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icon7.gif  Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 07 February 2007 16:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Not sure where to post any more (Frestars or "The bar"). Anyway, SourceForge has now accepted Nova as a project!

I have to be up early tomorrow (05:30) so can't do anything just now. However, I'll deal with things when I get back from work ... although it's going to mean a row with my wife Sad

Ken



Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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icon14.gif  Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sat, 24 February 2007 02:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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ken-reed wrote on Wed, 07 February 2007 21:54

Not sure where to post any more (Frestars or "The bar"). Anyway, SourceForge has now accepted Nova as a project!



First initial release of Nova is now on SourceForge (project stars-nova). Smile




Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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icon7.gif  Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Thu, 01 March 2007 18:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Just a quick update. The latest version of Nova is available on the homepage:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ken-reed/Ken/Nova.htm

See the "What's new page" for, erm, what's new Smile

I'm still getting the hang of this SourceForge stuff so it's not there yet (as I don't want there to be millions of versions with minor changes on the site and I've yet to RTFM).

Once I've written a few more unit tests and I have a "baseline" I'm happy with, I'll be asking if anyone else wants to work on the project (probably a week or two away).





Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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icon4.gif  Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sat, 10 March 2007 16:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Nova has now got to a sufficiently stable state that other people can sensibly work on it if they would like to as a "hobby" - or just as an excuse to learn and use something new (for exmaple, .Net 2.0).

See the thread "Do you want to work on Nova? for details.



Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 11 March 2007 19:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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By the way, the March 11th release of the source code fixes a couple of major bugs in the algorithms used for mine production rate and research level resource requirements (both were out by a factor of 10). Sad

If you are playing with the code please grab the latest version from the Nova home page (SourceForge hasn't been updated yet).

There are other bug fixes too, but they are trivial.



Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 19 March 2007 20:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Plekto is currently offline Plekto

 
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Nice to see you are still around!. Well, technically, so am I - lol. Mr. Insane AR himself.(who else runs a 2-immune AR design? Heh.)

I think the one thing that needs to be done to turn Stars! or ANY clone into a real game is to give it a proper TCP/IP interface. We badly need a server to find peolpe online and to play with/possibly to act as a host. Or even jsut make it possible to direct-connect two players.

PBEM was always a pain, slow, and the Achilles heel of getting greater acceptance. Also, the graphics - I suggest looking at Pov-Ray and adding a little sizzle to the icons, ships, and such. (ie - 2-d still, but really really NICE "2.5D")

(Second is to take it have "turns" for single-machine play)

Take the old game Spaceward Ho! - fun game if you were connected via a LAN or taking turns. Great fun, since you each had a password and could take turns being in at the computer while the other did whatever in the other room until their turn.

But playing via TCP/IP was always a kludge - and it also stopped it from being a major game.

Even 1v1 over TCP/IP would be a godsend.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 20 March 2007 03:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Quote:

I think the one thing that needs to be done to turn Stars! or ANY clone into a real game is to give it a proper TCP/IP interface.


Nova is designed as a PBEM game mainly because I like it that way as no one will have to host a server.

CraigStars is adopting the the client-server approach so you may like to visit his site.

http://members.cox.net/ilovestars

I've already done a client-server game over TCP/IP. If you do a search for Winbattle you'll find it on the CodeGuru or CodeProject sites (the CodeGuru site has a more detailed web-page). So, I know "the ropes" of TCP/IP, but my personal preference is PBEM for Nova.



Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 15 April 2007 16:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Just a quick update. This month's update to Nova is now available (on the home page and on SourceForge). It's mostly bug fixes (I've been writing unit tests) but a quick summary of "what's new" is:

The home planet environment values are now calculated as the race median (50% of planet's range was used before).

Race icons have now been added to the Race Designer (see the updated screen shot on the web) and fleet summary displays.

Star names are now centred under the star in the star map (rather than being left-aligned).

Factory and mine build costs racial traits parameters have now been implemented.

Component population in the Ship Designer is now a single drag-and-drop (previously it required two steps: select then select and drag).

The star map is now correctly updated when a waypoint is deleted.

JOAT now correctly has penetrating scanning capabilities.

Next on the "list of things to do" is to complete the unit tests for the battle engine (they are about half done) and start work on the battle visualisation display.



Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 16 April 2007 09:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
dethdukk is currently offline dethdukk

 
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holy cow man, thats great. you are hauling, for only 1 hour a day.


