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Game Modes

#1
It goes without saying that LT will be awesome, and I think that Josh is creating one of the best games of the decade. However, more options for gameplay to accommodate different styles and different moods can only be a good thing. Let's keep the new stuff to a minimum though and try to get as much out of what we already have as possible, so these suggestions are primarily taking some aspects of what already exists out, or emphasizing what already exists to get new styles of gameplay, new game modes. :shock: :geek:

Let me begin with a hypocrisy, and suggest a mode that may be both difficult and add some radically different mechanics. I do this because it is such an awesome possibility that it should at least be considered, because if LT does this, Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous will be jealous if they can't do it too. :D
Moviemaker/Customverse Mode
Spoiler:      SHOW
I briefly brought this up with Josh in IRC, but while he showed some interest, it was neither the time nor the place to really get into it, so I fleshed out my ideas here.

I imagine that like many games with emergent content, players will encounter stories they want to share, or they will want the tools to share stories of their own creation. I am suggesting that a distinct mode exists, separate and independent from the rest of the game where players can manually create, edit, any possible asset, environmental setting, or AI subroutine system by system (acting as sets), creating their own custom universe, or importing a section of a PCG universe in which they can tell and record their own stories that can be uploaded and shared with the world.

Development and Post-Production;
Storytelling begins before this point, but I think there are plenty of programs out there which can accommodate this, if desired, Josh could go so far as to make an entire production program embedded in LT, from storyboarding to music and voiceover dubbing. This would of course make it easier and more convenient, getting more people to make movies in LT, but even without that level of detail, I think most people inclined to produce a movie will be able to do so without these aspects. :think:

Set Creation;
In my vision, set creation along with asset creation should be quick, easy, and random with the option to be meticulous and highly detailed. Anything that can be PCG, should potentially be able to be manually created or imported straight from a living universe.

People should be able to generate a random nebula background, a star, lighting, and the whole system, until they have something they are happy with, save its various ID's and use them later if ever they want to.

People should also be able to create maps, tech trees, markets, databases, factions, etc. whether fake (appearances only) or genuine (using the same world generation as the full mode)

People should be able to generate at random or customize everything in on their sets with a few buttons and sliders (or just math if they want) - from the position and appearance of the planets to the color of the nebula to the structure and texture of a ship or station to the assets of an individual or faction, to the power of an individual thruster or weapon.

Of course, people should also be able to create or destroy additional sets, and connect to them by how else? Regular old wormholes.

Sound like a Dev mode? Essentially it is :) , it is merely taking everything that PCG can do and letting the player hand craft as much or as little as they like :D This just by itself could be quite fun even without movie capabilities. (move a wormhole next to the sun and laugh as invaders pop out and burn without warning?) :twisted: :thumbup: :D

Production;
After initial set up, You could just let the game run, but if you are telling a story, you might want more control.

The first and most important aspect of control is the ability to undo and correct mistakes. This is accomplished by save points; if something goes differently than you wanted, you can go back to the save point and do another take. I don't know If LT can run backwards in time, if it can, this is less necessary, but can still be quite useful.

Second is the ability to control the flow of time. Whether for analysis of what went wrong or for slow motion capture, controlling time is a valuable tool.

Third is the camera. I believe that most of the camera controls are in place already, but to be sure, a camera should be able to take different perspectives, track an object, follow an object, pan, zoom, rotate, Yada Yada, there should be multiple camera save positions if not multiple cameras. Cameras should also have possible filters. Flatfingers suggested some fantastic ideas here and I'm sure GJ could come up with some great ideas too. :monkey:

Fourth is the ability to direct and control the actors. The AI in LT is quite powerful, and it may go off and do the logical thing instead of doing what it is told. Because of this, it may be necessary to lobotomize them in various ways, and make them blindly follow orders. I suspect that you can do this with your own assets in LT, so this may not be particularly difficult, but I think it would be good if any aspect of any individual AI brain could be turned on or off at will, from pathfinding to long term planning to delegation, that orders could be as specific as "fire 5 shots at X" to "bring down faction Y at all costs." Order queues should also be included with the flexibility to give a queue that says "Fly in circles around X for 30 minutes, then fly towards Y, en route eject 2 units of vitrium every 10 seconds for 5 minutes, on arrival at X put out a Hit on Z for 1 million credits, and then blow up the nearest station, then join faction W, then make money but you can't use weapons or transfer beams" :shock:

Fifth is Omniscience filters, the ability to see anything you want or to filter out everything except for what a single individual knows or can see. Pretty simple ya? also pretty useful for making a movie.

