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How do you think you'll spend most of your time in Limit Theory?

Tactical: Personal combat, prospecting, exploring, trading
Total votes: 52 (28%)
Operational: Managing several fleets, planets, and factions
Total votes: 9 (5%)
Strategic: Planning growth for a multi-sector civilization
Total votes: 12 (7%)
Any two of the above
Total votes: 41 (22%)
All three of the above
Total votes: 50 (27%)
None of the above; I play a meta-game of my own choosing
Total votes: 20 (11%)
Total votes: 184

What I hope to be able to do in Limit Theory

By no means does this hope of mine exclude anything. I hope Limit Theory has much more to it than what I describe. What I would detail here is more the gameplay that I myself most yearn for.

I want to build my own ship with which to explore the universe. I want the build system that allows me that to be a rules based system that itself is an interesting set of strategic tradeoffs, something rich enough that it could take me years to master the ramifications of. I want the graphical depiction of that ship to be related to it's construction, form following to some degree it's function.

I want to explore the universe, meeting civilization after civilization. I want to interact with that civilization to the point where I am able to trade with that civilization (or maybe in some cases forced to conquer). In such trade, I want to discover new technologies/components that increase both the range 'and' the scope of options I have to tweak my ship. And then of course, I hope to be able to tweak my ship, to improve upon it, not just scrap and restart.

I want for there to be no hard limit to how much I can improve upon my ship build(s), though as it improves, I expect the rate at which I can continue to improve it will slow down. I want to literally be able to play for years and still have the ability to improve.

I do understand that there is a lot more to Limit Theory than wandering about in a single ship, exploring the universe. This is just how "I" would want to play. I'll append to this post a few additional thoughts as to how I would achieve a few of these things were this my game. With luck, it might even be helpful. ;-)
Last edited by Panpiper on Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
The meaning of life is whatever meaning you give it.

Re: What I hope to be able to do in Limit Theory

Strategic tradeoffs and rules based ship building.

Over thirty years ago I discovered the 'High Guard' ship design system used in the original Traveler games system to handle ships and ship combat. I was part of a large gaming community and in a campaign game that lasted years, I found myself needing to design and maintain a full fleet. I literally spent thousands of hours tweaking the designs over the course of years. The design system held that much richness. Yet that system came in a booklet with all the construction and combat rules written in only 22 pages!

I have two copies of that rules booklet still. If Josh thinks it might be inspirational, I would be happy to mail him one of them.

There were a few elements to it that made the decision making so fascinating. There were several viable weapons approaches plus several strategic necessities none of which could be emphasized without making tradeoffs with others, each required different approaches to ship building, and deciding between them with confidence was not simplistic, it was an exercise for years of thought.

Interstellar jumps required jump fuel that used a percentage of one's ship mass. Hull armor also was a percentage of ship size. Other components were tonnage based. By mixing both tonnage and percentage based systems (such as strategic jump range including fuel, engine acceleration, hull armor), an extremely interesting set of design tradeoffs instantly results. If you have a thousand tons of tonnage based systems and have 50% in percentage based systems, your resulting ship will weigh in at 2000 tons. If you put 90% of percentage based systems, your resulting ship would be 10,000 tons. If you pushed it to 100%, your ship would reach infinity.

I am not suggesting that the High Guard system be used as a template, but merely as an example that could serve as inspiration. What I do not want to see is the same old, same old of, this hull has X slots, fill them with Y list of components. That is the least imaginative, least interesting, and almost universally used cop out.
The meaning of life is whatever meaning you give it.

Re: What I hope to be able to do in Limit Theory

Relating graphics and size to the actual ship statistics.

A ship that has 50% of it's mass in engines should 'look' like it has 50% of it's mass in engines. A ship that has a gun that is 20% of it's mass, should look like it is built around a big gun. I would very much like for the look of a ship to give us some clue as to how it has been built.