If you cannot love, you will always hate, and in hate there is only death.
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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 29 April 2007 08:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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There is a new release of Nova available on the homepage and on SourceForge. The following changes have been made since the last release.

The primary racial trait Hyper-Expansion has been implemented.

The number of conditions required for victory has now been implemented.

The victory condition Percentage of Planets Owned has now been implemented.

The game parameter Minimum Game Time has now been implemented.

The Player's Planets and Player's Fleets reports have now been implemented (see the screen shots at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ken-reed/Ken/Reports.htm).

The secondary racial trait No Ram Scoop Engines has been implemented.

The secondary racial trait Improved Fuel Efficiency has been implemented.

The secondary racial trait Low Starting Population has been implemented.

The Interspace 10 engine is only available if No Ram Scoop Engines has been selected.

The Fielded Kelarium armour now contributes to a ship's shield strength.

The Croby Shamor Shield now contributes to a ship's armour strength.

The Galaxy Scoop and Fuel Miser engines require the secondary racial trait Improved Fuel Efficiency.

Shift+Drag in the ship designer dialog will now add up to 10 modules to a hull module slot.

Ship cargo capacity is now implemented as a native hull feature rather than as a hull component as was done previously.

The Next and Previous buttons for the fleet and planet displays are now in the same relative position on the screen.

Planet production queues now work just like in Stars! (previously you needed all resources in one go to manufacture an item).

A plasma-type effect has now been added to the star map display in the Nova GUI.

Scanner range displays are now semi-transparent to allow a little of the new background to show through them.

The GUI screenshots on the Nova website have been updated to refelect the new layout (see the screen shots at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ken-reed/Ken/MainWindow.htm).

The report screens use the new (.Net 2.0) DataGridView control so columns are automatically resized to suit the size of the report dialog. Also, report columns can be dragged by the user into any order they would like to see. For example, the last column of the fleet report (Mass) could be dragged to be the second column, next to the fleet name.

By the way, there are two problems with the reports: the headers are not centred correctly and there is a blank line at the bottom of each report). If there are any DataGridView experts who can tell me how to clean-up these issues please e-mail me.

Until now, Nova has really only been suitable for use by people with software skills that can build it from the source code. However, it is now sufficiently stable that it is not far away from being able to be released in binary form so that non-developers can play with it. Text has been added to the Nova home page to mention this and I hope this will be available in a June release. If not, the binary release should be available by July (pre-Alpha).


[Updated on: Sun, 29 April 2007 08:56]




Don't let the Stars! fade away.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 29 April 2007 09:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Neo the White is currently offline Neo the White

 
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If it gets to other racial traits I suggest it be balanced more reasonably than Stars! has it. That WM is more expensive than IS od SD is strange. as both races have more advantages than WM.

Also for the sake of sanity, please give WM laser defenses at least, if not the shield defense but not the best one.

If WM would continue being more expensive than IS the maybe add few more tools to them.

unique torpedoes/missiles.
Not to mention best battle computer possible
all ships of WM should have more basic hull armor.

In general why not have troop defense and attack eff. be upgradable through research for all races.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 29 April 2007 10:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Quote:


If it gets to other racial traits I suggest it be balanced more reasonably than Stars!



On my list-of-things to do "one day" is to go through the forum and incorporate the good ideas. However, that's low on my list of prioriries at the moment as I want to establish a baseline first from which to move on from. My aim is to make that baseline pretty close to the original Stars!.

I've no idea when I'll get around to the other racial traits as I've just started on the battle visualisation dialog. I want to get that done before I do a binary release.

Ken



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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 29 April 2007 10:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Neo the White is currently offline Neo the White

 
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ok Very Happy



[Updated on: Sun, 29 April 2007 11:42]

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 30 April 2007 03:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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Neo the White wrote on Sun, 29 April 2007 06:54

If it gets to other racial traits I suggest it be balanced more reasonably than Stars! has it. That WM is more expensive than IS od SD is strange. as both races have more advantages than WM.

Also for the sake of sanity, please give WM laser defenses at least, if not the shield defense but not the best one.

If WM would continue being more expensive than IS the maybe add few more tools to them.




