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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 05 February 2007 11:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sirgwain is currently offline sirgwain

 
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m.a@stars wrote on Sun, 04 February 2007 13:58


Funny you should mention that, as I've been building something very much like this for the past few months, including "normal" as well as "globular" and "spiral" galaxies. Rolling Eyes

I'm outputting just the XY file and one "main" Planet Report (both plaintext for easy interfacing) and am working on adding the initial ships and a "clumping" generator. Whip




Are you going to publish that code anywhere? My current code for generating universes is as boring as it could possibly be. having different options for universe styles would be pretty neat.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 05 February 2007 12:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sirgwain is currently offline sirgwain

 
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Altruist wrote on Sun, 04 February 2007 12:22



Very good question!
Especially when planning to make a clone/freestar version.



That's why I was curious. I'm wondering why everyone else still plays this game. I haven't really been able to get into the more advanced 4X games I've tried like I could get into Stars! I just figured I was a luddite.

Quote:


I think I've discovered Stars in 1998/99. The mix of a playable demo-version, tutorial, playing single-player vs AIs, hotseat vs friends, pbem via the net I thought and still think of as a great variety and approach to gaming. Additionally this very small game comes with the full ability to host games. That Stars can be played with the slowest, smallest, oldest computers I liked a lot, too.


The PBEM approach is something I've been struggling with. My current Stars! clone implementation is tied pretty heavily to a full time internet connection. I don't think this is a lot to ask given the pervasiveness of computers these days, but I've tried hard to resist the temptation of forcing clients to "make the moves on the server". I'm trying to keep it so you can play a turn for 10 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at lunch, 30 minutes before bed and finally submit your turn to the server. There are some things that would be easier to do if the player were constantly talking to the server to organize their moves, but I think it would detract from the mindset of Stars!, i.e. nothing happens until you click submit.

On that note, I've been toying with the idea of 'shelfing' your turns. This would allow you to play your turn on one computer, shelf your turn to the server (not submit, just store it). Later in the day if you were on another computer with CraigStars!, you could connect to the server, receive your shelfed turn and continue playing, then reshelf it or submit it. For those nefarious individuals who sneak a game in at work every once in a while, this would be great (not that I am one of those people). Smile

Quote:


b) Three major parts of the game
* race design
* development
* tactical warfare
Each of this parts can be split into several sub-areas and allow astonishing different approaches.


Nicely summarized.

Quote:


c) no unique 'best' way to play or to win
This is another fundamental concept of Stars on which pretty much everything of the game is based and what makes it so replayable. There is no best race design. Apart from the fact that every race design needs to be customized for the specidic game settings, even then there is at least 1 counter to every great race design and that counter can be countered again.
The same applies to ship designs.


This will be the hardest part to maintain I think. I'm hoping enough of the mechanics of the game have been exposed to make it easy to duplicate. The Freestars developers are amazing at staying consistent, so their code is a treasure trove of algorithms.

Quote:


e) variety contra limitations
16 ship designs, 10 base designs. This allows quite some variety. at the same time it's a limitation everybody has to take into account. And I believe this a great approach and compromise to variety and limitations. One of the side-benefits is that without this limitations micro-management could become unbearable. Another side-effect is that it adds another tact & strat feature on how to use those precious slots. That's what I call an innovative usage of memory-limitations.


This is an interesting point. My Stars! clone as well as Ken's have no inherent limitations on ship designs or base designs or fleet numbers or pretty much anything. The only limit is your system memory. (Which since they are written in C# is probably a fair limit, heh heh). I keep thinking I need to add in a configurable limit to this stuff, but it goes against my nature as a developer. I'll chock this up on the ol' mental todo list.

Quote:


Conclusion:
It's year 2007 now. But I don't know of another game which has implemented the above features as well as Stars. There surely are some problems, especially with micro-management in big games but the biggest problem is probably that the game lost its Jeffs.

And the idea to create an open-source Stars is important. I would like the first aim to be an identical version to the original Stars. From on there, options and changes could be implemented in a way that we always have one conservative main Stars-version being the consensus of the player community with several sub- and side-versions for specialized wishes and game-scenarios.



