to be the best communication route each time so most of the time the player can simply glance to make sure these values are green when initiating communication with another agent. There could be an "Advanced" tab to let the player choose specific communication routers otherwise.

Flatfingers wrote:Can communications be directed only to members of your faction? How? Or do signals go out to everyone, but communications equipment encrypts and decrypts signals with a key known only to your faction?

Communications can be directed at anyone. Communication between agents of the same faction may be encrypted. Communication signals are usually sent tight-beam and an agent can't intercept this directly, but they can hack either one of the vessels or a router that the information is being sent through, store a log of the encrypted communication into their database and then attempt to find out the corresponding decryption key. You can then offer to trade or give the decrypted communication logs to other agents, which can potentially have huge and devastating consequences for the faction that the agents having the conversation belonged to.

Flatfingers wrote:Will communications travel instantly through a star system? Or will signals take time (lightspeed) to propagate?

See above: communication can assume to have some latency within the same system depending on the distance between vessels, but communication between two agents within the same system should still be easily possible wherever they are.

Flatfingers wrote:Will the strength of a signal attenuate with distance from its source? (This implies both value for signal amplifiers and that you can't hear someone past a certain distance from them.)

Probably not.

Flatfingers wrote:Can signal relay stations be constructed? Would they serve everyone for free, or everyone except the builder's faction at a price, or only the builder's faction?

W-tech routers act like relay stations between systems. Otherwise maybe not.

As for who they serve, they are built by factions/corporations and provide the greatest benefits for members of those corporations, but can serve the general public as well for the reasons given here.

Flatfingers wrote:Can some communications be tight-beamed (like a beam weapon) to a known location for security? Or are all communications broadcast with equal strength in all directions?

Communications are usually tight-beamed once the location of the other vessel is known.

Flatfingers wrote:Can NPCs dynamically generate any messages they want to send to each other? Or must all possible message types be pre-determined by Josh or modders (message type ID, message content, rules under which message is sent)?

NPCs will communicate with each other using some kind of communication system as discussed in Communication with NPCs. My own proposal is for a template system that particular kinds of messages can be established off of.

Bearing in mind those questions, here are some use cases that they could affect in LT:

Flatfingers wrote:You find a rich strike that you can't haul off all by yourself. You call your closest allies over to help mine it.

If your allies are in the same system and there's a friendly W-tech router in it, you bring up the dialog panel, set the recipients filter to "all local allies", search for the "Assist me" dialog template and send it to all allies across a low-latency, zero-cost, reliable channel.

If your allies are in the same system and no friendly router is in it, you go through the same sequence of actions except that you perform a signal burst and wait for an acknowledgement. This allows for low-latency, zero-cost, reliable communication, but makes you highly visible to all other agents in the system.

If your allies are in other systems and a communication route exists between you and them, the request will be sent with varying latencies, costs and probabilities of success.

Otherwise, this is not possible.

Flatfingers wrote:You're pretty sure you've mined out an area of most of the good stuff. You tell your allies not to bother mining there.

As above but using a different message template.

Flatfingers wrote:You're mining happily when you're set upon by nasty pirates. You call your allies on the emergency channel.

I imagine that companies that build routers will decide upon the bandwidth allocation of three channels:
  • A private channel, reserved solely for communication among members of the corporation
  • A public channel. The general public buy general subscriptions from a hypothetical regulations committee. The committee distribute received subscription fees within a time period among companies based on how much traffic their public channels have handled.
  • An emergency channel, which requires a direct and quite expensive payment to the company owning the infrastructure your message travels along.
In this case, you will select an "emergency"-type dialogue template, and your message will get sent to allies. If necessary, emergency channels will be used even if this costs you a lot of money.

Flatfingers wrote:You're mining happily when you're set upon by nasty pirates. You have no friends in the area, so you broadcast a distress call for anyone to hear.

You set the recipients filter to "Everyone", select a "distress call" dialogue template and issue the message to everyone, utilising any friendly routers in the system if any, or performing a signal burst otherwise.

Flatfingers wrote:You are hiding with your ship's emissions shut down. Your ship is damaged, and you need help... but the bad guys are nearby and watching for spikes in the communications frequencies.

If you know the location of allied vessels, you can perform tight-beam communication with them. If a friendly W-tech router in the system, you can use tight-beam communication via that instead. Otherwise, there is not much that you can do without alerting the bad guys. Try to keep emissions low and move around them, I guess?

Flatfingers wrote:You are a minor commodities trader working for a trading firm. You notice that a valuable commodity has reached an unusually low price point at a nearby station. You buy up all you can with the funds allotted to you, and you call your associates to let them know about the opportunity.

You bring up a work-related dialogue template to issue a message to your associates. It's a work-related dialogue template, so the company covers any communication fees involved.

Flatfingers wrote:You are lying in wait with your friends to attack a merchant convoy. You want to schedule your attack to take out a strong guard before the others are able to mount a defense. You tell the other ships in your group to wait for your signal, and you all attack when your signal is given.