I agree with you.(( Shocked shocking statement of the year Shocked ))
My thoughts are that in more urgency CA needs to be seriously pruned back with points unless some ability adjustment regarding instaforming is deemed viable. Also, JoaT should have to pay a few points for NAS.
Other things are, perhaps either allow the HE the 100/250 gate, give them a risk associated with gating even if they are well within the rated distance and weight and a severe risk for exceeding, or a few more points to play with. Or maybe they could get a special weak HE-only gate later with let's say 250/100 rating.
Also, give SS more points as well, and do something to help AR early on...
As for AR, I have some idea of increasing their population automining ability significantly, or have them start with a decent pile of remote mining ships. Maybe if they risk OBRM their population automining would improve enough to make up for this. Actually, being able to set the efficiency of pop automining in the RW with current levels as a minimum may help. Another thought is that AR may get a special exception to jam their bases all the way to 98% for the midgame.

Quote:


unique torpedoes/missiles.
Not to mention best battle computer possible
all ships of WM should have more basic hull armor.



WM already have combat ships with superior hull armor. And the dreadnaught can already out-initiative anything before Nubians. I'm not entirely sure I like the idea of more unique weapons.
Nah... what WM needs is a weak heavy minelayer pod. Smile

Quote:


In general why not have troop defense and attack eff. be upgradable through research for all races.




Possible I suppose - maybe some sort of upgrade techs for troops. What tech field would you put them in? Planetary? Beam weapons? Bombs? Razz

I can see a cyborg upgrade through Electronics, genetic upgrades though Biotech, mechanized vehicle upgrade through Con, and of course a small arms upgrde through Weapons. Why not throw Prop and Energy in too?




Edit:

Also I want to say that I'm glad there's still talk and chatter here and apparently progress is still moving on. Let me know if thre's anything I can do to help out.


[Updated on: Mon, 30 April 2007 03:17]

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 01 May 2007 19:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Cross posted from the thread "Do you want to work on Nova":

ekolis wrote on Tue, 01 May 2007 22:13

Man, this project sure looks promising... what kind of programming help do you need?


You ask a surprisingly difficult question Smile

Nova is a hobby for me. An excuse to learn about things I don't know about. So, as far as my personal interests are concerned, I don't need help (I'd stick a smiley in there but I've already used one ... needless to say that comment is said with tongue firmly in cheek). In fact, the best bit for me is finding out for myself the stuff I don't know.

However, since I started this little hobby a number of people have became interested and I've ended up taking it further than I ever intended and it's pretty much a playable Stars! clone now. Most of the "GUTs" are done and it is really just a case of implementing the views on the internals to sort out. This is why my previous "What's New" post in the Don't let the Stars! fade away thread seems to contain so much. Now that the infrastructure is done it's not that hard to make the inherent capabilities of the code visible to the player.

But I digress. Nova is meant to be a fun learning project. There are tons of stuff that could be done. User manual, better web site, program documention, more Stars! features (Nova is still missing mine fields), bug fixes, unit tests, better icons, ... oh, the list could go on and on.

Anyway, if you are looking to have a bit of fun, either by doing stuff you are already good at or just wanting an excuse to learn something new, have a play.

Download the source archive and look at the "To Do" list. If anything takes your interest have a bash at it. No commitments, no deadlines, just time to relax, have fun and, as a bonus, learn new stuff (handy when changing jobs). Just FYI I'm currently coding the battle visualisation dialog (excuse: learn about matrix translate and transform functions).

By the way, Nova discussions seem (due to historical reasons) to have fragmented over a few threads. The one I'm focusing on at the moment is "Don't let the Stars! fade away and I've posted a copy of this reply there as well.

So, after much rambling, to get back to your original question, the answer is "what ever you will have fun doing".

Ken


[Updated on: Tue, 01 May 2007 19:16]




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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 02 May 2007 17:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ekolis is currently offline ekolis

 
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Well, I'm a wannabe Linux geek (the only thing keeping me hooked on Windows at the moment is Space Empires V) so I was thinking just for something easy to do starting out, I could try building and running Nova under the Mono framework (an open-source, cross-platform implementation of .NET) - if we can get Nova running under Mono, and it's really as good as Stars! was (it'll probably be better!) I can see myself sacrificing SE5... well, as soon as all my multiplayer games I'm in come to a close!

Another idea I had was (forgive me for coming from a Space Empires mindset) that it really would be more useful to have all the game data (component/hull/race-trait definitions, formulas, etc.) stored in plain-text files (perhaps XML?) rather than a binary format - this would make editing much more open; you wouldn't need a singular, inflexible GUI-based editor; instead you would have the plain text files which could be edited by hand or anyone could write their own editor.