Agreed. Making the game 'modable' isn't quite as easy as I would like, and it adds a lot of complexity around areas where you could just hard code things. Still, I've been trying to make everything as configurable as possible, without getting into scripting and such. For example, you can configure the tech data values and numbers, but the effects certain techs make are still in code (a torpedo is a torpedo, a jammer jams torpedos, etc).

If the source is published though, anyone can go in and modify it after it's been released.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 05 February 2007 15:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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sirgwain wrote on Mon, 05 February 2007 17:42

Are you going to publish that code anywhere? My current code for generating universes is as boring as it could possibly be.


Boring my code is not, most assuredly. Laughing Nor quite readable yet. Rolling Eyes The parts that aren't pure brute-force are experimental enough that I sometimes wonder why I managed to get them working so easily. Twisted Evil

But yeah, my aim is to publish it, preferably soon, but I need to scrounge a few more hours (scattered among who knows how many days) to spit & polish. Whip In some places even the comments need comments. Confused



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, 05 February 2007 17:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Iconian is currently offline Iconian

 
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So I guess a moderator decided to move this to the Freestars forum . . . I was hoping that by having information on it in two places would help bring more people in that might want to work on the project. I think it would actually be better if we had this in The Bar . . .

ken-reed: I ended up downloading Visual Web Developer Express Edition--at least, that's what it calls it in-program. It originally said it's Visual Studio Express, so I'm really hoping this means I downloaded the right thing. It was 370 mb to download, didn't take as long as I thought, but the installation took over two hours Rolling Eyes

Anyway, I had already downloaded the Nova files last week, so I opened up your Nova .Net.sln file. Immediately it presented me with about 10 errors . . . I just clicked through them, and now it looks like it's loaded . . . kind of. Over on the right it says ComponentEditor [unavailable], ControlLibrary [unavailable], Nova Common [unavailable], etc, and when I open each of them it shows "The project file cannot be loaded."

Basically, I'm pretty confused.

But, some good news:
I've created some text for diplomacy, all put into Word files. It should make diplomatic dealings much easier. Just show me where/how to input the text . . .

And I've also had a lot more thoughts about how to improve micromanagement. Again, I'd need to figure out how to do that too . . .


[Updated on: Mon, 05 February 2007 17:21]




Yeah, bread too.

Don't Let the Stars! Fade Away

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 05 February 2007 18:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sirgwain is currently offline sirgwain

 
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Iconian wrote on Mon, 05 February 2007 17:19


ken-reed: I ended up downloading Visual Web Developer Express Edition--at least, that's what it calls it in-program. It originally said it's Visual Studio Express, so I'm really hoping this means I downloaded the right thing. It was 370 mb to download, didn't take as long as I thought, but the installation took over two hours Rolling Eyes

Anyway, I had already downloaded the Nova files last week, so I opened up your Nova .Net.sln file. Immediately it presented me with about 10 errors . . . I just clicked through them, and now it looks like it's loaded . . . kind of. Over on the right it says ComponentEditor [unavailable], ControlLibrary [unavailable], Nova Common [unavailable], etc, and when I open each of them it shows "The project file cannot be loaded."

Basically, I'm pretty confused.



I'm not Ken, but I can answer this for you. You need to get Visual C# 2005 Express, not the web developer edition. You can download and install it from here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualcsharp/downl oad/

The reason it seemed to work for you is because it was loading the solution just fine, but it didn't know how to load the project files (ComponentEditor, ControlLibrary, etc), so they were unavailable.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Mon, 05 February 2007 19:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Iconian is currently offline Iconian

 
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Oh.

So I have to go download and install a bunch of new stuff.

Oh well, hopefully it doesn't take too long.

So, should I just get rid of the web developer edition, or is there a good reason to keep it?


[Updated on: Mon, 05 February 2007 19:24]




Yeah, bread too.

Don't Let the Stars! Fade Away

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 06 February 2007 04:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Iconian wrote on Tue, 06 February 2007 01:19

So, should I just get rid of the web developer edition, or is there a good reason to keep it?


It seems to share a whole lot of things with the rest of the suite, so at least the install times get significantly shortened, and perhaps the downloads too. Wink



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, 06 February 2007 04:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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Limits on number of ship designs and fleets/etc could be tied to universe size and number of planets, or even better, defined as part of universe creation (more for a dynamic game, fewer as an extra challenge). I like the idea of being able to set the ship design limit between 8 and 32.