I think that with this level of control, players will be able to really tell just about any space based story they like (minus things the LT engines can't handle), and to be honest I think that this isn't really asking for that much more than what already exists. :D


Game modes are essentially stripping some aspect of the engine out, or giving a dev ability/slider to the player. They vary by world structure, world rules, or breaking player symmetry. I suspect that it would be possible to combine any or multiple structure, rule and asymmetry options, but I also suspect that some combinations will be less fun than others.

Default: The beautiful, fantastic Game that Josh has been building all along, Infinite, fully procedural, lots of emergent gameplay. :D :thumbup:

World Structure Variations

In the Beginning: Spare the history generation, and start at the beginning, with lots of wild places to discover and colonize, build the first empires!

The Miniverse: The universe is not infinite, it is however more detailed. All this is, is limiting the size of the universe to the number of systems your computer can simulate without ever pausing and utilizing history generation. all systems are being simulated at all times, just mostly in low LOD.

Johnny Wormholeseed: save for the starting system, the rest of the universe does not exist until you visit it. You the player create wormholes and only once you have done so, will AI use them. when you create a wormhole, it pops you into a new system which has undergone centuries of historical simulation, but has been totally isolated, what will you find? how will the natives react (if there are any)? what strengths and weaknesses has their isolation caused? Do they even have space flight? How will they and the AI from previous systems interact? Are you the accidental Savior or the harbinger of doom? no one knows! (may require player immortality)

World Rule Variations

Eternal Peace: No weapons research, ever. (may require other commodity sinks to replace destruction)

Bloodlust: Weapons are far easier to research and/or far cheapest to produce than all other technology, making violence the cheapest way of doing business.

Techwarp: Random or manual selection of tech branches that are far easier to research and cheaper to produce (May or may not be the same branches for research and production) while others are far harder/expensive.

Punctuated Tech: For most of the time, the world exists in a dark age, where research is almost impossible, the players are stuck with the blueprints in existence. However, every so often, for a short period of time, Technology is very easy to discover, and yields far more advances than tradeoffs, but only those who are situated to research will get them. because the window closes as quickly as it opens.

Moodswings: At any point, any AI has a small statistical chance of having a major personality change and will redirect their assets/projects accordingly (random or modifiable to control how chaotic the universe is)

Faction Limit: Set a maximum number of factions that can exist at any time, this creates the equivalent of teams/races. If limited to 2, creates a Black v. White or Good v. Evil distinction. If also done in a miniverse, you can conceivably conquer the universe!

Player Asymmetry Variations

Doppelganger Start: Start with temporary Omniscience, find any Npc you want and jump into their head. Become the NPC. Take over all their assets, relationships, missions, responsibilities, and problems. (Want to be a faction leader? be careful what you wish for)

Doppelganger Mode: Same as above, but without the Omniscience and you can do it anytime. Your old self just becomes another AI.

Silver Spoon: Start off with as many credits/assets as you like, whatever technology you want… Start with a fleet of battleships to conquer the area out of nowhere, Somewhat of a cheat, but even Vast starting resources will run out eventually.

Easy Street: Boosts your relationships with NPCs, your weapons do a little more damage, you can go a little faster, research a little faster, find a little more ore, etc... Scalable sliders for customized ease.

Hard Knox: Exactly the opposite of the above.

Personal Time Machine: At any point, start up historical simulation, freezes player in current ship for chosen duration HG Wells style. simulate a day to try and escape an enemy... simulate a week to skip through waiting for your faction to colonize a system, simulate a year to watch an empire crumble... But be careful, just because you are frozen, you aren't invisible... And you may wake up surrounded by bounty hunter, waiting just for you!

