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Thoughts on a next gen Stars Tue, 01 February 2011 20:14 Go to next message
Steve is currently offline Steve

 
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I've been think for a while of a strategic space game.

My first thought is that the universe is a 3 (at least) dimension entity. The 2 dimensions in the Stars game does not quite cut it IMHO. Of course the UI for a 3D universe is a challenge.

Doing some in depth research (OK, I looked at Wikipedia) there are 69 stars within 1 parsec (16.3 LY) OF Sol. Seems like the perfect environment of your tri-immune HE!

I expect the number of stars with habitable planets are probably well under a Stars OWW race!

In a Stars game, the human race will have a growth rate under the 19% rate typical in the game. In fact, a growth rate of 5%-6% is probably more realistic.

Earth population is shy of 7 billion right now. The idea of sending more at a couple million people per year to colonize other worlds seems like a stretch. Even on a 100% workd, the time to get from a couple million to a couple billion in population takes a LONG time!

So starting from a single home world and colonizing enough of the universe to run into a hostile race and fight is beyond the patience of most players IMHO.

So perhaps having starting empires makes some sense, or perhaps having a multi-year generation plan.

I have some questions about being able to detect and intercept a hostile force some light years away. Perhaps the process of FTL travel will be detectable.

I am thinking of Python for development. Probably keep the universe in an SQL database on the host system.

Thoughts or ideas?



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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Tue, 01 February 2011 20:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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Sword of the Stars pulls off a 3d map pretty well.

It sounds like your idea would make for a rather slow game, I must say. Stars! has a decent level of abstraction and (after the first 20-30 turns or so) pacing.


[Updated on: Tue, 01 February 2011 20:59]

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 06:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Some food for thought! Very Happy

Steve wrote on Wed, 02 February 2011 02:14

I've been think for a while of a strategic space game.

Me too. I want HomeWorld tactical gameplay with Stars! true strategy. Twisted Evil

But all that should wait until we have a reasonably working clone of current Stars!


Quote:

In a Stars game, the human race will have a growth rate under the 19% rate typical in the game. In fact, a growth rate of 5%-6% is probably more realistic.

Realistic clashes with fast-paced, IMO. After all, the most realistic possible space adventure is RL, with about 1 year of time spent per "game year". Time needed for a realistic conquest of the Milky Way galaxy would likely be way more than most players can devote. Shocked

Makes one think seriously about becoming immortal, doesn't it?


Quote:

So perhaps having starting empires makes some sense, or perhaps having a multi-year generation plan.

That would be very useful. Some foundations already exist. Deal


Quote:

I have some questions about being able to detect and intercept a hostile force some light years away. Perhaps the process of FTL travel will be detectable.

Odds are that's the most realistic thing, actually, as we are already detecting all kinds of radiation much farther away than that.

Detecting them before they come knocking is another matter, of course... Rolling Eyes


Quote:

I am thinking of Python for development. Probably keep the universe in an SQL database on the host system.

LUA and Java are popular too. The database is probably the only way to go, be it SQL (relational) or not. Sherlock



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 08:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Steve is currently offline Steve

 
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Coyote wrote on Tue, 01 February 2011 19:58



It sounds like your idea would make for a rather slow game, I must say. Stars! has a decent level of abstraction and (after the first 20-30 turns or so) pacing.


If we scale the resources to 1 per 1,000,000 of colonists and a Santa Maria carries 2,500,000 colonists then a starting HW with 7 billion colonists will have 7,000 resources from colonists alone. Add factories for a developed HW and a lot of production is available.





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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 08:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Steve is currently offline Steve

 
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Everything should be customizable from size, shape, density of the universe.

Density of habitable planets orbiting stars, Ship designs and components, racial traits allowed and race design resources, ...



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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 14:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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m.a@stars[/email] wrote on Wed, 02 February 2011 03:38]I want HomeWorld tactical gameplay with Stars! true strategy. Twisted Evil


Again, SotS pulls this off pretty well imo, though it could be improved (a better UI, more refined auto-behavior) - wait and see what the devs pull out for SotS II though, as supposedly it'll be more advanced. From wherever that puts things in design terms would be a good starting point.


I'm not advertising, I swear! I just think it's a game that's done a lot of things very well, and like Stars!, remains fun to play. Unlike Stars! though, it's constantly being upgraded and refined.