[Updated on: Tue, 06 February 2007 04:20]

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 06 February 2007 06:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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I picked the MS tools because, well, basically they are free (a stupid comment but bear with me) Smile I did not want anyone to have to spend money to work on Nova. This is "fun" ... not work.

Yes, you can go the the MS website and "download". I just found it was easier to pop around to my local shop and buy a magazine that had it on the CD that was stuck on the front cover. Smile

Oh well. Having said that, if you want to play with Nova you will need Visual Studio C# Express as a minimum (it also works fine with the professional Visual Studio). If you want to read the documentation you will also need Visual Studio Express Web as well (I recommend it ... if you cannot read the blurb you will be stuck). They are all free ... you don't have to pay a penny (or should that be a cent?)

Also, I'm here. If you have problems just send me an e-mail (I'm "on the move" at the moment so it might be a day or two before I can reply).

Ken

I'm here to help. Just ask Smile




Don't let the Stars! fade away.

http://stars-nova.sourceforge.net

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icon9.gif  Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 06 February 2007 14:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Nova is still in the queue at SourceForge waiting to be "processed". Sad

SourceForge says it's been there for 3 days but it seems much longer than that to me Sad

Oh well, work is getting a bit less stressful Smile so I'll start working on Nova again until SourceForge makes the project available. See the "to do" list on my homepage if you are interested on what I'm doing next:

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




Don't let the Stars! fade away.

http://stars-nova.sourceforge.net

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 06 February 2007 14:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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ken-reed wrote on Tue, 06 February 2007 20:08

See the "to do" list on my homepage if you are interested on what I'm doing next:

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




Hm. A rather long and interesting list. Whip

But you'll need to scratch the idea about zero-fuel fleets being denied Waypoints. Shocked Any engine can travel at Warp1 using no fuel and even refueling itself, plus Ramscoops can travel fairly fast using no fuel and refueling themselves too. 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 Tue, 06 February 2007 21:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Quote:


But you'll need to scratch the idea about zero-fuel fleets being denied Waypoints.


I'm not convinced Smile It's time for Nova to diverge from Stars! If you have no fuel then you are not going anywhere. You can have this argument with your car - I don't need to be involved. If you can figure out how to keep your car going at even 1 mph when it's tank is empty let me know Smile



Don't let the Stars! fade away.

http://stars-nova.sourceforge.net

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 06 February 2007 21:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kotk

 
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Stars! engines did evolve into what they are now, so you may unknowingly take a step back there. Free of charge, simple to scoop and weightless fuel was added later. Wink That was made in order to improve its playability.

In early versions of Stars! the fuel was like 4th mineral. Nod

Anyway ... who thinks like "cool **NEW** groundbreaking FEATURE: fleets without fuel get stuck"? Laughing

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icon7.gif  Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 06 February 2007 22:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ken-reed is currently offline ken-reed

 
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Well, I am on the train to work today so, back to Nova. Smile

I would like SourceForge to be faster ... I want to move on.

So much to learn ... so little time.

Ken



Don't let the Stars! fade away.

http://stars-nova.sourceforge.net

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Tue, 06 February 2007 23:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sirgwain is currently offline sirgwain

 
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ken-reed wrote on Tue, 06 February 2007 21:18

If you can figure out how to keep your car going at even 1 mph when it's tank is empty let me know Smile


I hear that for some cars, especially volkswagon bugs, you can always get out and push. Maybe that would work for Stars! Smile

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 07 February 2007 00:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Iconian is currently offline Iconian

 
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Quote:

I'm not convinced It's time for Nova to diverge from Stars! If you have no fuel then you are not going anywhere. You can have this argument with your car - I don't need to be involved. If you can figure out how to keep your car going at even 1 mph when it's tank is empty let me know


You certainly have a good point. You know what, I think I agree: if a starship runs out of fuel, it shouldn't be able to move. This would definitely give players a better reason to watch their fuel, which could make it more interesting--but also lead to more MM, if there's not some way around it. A ramscoop ship could simply let its fuel drop to a few mg, and then it could coast at its free speed for a while to rebuild its supply, and then go faster again. It makes sense.