Oh, one more Space Empires related thing... Ever given thought to defining components in terms of "abilities"? What I mean by abilities is attributes that you apply to them in the game data files, as opposed to "this component is armor and that's all it does" - you could have a component which is both armor and shield, or engine and weapon, or any combination. (Armor and shield - hmm, Croby Sharmor? Wink) So instead of defining a Component class and deriving a bunch of subclasses such as Armor, Weapon, Shield, etc., you would have the Component class, an Ability class, and then ArmorAbility, WeaponAbility, ShieldAbility, etc., where a Component would have a collection of Abilities which define its behavior.

Combining this with the XML idea, and perhaps for a bit more clarification, here's a sample component:

<component>
 <name>Reactive Armor</name>
 <description>Electrically charged armor which absorbs energy and emits it back into space at nearby enemies.</description>
 <picture>ReactiveArmor.png</picture>
 <tech-requirement field="Construction" level="5"/>
 <tech-requirement field="Electronics" level="3"/>
 <cost resource="Ironium" amount="10"/>
 <cost resource="Boranium" amount="5"/>
 <cost resource="Germanium" amount="5"/>
 <cost resource="Resources" amount="15"/>
 <hardpoint>Armor</hardpoint>
 <armor-ability hp="50"/>
 <weapon-ability damage="5" range="1" gatling="true"/>
</component>


edit: oh, sorry, I guess I gave you more ideas than things I could program Razz I suppose I could work on racial traits, though - those sound fun Wink


[Updated on: Wed, 02 May 2007 17:36]




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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 02 May 2007 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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ekolis wrote on Wed, 02 May 2007 22:34

if we can get Nova running under Mono


Strange as it may seem, I'm a Linux fan as well (I've spent the last 10 years working with UNIX in one form or another). However, as I've said, Nova is a personal excuse to learn "new stuff", this is why it's a Windows project. I did think about making it cross-platform but that's on my "one-day" list Smile

If you can get it running under Mono (I've taken a quick peek) that would be great. However, it's harder than it looks.

Quote:

Another idea I had was ... that it really would be more useful to have all the game data (component/hull/race-trait definitions, formulas, etc.) stored in plain-text files (perhaps XML?)


Yes, I've thought about that and, if you look at the .Net documentation, it sounds trivial: just replace the binary serialisation object with the XML one. However (there is always a "however") the .Net XML serialisation function is badly implemented (at least in .Net 1.0 and 2.0 ... I haven't looked at version 3.0 yet). Basically, it doesn't seem to work if you try to serialise private objects. It may be that I don't know enough about .Net yet but I suspect such a feature will require a lot of custom code to be written.

Quote:

Ever given thought to defining components in terms of "abilities"? ... - you could have a component which is both armor and shield, or engine and weapon, or any combination. (Armor and shield - hmm, Croby Sharmor? Wink)


Already done in the latest release. There are shields that add to armour (British spelling) and armour that adds to shields.

No problem. The base code supports it. All I had to do was add an extra box into the appropriate Component Editor dialog.

Quote:

I suppose I could work on racial traits, though - those sound fun Wink


As I've said, Nova is an excuse to have fun. If you want to play ... go for it.

On a different matter, my developement of Nova has stopped. I usually work on it on the train as I go to and from work. However (as I said, there is always a "however") my laptop has died (RIP one Dell Latitude). Until I can sort out a replacement (should only be a couple of weeks) Nova is "on hold".

Ken




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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Fri, 18 May 2007 16:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
hereticbloodline is currently offline hereticbloodline

 
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Hi,

Just wanted to pop in and say that i'm very much looking forward to the next iteration of Stars!, be it commercial or otherwise; and as much as game technology continues to advance away from supporting these genres of gaming, i don't believe that i will ever lose hope for a new generation of supreme space strategy; one that can only truly be found by expanding upon the previous work of Stars! itself.

Personally, however, i'd like to see a gameworld more akin to that of the harsh Warhammer 40k collective works, as opposed to the more frequently visited Star Trek or Babylon 5-like vista's. For that reason alone, i'd probably need to join the growing queue of enthusiast developers with their own distinct vision of the future of the 4x genre.