This is a pretty complex series of commands. If your friends are nearby, you could probably use a tactical combat user interface, where you can place waypoints on the screen or use other tools, and this will all act as abstractions for a fairly complex series of messages that will be communicated between you and your friends. You can accomplish the same thing just by sending the right messages, but this is probably more difficult for the player; the tactical UI abstracts all that away.

Flatfingers wrote:You are lying in wait with your friends to attack a merchant convoy. When you begin the attack, you all send a routine signal as powerfully as you can... on the emergency communications frequency. This prevents your target's calls for help from being recognized as such.

You could do that, I guess. Or you could try to jam his communication systems.

Flatfingers wrote:You and an ally are attacking a larger ship that has multiple defenses. You realize that your weapon is doing no damage against one of the target's defenses, but you know that your allied ship has a weapon that's very effective against that defense. You transmit this tactical information to your ally.

This will again likely be something the player does through the tactical UI.

Flatfingers wrote:You and an ally are attacking a larger ship, and you're taking a beating. You need to retreat, but if you do the target will come after you. You signal your ally to get the target's attention, allowing you to withdraw safely.

Tactical UI.

Flatfingers wrote:You are out in space when the ships from a faction you thought was friendly attack you. You try to signal your home office to warn them of this treachery before your ship is lost.

You issue a "distress signal" message along emergency channels, having selected the home office as the target. The UI should be designed so it's possible to keep a list of (1) contacts and (2) message dialog templates that you can very easily access. Perhaps a list of 10 for each. Then maybe when you bring up the dialog panel, it's just (for instance) Ctrl+3 to select the "Home Office" as a recipient and Shift+7 to select the "Distress signal" message template and then "Enter" to send it.

Flatfingers wrote:You are happily minding your own business, tending to the constructive growth of your empire, when picket ships arrive in your home system with the news that multiple fleets have emerged through the various massholes in your empire and started attacking your most distant star systems. You broadcast an emergency message to every courier ship in your home system, telling them to take orders to all of your patrol fleets to regroup at a strategic fleet depot. You also signal every colonized planet in your empire to activate their defenses... if they have any.

This is likely to work best through a Strategic UI, which is like the Tactical UI except it allows for the allocation of resources and the planning of larger numbers of forces, with a different set of tools to help you. As with the Tactical UI, it will act as an abstraction for a complex series of messages you would send. It would be nice if the Tactical and Strategic UI smoothly transition between each other depending on what scale of the map you're looking at.

Flatfingers wrote:So which of these scenarios will be possible in Limit Theory?

All of them. :shock:
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:17 pm

I hereby, using the complete lack of any authority granted to me, declare today to be Ego-Based Thread Necromancy Day!

Did you create a thread back in the Long-Ago Time that you think could benefit from some additional visibility today? Revive it! It's fun, AND easy!

In this case... I'm still curious to learn how NPCs will communicate with each other.

Where, for example, should NPC communications fall on the Gameplay <----> Simulation spectrum? DWMagus is down for not liking communication delays. And I expect there'll be others here who feel equally strongly that they don't want magical instantaneous messages between every character in the game universe. So is there some happy medium that most LT players can tolerate?

Similarly, what kinds of constraints should there be on NPC communications so that propagating information enables players to make interesting choices (the heart of good gameplay)?
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Idunno » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:20 pm

Flatfingers wrote:I hereby, using the complete lack of any authority granted to me, declare today to be Ego-Based Thread Necromancy Day!

Did you create a thread back in the Long-Ago Time that you think could benefit from some additional visibility today? Revive it! It's fun, AND easy!

Wow :shock: . ThymineC was the last to post? That is one hell of a necro. :ghost: :clap:
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:37 pm

It might be even more surprising that there was ANY thread in which Thymine was the last to post.

When he was on-point, he had a way of adding value to ideas that usually generated some great follow-up comments.
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Victor Tombs » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:12 pm

Flatfingers wrote:It might be even more surprising that there was ANY thread in which Thymine was the last to post.

When he was on-point, he had a way of adding value to ideas that usually generated some great follow-up comments.


Agreed Flat. Often controversial in his views, a nightmare for the green jackets but he did have a way of igniting whole threads of discussion. Most of which contained at least one reference to his obsession at the time. :angel:

I still miss his contributions here but the outcome of his behaviour was inevitable. I hope he is well, I enjoyed my off topic conversations with him. He did me more good than harm while he was here. :)
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby BFett » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:49 pm

Flatfingers wrote:In this case... I'm still curious to learn how NPCs will communicate with each other.

Where, for example, should NPC communications fall on the Gameplay <----> Simulation spectrum? DWMagus is down for not liking communication delays. And I expect there'll be others here who feel equally strongly that they don't want magical instantaneous messages between every character in the game universe. So is there some happy medium that most LT players can tolerate?

Similarly, what kinds of constraints should there be on NPC communications so that propagating information enables players to make interesting choices (the heart of good gameplay)?