Now, that said, I think that there should be some way to get around it if you do run out of fuel. You can always send out a rescue ship, but what I'd suggest is the creation of a component like a Space Dust Converter: it simply converts space dust into fuel, like the ramscoop engines. You can put it onto any ship you like, and it will convert a small amount of space dust around it into fuel. You could make it so it only operates while the ship is stopped though. You could have different levels of propulsion give you converters of different efficiencies, too. These wouldn't be incredibly expensive, but enough so that those players who choose NOT to use such converters would save a bit of resources/minerals, though if their ships do run out of fuel they might have a big problem on their hands.

Along this line, I'd really like to see more advanced design features. It'd be cool if players could design not only the ship but also the hull the components go on--and really cool to go a step further and let players design the components themselves, based on subcomponents (wouldn't want to go much farther than that though). Hulls could also be much larger on the whole, with a small ship taking say 20 different components . . . it could work, you'd just need to program it all correctly . . .


[Updated on: Wed, 07 February 2007 00:56]




Yeah, bread too.

Don't Let the Stars! Fade Away

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 07 February 2007 02:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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Iconian wrote on Tue, 06 February 2007 21:54

Quote:

I'm not convinced It's time for Nova to diverge from Stars! If you have no fuel then you are not going anywhere. You can have this argument with your car - I don't need to be involved. If you can figure out how to keep your car going at even 1 mph when it's tank is empty let me know


You certainly have a good point. You know what, I think I agree: if a starship runs out of fuel, it shouldn't be able to move. This would definitely give players a better reason to watch their fuel, which could make it more interesting--but also lead to more MM, if there's not some way around it. A ramscoop ship could simply let its fuel drop to a few mg, and then it could coast at its free speed for a while to rebuild its supply, and then go faster again. It makes sense.



Too much micromanagement.

Have you considered that maybe the ships have a reserve tank with just enough fuel in it to get the ramscoop moving?

Quote:


Now, that said, I think that there should be some way to get around it if you do run out of fuel. You can always send out a rescue ship, but what I'd suggest is the creation of a component like a Space Dust Converter: it simply converts space dust into fuel, like the ramscoop engines. You can put it onto any ship you like, and it will convert a small amount of space dust around it into fuel.



You mean... like the Antimatter Generator?

Quote:


Along this line, I'd really like to see more advanced design features. It'd be cool if players could design not only the ship but also the hull the components go on--and really cool to go a step further and let players design the components themselves, based on subcomponents (wouldn't want to go much farther than that though). Hulls could also be much larger on the whole, with a small ship taking say 20 different components . . . it could work, you'd just need to program it all correctly . . .


I'm not sure that's a great idea, really, to have player-defineable tech items. For one thing, it nullifies the specialization of slots and hulls. For another it makes ship design needlessly complicated without really adding much in the way of functionality. And thirdly, it could make counterdesign problematic if ships can be equally good at everything.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 07 February 2007 05:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Iconian wrote on Wed, 07 February 2007 06:54

if a starship runs out of fuel, it shouldn't be able to move.


Newton's 1st Law of Motion disagrees with you. IOW: spaceships have Inertia. Rolling Eyes

But that's not the main point: A Warp Engine w/out fuel cannot fly Faster Than Light, but can still fly at the Speed of Light, IOW, 1ly per year. Cool

Thirdly, if you spent a whole year traveling at Warp1, you have plenty of time to collect a few micrograms of fuel, even if your engine is not a Ramscoop. Whip

Last but not least, if your race cannot cope with that kind of situation, it must by definition be unable to be called a "Spacefaring Species" and thus cannot be eligible to actually play Stars. Twisted Evil



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 Wed, 07 February 2007 05:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Iconian wrote on Wed, 07 February 2007 06:54

It'd be cool if players could design not only the ship but also the hull the components go on--and really cool to go a step further and let players design the components themselves, based on subcomponents (wouldn't want to go much farther than that though). Hulls could also be much larger on the whole, with a small ship taking say 20 different components . . . it could work, you'd just need to program it all correctly . . .


It would indeed be nice, provided it could be done in some simple & relatively straightforward way, with econ/tech restrictions, sanity checks (some way to tell if the final design makes sense) and recipes for the more "standard" items / hulls... Sherlock Whip



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 Wed, 07 February 2007 05:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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ken-reed wrote on Wed, 07 February 2007 03:18

It's time for Nova to diverge from Stars!