Ken, I enjoyed browsing through your Nova source code; it was quite inspirational. I reached roughly the same point myself many years ago under Visual Basic 6 for a study project, but lost interest once the core components were in place. I can only assume that cloning another game isn't quite so satisfying as developing your own from a concrete design brief. But that said, I'd like to see work on Nova continue, should you find the inspiration to do so.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 20 May 2007 11:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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hereticbloodline wrote on Fri, 18 May 2007 13:50



Personally, however, i'd like to see a gameworld more akin to that of the harsh Warhammer 40k collective works, as opposed to the more frequently visited Star Trek or Babylon 5-like vista's. For that reason alone, i'd probably need to join the growing queue of enthusiast developers with their own distinct vision of the future of the 4x genre.



Stars! makes you create your own gameworlds through interaction with other players. There's no "setting" or "world" other than what the players create through skilful roleplaying.

A good example of involving and detailed storypathing in a 4x game would be Sword of the Stars. It's definitely not a waltz through the lilies like Star Trek. Smile

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Sun, 20 May 2007 23:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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hereticbloodline wrote on Fri, 18 May 2007 22:50

Personally, however, i'd like to see a gameworld more akin to that of the harsh Warhammer 40k collective works, as opposed to the more frequently visited Star Trek or Babylon 5-like vista's. For that reason alone, i'd probably need to join the growing queue of enthusiast developers with their own distinct vision of the future of the 4x genre.


Hi,

Could you share with us what your vision of that future is? Rolling Eyes



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 21 May 2007 14:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
hereticbloodline is currently offline hereticbloodline

 
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Well, Coyote essentially nailed it. Stars! is fine as it is; its very purity is its attraction. Those of us trying to expand on the concept can merely add in components that take away from the sense of freedom that Stars! provides and thus appeal to a more specific audience. Perhaps one who prefers to be part of a story rather than conjuring them.

As for myself, I guess my direction would be more towards characterisation. The idea of the player as a living entity, with physical location in-game (take out the head, take down the empire?) and a chain of command that has you directly issuing orders to personnel as opposed to objects. I'd like to see planets founding regiments with skillsets suited to their homeworld type/terrain, and planet specialisations that lets you devote worlds to industry or farming, etc, and develop certain types of tech there. To that end, i'd be rid of the tech tree (mass roll out of new technology across the entire empire in the same turn that it's developed is kinda' off, no?) and give players PvE 'quest-like' tasks that have you obtaining new tech by completing objectives, then choose a world to prototype it on. But ultimately, i'd like to feel like i had a professional military, rather than thinking what i want to do with my various fleets, keeping that all in my head, then generally just consigned to zerging, or however you dress it up. Even if it's a bit like fluff to have ships assigned to squadrons, squadrons assigned to battlegroups, and so on. Base of operations, resupply, refueling, patrolling. Plan out crusades against entire sectors, issuing beforehand what ships will hold what line, where ground troops will be deployed, protecting your supply routes as you advance. A List of honours for regimental worlds whose forces have the most victories under their flag. I could go on forever, i really could.

And voila, it's not really Stars! any more. I like to think i know about design, and Stars! wrapped up the genre pretty damn well. It all feels a bit futile at times. Ideas are all very well, but so many 4x games fail precisely because they're so brimming with ideas that sound great on paper but don't work well in practice. More is less? Almost makes me wonder if Supernova would've been as popular as Stars! had it ever shipped.


[Updated on: Mon, 21 May 2007 14:56]

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 21 May 2007 15:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Innocence is currently offline Innocence

 
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"More" isn't necessarily "better". If I were to improve old Stars! I'd rater try eliminating or altering the features that are bogging many Stars! games down into micro management. I believe this was indeed the intention with Supernova.

For example, finding an alternative to freighers would be a good start. Wouldn't want to set up hundrets of resource-balancing routes anymore. Supernova had a good alternative although I currently don't recall what it was Very Happy

Another thing I'd seriously consider would be limiting the number of fleets per player. Get it way down to a manageable number, like 40. Would stop a bunch of annoying tactics, especially players splitting hundrets of small ships into separate fleets for whaever reasons (chaff, scanning, mineclearing etc.). Justify it with "empire overhead" - or simple justify it with "because it's good for gameplay" Smile

Oh, and keep the max. designs as is. Limited designs is part of the strategy and it's really a nice feature.

The key is to change or remove the stuff that's obstructing gameplay and keeping the stuff that works.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 22 May 2007 04:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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hereticbloodline wrote on Mon, 21 May 2007 20:54

Well, Coyote essentially nailed it. Stars! is fine as it is; its very purity is its attraction. Those of us trying to expand on the concept can merely add in components that take away from the sense of freedom that Stars! provides and thus appeal to a more specific audience. Perhaps one who prefers to be part of a story rather than conjuring them.