My approach to doing this would be for a ship design to start with a page where one fiddles with the numbers and stats that result in the components of a ship. Once the components are determined, it goes to the physical modeling of the ship, wherein each of the components generated from the previous step must be placed. The scale of the components are directly related to the stats generated by the previous step. Different components would have different shapes, some would have many options for shapes, some may be completely free form, others less so. It is those shapes that create the visual clues to understanding the build inside the ship. The player chooses a shape from the list of shapes available for each component and assembles them into their desired ship.

Permit a small amount of overlap (20%?) so as to give the player some extra flexibility and so that procedurally generated ships don't wind up looking like they would never hold together. Once all components are placed contiguous to one another, a player can decide to use the shape as is, or overlay a skin to meld the shapes together for a smoother look.

Part and parcel to this is that I would hope for damage to be directional so that component layouts are that much more meaningful. Not only damage should be directional but fire direction for weapons as well. A weapon should not be able to fire 'through' it's own ship's hull.
The meaning of life is whatever meaning you give it.

Re: What I hope to be able to do in Limit Theory

joker wrote:is there an electronic version you could email to me?
I do not have such a version, no. However I did a quick search ("high guard" pdf) and there are some resources on the web you could use. Here are a couple of quickly chosen links that might help: ... nd-edition
The meaning of life is whatever meaning you give it.

Re: What I hope to be able to do in Limit Theory

Infinite technology progression

I do not know how technologies, research and the like are going to be handled in the game. For the sake of discussion, I am going to assume that something akin to the 'module' system as is described in the thread "Balancing Ship Design and Faction Diversity" in Suggestions is at play. (I am realizing as I go on that my whole thread here probably belongs in Suggestions and not in General.)


The process that generates modules should be open ended. For virtually any module system that gets generated, consider making the upper and lower limits to stats defined by the module able to significantly exceed the standard random probability by a large margin. Essentially, if the random roll is in the top 90%, re-roll and add the result to the previous roll. If that roll is itself also in the top 90%, continue the process by adding then re-rolling again, ad infinitum. The same can be done in reverse where smallness is advantageous.

Of course each technology's stats and ranges can and should be manually tweaked by Josh. The idea is not to have one overarching rule in place that will manipulate everything in a solitary fashion, where in fact in some places it might break the game and in others be able to be even more generous. Such decisions are better made by Josh than by some single rule.

The point is that it allows for a player by exploring a great many civilizations to over time accumulate technologies that exceed the norm. Here is the kicker. With a system that is open ended, the player can never know that the next civilization won't have that crucial thing they want with a double high roll on the critical stat, or whatever. There will literally be no end to their potential exploration and progression. It will of course get progressively harder.

Yes, this will in theory make game balance able to be broken by the player, as they will ultimately over the long term be accumulating technologies that allow them to exceed the modules possessed by most other civilizations. But such growth is necessary for the player for what I hope are obvious reasons. Note too that it does not mean that the player will never again find challenge. Sheer numbers can challenge (or aught to anyway) even an awesomely high tech ship. And finally, this process of technology assimilation can be used by expanding civilizations as well, finding or capturing technologies from their neighbors that supplant inferior technologies of their own.
Last edited by Panpiper on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The meaning of life is whatever meaning you give it.

Re: What I hope to be able to do in Limit Theory

Cornflakes_91 wrote:Erm... something like this?
I am in favor of anything that increases player options when designing ships.

There is a danger however of making a system too complex for most players. I recall reading in a thread by someone, somewhere on this forum, suggesting the idea of allowing a player to 'optionally' select however many or few things they want in their design and then hitting 'generate', and allowing the procedural engine to pick the rest, completing the ship. The player could hit generate as often as they like to 're'generate the ship till they get something they like. Using that idea, we could make the build system as complex as we could ever desire, and still make it accessible to people who couldn't care less.
The meaning of life is whatever meaning you give it.

Re: How Will You Play Limit Theory?

Hmm, this is interesting. It's been a while since I saw this thread last, but I my selected option is "Any two of the above". Somewhere between when I voted and now, my opinion has changed to "all three of the above". I wish I could remember which two I'd voted for so I could tell what changed, but I find it nonetheless amusing that my interest in LT has apparently grown during the intervening time.
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