So, any thoughts on these? Any more ideas?
Last edited by Hyperion on Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Game Modes

#3
That is true, it does allow pretty much everything I suggested. I am not suggesting that these are additions, they are more highlighting or filters for the data editor, presenting interesting possibilities for gameplay. Some people would however see the data editor as more of a cheat mode or may suffer from the paradox of choice, and highlighted modes would offer a sort of main menu selection.

I am presenting merely a selection of these possibilities, and am quite sure that others would be able to come up with many more. Perhaps this suggestion is better phrased as a request for customized, savable filters for the data editor and world generation as a whole. :think:
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Re: Game Modes

#5
For some odd reason, while reading through this, I realized that I really wanted to have a Supreme Commander mode in LT. The Supreme Commander mode is a mode that makes manufacturing ludicrously fast. :ghost:
Image The results of logic, of natural progression? Boring! An expected result? Dull! An obvious next step? Pfui! Where is the fun in that? A dream may soothe, but our nightmares make us run!
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Re: Game Modes

#6
Idunno wrote:For some odd reason, while reading through this, I realized that I really wanted to have a Supreme Commander mode in LT. The Supreme Commander mode is a mode that makes manufacturing ludicrously fast. :ghost:
Yep, LT the RTS would be fun to play. Think about just controlling lots of ships and being able to build them in seconds. It's awesome that LT comes with this feature built it (minus the quick builds).
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Re: Game Modes

#7
Interesting! Let's see... here are some notions that are increasingly Out There, rather than working only with what's thought to be part of LT so far, but what the heck....

Land Rush: All wormholes are revealed, and travel tech (and colonization tech if that's in the game) is very cheap. This would lead to a game about who can expand to the most territory the fastest. Combined with In the Beginning and The Miniverse, and letting multiple players use the same universe seed, seeing who can populate the entire universe the fastest could be an enjoyable competitive game.

Infection: You are an immortal carrier of some odd malady, and everyone who joins your faction is infected. This disease causes NPCs to be persuaded to join your faction more easily than usual, but also kills them off after some amount of time. This game mode means you're racing to infect as many NPCs as possible with the ones remaining to you, while the other factions in the universe try to escape contagion either by avoiding your factional NPCs or exterminating them.

Destroyer of Worlds: Your civilization "consumes" cities on other worlds to survive, turning planets into withered husks. Each city you can conquer provides many resources, but those resources are finite and you must use them up in order to expand. How far can you go?

Stargoat Simulator: Everyone's ship has a long grappling hook. I leave the rest to the player's imagination.

In the Dark: Viewscreens don't work for anyone -- the only way to know what's near you is your ship's scanner. You can still build up a database of space objects, and navigate to static places using that database, but there are still dynamic objects to deal with.

Anyone got any other ideas?
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Re: Game Modes

#8
Suicidalism: For every ship of yours that gets destroyed you get equal and more resources on your home planet. Can you find the balance between alienating aliens (so they attack your ships) and keeping your home planet safe?
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Game Modes

#9
Gazz wrote:Suicidalism: For every ship of yours that gets destroyed you get equal and more resources on your home planet. Can you find the balance between alienating aliens (so they attack your ships) and keeping your home planet safe?

Quantum Entanglement Russian Roulette
: Destroying a ship will cause another ship, in the universe -- possibly even yours -- to also be destroyed.
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Re: Game Modes

#10
Flatfingers wrote:Stargoat Simulator: Everyone's ship has a long grappling hook. I leave the rest to the player's imagination.
Please yes spring physics. lol I imagine space battles would be very interesting, particularly when everyone works themselves into knots.


It also reminds me of a certain scene in the Firefly-based movie Serenity, where the Reavers had grappling hooks they used to swing Alliance ships around until they flew to pieces.
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Re: Game Modes

#11
I'm going to bump this because this seems like a really great thread.
Contribution time:

Gina Rine-who?: No Mining. NO Mining. The Universe starts out with a limited number of resources, given equally to players, stations, and colonies - the latter two will no longer consume resources, but sell them at almost unrealistic prices. Resources may generate in unexplored star systems, and even more rarely, you might find a limited source of resources in an abandoned star system. Be prepared for costly wars over what remains.
How will you manage your assets in a universe where everything is dwindling?
Warning: Not for the faint of heart.

