Air Raid Siren
Here's another long one, everyone hide under your desk.
This is why Player Industry is inextricably tied to large scale warfare. Outside of the fact that a player would need some king of income source that constantly replenishes to maintain and replace their fleet; If the player doesn't manufacture their own ships and components, there still needs to be a streamlined Tactics Management to Industry link (Processing ship and parts orders efficiently for fleet replacement repair and addition, whether buy buying them from the NPC "Market" or managing your own production lines).
I recommend a detailed Blueprint method. Where you can send the Blueprint to a manufacturer (Or your own supply line) and they create copies of it.
- Things that should be on a Blueprint:
- Ship Chassis.
- Modules, weapons, stock ammunition and their placement on the chassis. (Loadout)
- Amount of Crew.
- Possible Cargo. (For support ships to make in-flight repairs)
- Ship Standard Orders/Priorities. (Engagement protocol, Basic Behavior; which would be overwritten by a Squad priority list when they join it)
You could either (From your supply line or from an NPC vendor) order these ships manually; or if you have a Squad structure, order them to fill directly into a certain position in the squad (Whether the order is for a certain number of ships, to replace lost ships in the formation, or simply ad infinitum de Marine Rush)
If you have a blueprint in your player assets, then it appears in vendors capable of manufacturing said blueprint's stock to be bought for whatever price the vendor charges (a simple addition of all the costs of the components and facility costs, then a +?% markup).
The problem with this method is that if you don't manage your blueprints suddenly you have a big mess in your production line (Alpha Centauri says hello), but it's smaller than the mess of individually making each ship at the time of creation, in my opinion. It would be helpful to have folders to put these blueprints in for further organization and a right-click delete option.
Having these fully loaded blueprints as "items" to be bought or constructed by the supplier, even allows carriers to be constructed pre-loaded with the player's choice of fighters, as you could simply load the fighter blueprint into the blueprint of the carrier as "Ammo" or however you want to classify it as.
The default behavior being a part of the blueprint also solves the issue of AI Fleet management, as you have already set the basic parameters of the ship's action, so even if the ship is intercepted on its way to the Squad structure, it will act accordingly. This script would then be suspended by the Squad's script when it becomes a member, and reinstated upon leaving.
So in the model, The entity of the squad has it's priority list (Created in advance by the player) which is checked and acted upon as long as it doesn't interfere with current outstanding player orders, and each ship has it's priority list before/after leaving a squad assigned at creation by the blueprint. There's never a point that the ship will just sit there and do nothing when under stress (unless ordered to or if created or assigned a squad with a blank priority list I guess) and ultimate control is retained by the player.
If we take it a step further... you could have a blueprint for an entire squad, with all the requisite ships in it, and the squad orders as part of the blueprint, set to simply replenish itself, making resupply and reinforcement automatic (Provided you can afford/manufacture it)
This automatic scripting is important for forces outside the immediate command radius of the player (Mining expeditions and their escorts, convoy escorts, etc), and the automatic reinforcement of those assets is necessary so that your operation doesn't fall apart when you look away.
I dunno, I just like the method, you could mass produce entire fleets with this, provided the resources (Not even facilities if you can contract production to vendors).
Gazz wrote:If building any ship requires 12 different resources plus the glukan and anoksi weapons and the blibsib shields, carrier wings are a complete write-off.
Wouldn't that only be a problem if those things could not be readily converted to "Credits"? If those minerals and modules are available on a market, or for construction, then it doesn't matter. Suppose you can't construct your ship without something you cannot yet make, then you have your supply chain automatically procure that item and add it to the credit cost of the ship. Depending on how dynamic NPC trading is, it shouldn't be that hard, having all the different little pieces is what makes small scale gameplay fun (in my opinion), puzzle piecing together your ship is fun... when you only have one ship to do it with.
If the market can supply you in exchange for "credits", I don't see the problem. Just have your creation order set up a buy order in a certain radius and have your supply chain go fetch it or, for a nominal fee, have it delivered to you.