Your call, of course, but I'm not interested in "improvements" until we have the reasonably close clone 1st. Shocked


Quote:

If you have no fuel then you are not going anywhere. You can have this argument with your car - I don't need to be involved. If you can figure out how to keep your car going at even 1 mph when it's tank is empty let me know Smile


1) Downslope. Or, in Sci-Fi terms: Gravity assist. Laughing

2) Over a flat terrain, with a XXV century engine, you bet "friction" is not going to be a concern. So: a handkerchief + some wind do the trick. Or, in Sci-Fi terms: Solar Sail. Cool

3) My other car is a Millennium Falcon too. Pirate It eats Hydrogen, the single most abundant element in the Universe. Not damn likely I'm gonna get stuck somewhere w/out at least some fuel within reach.

4) This is Stars! not Detroit. Teleport


[Updated on: Wed, 07 February 2007 06:03]




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 Wed, 07 February 2007 06:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Iconian wrote on Wed, 07 February 2007 06:54

what I'd suggest is the creation of a component like a Space Dust Converter: it simply converts space dust into fuel, like the ramscoop engines. You can put it onto any ship you like, and it will convert a small amount of space dust around it into fuel.


Sounds interesting. Decoupling the fuel-gathering functions of normal Engines, kind of like a new twist on the Cheap Engines LRT. I wonder how would such a thing need to be balanced, though. Sherlock Whip

Quote:

You could make it so it only operates while the ship is stopped though.


That would clash with *all* the other fuel-generators in the Stars! universe, which always operate with the ship in motion (Ramscoops, W1 fuel-less travel) or regardless of motion (Fuel Xports, AM Generators) Confused


Quote:

You could have different levels of propulsion give you converters of different efficiencies, too.


Much like the techtree for Ramscoops, but for normal Engines, too? Cool


Quote:

These wouldn't be incredibly expensive, but enough so that those players who choose NOT to use such converters would save a bit of resources/minerals, though if their ships do run out of fuel they might have a big problem on their hands.


Indeed, Cheap Engines MK2. Twisted Evil



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 Wed, 07 February 2007 09:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Neo the White is currently offline Neo the White

 
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Quote:

I'm not convinced Smile It's time for Nova to diverge from Stars! If you have no fuel then you are not going anywhere. You can have this argument with your car - I don't need to be involved. If you can figure out how to keep your car going at even 1 mph when it's tank is empty let me know Smile



Laughing sorry but it's funny.
Stars! Engines collect space dust when they travel and refuel themselves at free speed.

but I guess not all people are sci-fi savy to not looka at it as fantasy thing. Laughing

basically who would have imagined us to have flip phones back in times of horse transportations.

I guess an anti-matter engines like seen in Wingcommander capital ships and Dragoon fighter would not be soemthing impossible to realize. There is just a space "dust" collectors on front side of the ship and and engines behind.

Also the possible variations of propulsion systems are umm well.... I ams sure one can use gravity fields to drive around their ship.
Also would not be improbable to have a ship with no recognisable engines at all but would use the space rays to travel at speeds in excess of light speed without needing any fuel.


[Updated on: Wed, 07 February 2007 09:26]

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 07 February 2007 09:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Neo the White is currently offline Neo the White

 
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I'd like to see some space continuum improvements to Stars!

Where are black holes, novas, white dwarves, nebulas?

and planetary systems, with moons and more than one colonisable planets around the sun.

I know the pros and cons just an idea.

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Re: Don't Let the Stars Fade Away Wed, 07 February 2007 10:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Neo the White wrote on Wed, 07 February 2007 15:31

I'd like to see some space continuum improvements to Stars!

Where are black holes, novas, white dwarves, nebulas?


You mean eye-candy of rather objects with definite effects, much like wormholes?

Quote:

and planetary systems, with moons and more than one colonisable planets around the sun.


Your Colonial Governors don't (currently) have the Administrative Capacity to keep independent records of the many different planetary bodies orbiting each star of your sprawling Imperium. Twisted Evil



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 Wed, 07 February 2007 10:55 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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In other words, that's below the level of abstraction. Your individual systems could be one planet or 20, it doesn't have any affect to the game. Smile

As for putting naturally/randomly occuring objects in, like black holes and asteroid fields and nebulae and non-planet stars.... maybe.


[Updated on: Wed, 07 February 2007 10:57]

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