Disclaimer: I haven't reviewed this thread to see if I had made a post in it. So if I repeat myself 'oh well'.

I believe NPC communication should be limited in the same way player communication will be. I think that communication between individuals should have a max range which would include all adjacent zones to the position of the transmitter. This would be the default range for distress calls and fleet commands (this should cover a massive volume of space 100Km^2 or more maybe?). Communication between two ships can be private but this requires more sensitive equipment and it helps if the two ships are within the same zone.

The media can still report on big events which are taking place in near by systems but this takes lots of energy and special equipment. The result is spotty status updates that only appear once every so many game-play hours (number to be determined). This media coverage is transmitted to every station in every system that supports the network.

So, to summarize: I don't mind instantaneous updates that don't occur very often. I think that the updated info is likely to be out of date by the time I get there so a time delay isn't necessary.

(I hope that answers the question.)
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Idunno » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:03 pm

BFett wrote:
Flatfingers wrote:In this case... I'm still curious to learn how NPCs will communicate with each other.

Where, for example, should NPC communications fall on the Gameplay <----> Simulation spectrum? DWMagus is down for not liking communication delays. And I expect there'll be others here who feel equally strongly that they don't want magical instantaneous messages between every character in the game universe. So is there some happy medium that most LT players can tolerate?

Similarly, what kinds of constraints should there be on NPC communications so that propagating information enables players to make interesting choices (the heart of good gameplay)?


Disclaimer: I haven't reviewed this thread to see if I had made a post in it. So if I repeat myself 'oh well'.

I believe NPC communication should be limited in the same way player communication will be. I think that communication between individuals should have a max range which would include all adjacent zones to the position of the transmitter. This would be the default range for distress calls and fleet commands (this should cover a massive volume of space 100Km^2 or more maybe?). Communication between two ships can be private but this requires more sensitive equipment and it helps if the two ships are within the same zone.

The media can still report on big events which are taking place in near by systems but this takes lots of energy and special equipment. The result is spotty status updates that only appear once every so many game-play hours (number to be determined). This media coverage is transmitted to every station in every system that supports the network.

So, to summarize: I don't mind instantaneous updates that don't occur very often. I think that the updated info is likely to be out of date by the time I get there so a time delay isn't necessary.

(I hope that answers the question.)

A media function? Another piece of infrastructure. How would that be implemented? :think: :ghost:
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby nikki_ » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:27 am

Flatfingers wrote:I hereby, using the complete lack of any authority granted to me, declare today to be Ego-Based Thread Necromancy Day!

Did you create a thread back in the Long-Ago Time that you think could benefit from some additional visibility today? Revive it! It's fun, AND easy!

In this case... I'm still curious to learn how NPCs will communicate with each other.

Where, for example, should NPC communications fall on the Gameplay <----> Simulation spectrum? DWMagus is down for not liking communication delays. And I expect there'll be others here who feel equally strongly that they don't want magical instantaneous messages between every character in the game universe. So is there some happy medium that most LT players can tolerate?

Similarly, what kinds of constraints should there be on NPC communications so that propagating information enables players to make interesting choices (the heart of good gameplay)?



The only constraint I can think of is computational. If it is way too costly to implement delays in these sorts of things (which could potentially be a problem), then instant communication might have to be a thing.
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby DWMagus » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:31 am

Looking back on my post, I realize that was before the idea that the AI may be able to handle delegation on its own.

If LT is going to be a "true" RTS (in the same sense of the word as Starcraft, Command and Conquer, are RTS), then delays would just frustrate people. Couple this with the idea of 'Pause as a gameplay mechanic' and you get what is essentially something that doesn't fit.

I guess to boil it down would be there -- if there were not any delays in communication, how often would there be instances where I could 'save' my ships when delays would cause me to 'lose' the ships? Would any amount of AI be able to duplicate this? I ask because if I'm playing Command and Conquer or Starcraft and see a massive amount of enemies coming for my troops, I'm going to do something about it.

Maybe the question is "Are we more of a player playing an RTS or are we more of a commander watching our ships do what we tell them?". Difference between Dwarf Fortress and Starcraft.
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Re: Communications Gameplay in Limit Theory

Postby Flatfingers » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:54 pm

That's a really good explanation of that perspective.

For me it turns on NPC autonomy: how well can the active NPCs in LT "think for themselves" versus NPCs in other games, including RTSs?

If the answer is "very capably," then non-instantaneous communication becomes a selling point instead of a liability. If the NPCs in a game are highly autonomous, then you want to design situations for them to apply that autonomy. Otherwise it's probably not worth the time to implement it.

If you do implement high autonomy, though, then you need game systems for showing off that feature, otherwise it fails to pay for itself.

If having non-instant communications in LT -- because that shows off how smart NPCs are -- means that LT doesn't play quite like a conventional RTS, is that really so bad?

In other words, should LT's possible gameplay features be constrained by RTS conventions?
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