Hm. I'd say there's also a lot of room for just improving (IOW: automating) the things Stars! already does. With AI-style automation always tweakable by the player/emperor of course. Rolling Eyes

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<snip lotsa interesting ideas>
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I could go on forever, i really could.


Well, perhaps most of those things would be nice for Scenarios or Mods, while "standard" games could do without them.

Like having two+ games in one: good ole' Stars (with perhaps minor improvements) and this other not-quite-Stars beast. Twisted Evil

Sounds like a worthy "secondary" goal for any "clone" design. Balancing gameplay with all those new things wouldn't be easy, tho. Confused

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And voila, it's not really Stars! any more. I like to think i know about design, and Stars! wrapped up the genre pretty damn well. It all feels a bit futile at times. Ideas are all very well, but so many 4x games fail precisely because they're so brimming with ideas that sound great on paper but don't work well in practice. More is less? Almost makes me wonder if Supernova would've been as popular as Stars! had it ever shipped.



I've wondered about that too. Aside from stunning visuals, I'd say most successful strat games nowadays sport a decent "tweakability" by players themselves, allowing the creation of many Scenarios/Mods/Campaigns where the player community as a whole "votes" for the best and greatest.

I'd very much love to see that happening to the new Stars. Cool



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 22 May 2007 04:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Innocence wrote on Mon, 21 May 2007 21:46

"More" isn't necessarily "better". If I were to improve old Stars! I'd rater try eliminating or altering the features that are bogging many Stars! games down into micro management. I believe this was indeed the intention with Supernova.


I'd rather eliminate the chore of micro management itself rather than the features that beckon it. Rolling Eyes

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For example, finding an alternative to freighers would be a good start. Wouldn't want to set up hundrets of resource-balancing routes anymore. Supernova had a good alternative although I currently don't recall what it was Very Happy


And this is the perfect example. Take away Commerce raiding and what will SS and SD excel at? Twisted Evil I'd rather just automate the freightering to the point the player needs only a few personal adjustments over the whole operation.

Plus, the idea of a pan-galactic "Bank" where every colony can draw from the Imperial pockets, besides being highly artificial in itself, would make Economy the undisputed king of every game. Yuck

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Another thing I'd seriously consider would be limiting the number of fleets per player. Get it way down to a manageable number, like 40. Would stop a bunch of annoying tactics, especially players splitting hundrets of small ships into separate fleets for whaever reasons (chaff, scanning, mineclearing etc.). Justify it with "empire overhead" - or simple justify it with "because it's good for gameplay" Smile


Again, I'd rather automate fleet management, shipping lanes, shipyards themselves, Patrol chores, etc, etc. Justify it with "your captains suggestions" Cool

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Oh, and keep the max. designs as is. Limited designs is part of the strategy and it's really a nice feature.

The key is to change or remove the stuff that's obstructing gameplay and keeping the stuff that works.


Wholeheartedly agree with the intention, if not with all the details. Very Happy



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 22 May 2007 08:49 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Innocence is currently offline Innocence

 
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m.a@stars wrote on Tue, 22 May 2007 10:57

I'd rather eliminate the chore of micro management itself rather than the features that beckon it. Rolling Eyes
LOL, yea but if micro management pays off players WILL micro manage.

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Take away Commerce raiding and what will SS and SD excel at?
Removing freighters as seperate ships doesn't necessarily mean removing raiding and disruption. You could still do blockades and if desired implement an abstract system where minerals sent to system are captured if the system is under blockade. This might even give the Mass Drivers a comeback - they're not much used as it is. Perhaps then PP will finally be a PRT worth playing Smile

As for SS and SD they're very strong PRT's regardless of raiding freighers or not Smile
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I'd rather just automate the freightering to the point the player needs only a few personal adjustments over the whole operation.
I'm all for automating certain features, but if you leave an opening for the player to make adjustments you need the automation to be 100% effective or the player will end up micro managing anyway.
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Plus, the idea of a pan-galactic "Bank" where every colony can draw from the Imperial pockets, besides being highly artificial in itself, would make Economy the undisputed king of every game. Yuck
I recall reading about this. However I don't see the need of such a bank - the minerals should still be present on each system - I'm only out for the freighters Smile

Anyway, ask ten players and you'll get ten different suggestions on how to change/improve/remove a feature. My point is merely that adding a crapload of features to Stars! and removing all limits (like ship designs) wont necessarily make it a better game.

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