Philistines: No technology research by factions. Stations and Colonies may randomly procure technologies, but sell them at unreasonable prices. Prepare for a lot of grinding with frustratingly slow technology. If you're lucky, a distant colony might have a technology that can allow you to research yourself... but I'd imagine that such a thing would be hotly contested. (:

Big Brother is Watching: There is only one faction in the universe, and it isn't yours. She is vastly big and powerful with potentially unlimited assets at her disposal. Will you join the faction to avoid being targeted, and risk social ostracism and hostility by non-members, or will you try to rebel and attempt to defeat this faction with the other unorganised proles?
A technology might become available allowing everyone else to form factions, spelling the possible end of Oceani-- er... Spacenia.

Deja Vu: Systems may outright regenerate, using a new seed, upon revisiting. Sometimes the system you're in might get transported to a alternate universe. Whoops, there goes your entire trading fleet. How awkward. Technology may be researched that will allow the restoration of systems individually, so not all hope is lost...

Evil Twin Theory: Same as above, but the switch is made more awkward and tense by the denizens of the other universe being permanently hostile to the people in your universe. Or is it the other way around?
Switches happen more frequently, just for chaos and fun. (:

Credit Not Accepted: No credits. Only barter. Maybe a variation of system/faction/star cluster based currencies. The concept of a unified common currency simply doesn't exist.

Luxon-Tachyon Hyperdrive: You and everyone else in the universe simultaneously had the idea to make an engine that self-destructs when stopped (except when docking). When your ship is stopped, you have a countdown timer to start moving again - same as the AI. How stressfully challenging.

Hawking Vacuum Decay Theory: At a random point in the universe, near the players starting location, entire systems start mysteriously vanishing... and its catching up fast. The AI knows this and also seems to be fleeing imminent danger, so you and the AI keep moving to a new system, making a mad rush for local resources. Prepare for quick, short battles... unless you've made good time, you don't have time to waste fighting large battles. There may be a technology to halt expansion for a limited amount of time, or stop it altogether. Keep moving to avoid being sucked into nothing, as the end of the universe draws near, its only possibly a matter of time before you perish. How long can you survive?

Socio-Economic Disparity: Start in an extra large system with multiple planets. Multiple wormholes exist... trick is, you're just not good enough to use them. Plebian scum.

Doctor Whom: The opposite of the above. Only you can travel through wormholes. You and your faction, of course. The AI seems to have no idea that the rest of the universe exists. You also have the ability to give factions the ability to travel through wormholes as a blueprint, but be warned, it may backfire.

Sins of a not-so Galactic Empire: Permanent war. Factions start in their own own system with a sizeable force already built up. You can choose to either be a leader of this faction, an admiral of a fleet, a captain of the dreadnought or just a lonely pilot. Upkeep your empire through continuous ship building and warfare, cause that's all the AI will be doing.
Faction joining is compulsory.

What do ya'll think? :D
Last edited by HKY09 on Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Game Modes

#12
Doomsday Clock
in the center on the galaxy the black hole is swalowing
your galaxy at an exponential rate, build up enough
tech and resources to cross the void to the next galaxy.
"A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke
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Re: Game Modes

#13
One Life One Ship
Start in a random ship and build an empire. Switching ships is not possible and if you die it's game over.

Arcade Mode
Various types of re-spawning are available to the player. Play without the fear of dieing and having to re-load the game. Great for those who want to participate in massive battles while flying small fighters around their much larger battleships.
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Re: Game Modes

#14
Eris's Apple
All factions start out as forced allies, but all planets are unclaimed. After all planets in the known universe have been claimed and colonized, all factions suddenly become enemies with each other. Alliances can be reformed, but mixed areas will turn into instant war zones.

Curse your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal
The game plays normally, but all planets are unclaimed. After all planets in the known universe have been claimed and colonized, all non-leader ships are reassigned to a random faction, creating instant chaos. Whenever combat drops back to a normal level, all non-leader ships are reassigned factions again.
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Re: Game Modes

#15
N810 wrote:Doomsday Clock
in the center on the galaxy the black hole is swalowing
your galaxy at an exponential rate, build up enough
tech and resources to cross the void to the next galaxy.
FTLTSL? Like a hybrid game of FTL and LT. That would be fun.
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