[Updated on: Wed, 02 February 2011 14:38]

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 15:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mlaub is currently offline mlaub

 
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Coyote wrote on Wed, 02 February 2011 13:36

Again, SotS pulls this off pretty well imo, though it could be improved (a better UI, more refined auto-behavior) - wait and see what the devs pull out for SotS II though, as supposedly it'll be more advanced.


While it is a nice game, and I enjoyed playing it quite a bit, I would not term it better than stars! I picked sots last year, and played for many hours, pushing all other games aside. Then, I just stopped playing. A few things irked me, that go beyond a nice UI and 3D (which is more pain than it is worth IMO).

Anyway, in summary, I don't play sots anymore, but I am still playing stars after 15 years.


Quote:

Unlike Stars! though, it's constantly being upgraded and refined.


I hope they fix all the things I don't like! That would be nice.

I have no expectation for the next gen version. Usually the second gen versions just dumb down the game mechanics for the masses.

-Matt



Global Warming - A climatic change eagerly awaited by most Minnesotans.

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 15:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dogthinkers is currently offline Dogthinkers

 
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A few random thoughts on the above.

1) 1 turn per 'year' is an abstraction. 19% PGR doesn't seem so weird if you consider that one 'game year' might be equivalent to say, six 'earth years' (the highest national growth rate in the world at the moment is somewhere around 3%, over 6 years that'd be over 19%)

2) Star density. Again, an abstraction. Maybe not all stars are suitable for colonisation by ANYONE. Regardless, just select our arbitary unit of distance to give whatever density is good for gameplay. Bonus points if you reduce the distances low enough that ships don't need to move FTL (and don't forget you get to choose how long each turn is,) thus reducing any pesky issues with scanning.

(1+2) My point, is that the decisions on things like growth rate, planet density, can be made from a gameplay perspective. You can make them 'realistic' afterwards, by choosing the distance/time scales of your game appropriately.

3) 3D. EEEEEEEEEW. Our 2D displays make it too hard to visualise, if there is more than a handful of stars. Even worse, going 3D makes choke points almost vanish from the map, reducing strategic depth. The more '3D' you are, the less interesting the terrain is. If you go 3D, you're almost forced into putting 'space lanes' into your game, routes that ships have to move along (or travel much slower,) just to stamp some terrain onto the map. You don't need this kludge so badly if you stick with 2D.

SOTS did 3D with space lanes. It was ok, until you tried to play sphere galaxies with 100+ stars. Then it got ridiculously messy.

MOO3 also did 3D with space lanes, but was *much* flatter. In practice, I found this played out much like it was 2D but with some routes between stars being 'slower' than others (because there was more of an elevation change.) It didn't add much to the strategy.

SINS did 3D, but with very low planet counts (played on the scale of solar systems.) This was OK, but really it was rare for it to matter.


[Updated on: Wed, 02 February 2011 15:50]

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 19:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Dogthinkers wrote on Wed, 02 February 2011 21:43

going 3D makes choke points almost vanish from the map, reducing strategic depth. The more '3D' you are, the less interesting the terrain is. If you go 3D, you're almost forced into putting 'space lanes' into your game, routes that ships have to move along (or travel much slower,) just to stamp some terrain onto the map. You don't need this kludge so badly if you stick with 2D.

Bummer. And "lanes" are even worse, IMHO. Confused

Have you tried lots of maps? Would clustering help?

What about desirable "hot spots" instead of "choke points"? Perhaps that would add some "geography" to the bare starmap. Sherlock

At any rate, I'd rather have "nebulas" instead of "lanes". Vast gas/dust/radiation-filled expanses can serve as "barrier" to travel/gating/packeting, natural cloaking, or even "natural lanes" if ramscoops perform too poorly outside them. Twisty, slowly-evolving lanes might be interesting... Going insane



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Wed, 02 February 2011 20:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dogthinkers is currently offline Dogthinkers

 
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Nebulas would be a fun way to do it, but then you hit a big UI issue - putting patches of fog all over your 3D map and expecting the player to be able to figure out which routes the fog is effecting.

Fully 3D for space strategy games sounds really cool until you actually try to do it in a environment with lots of objects. Maybe it can be done, but so far every time I've come across it I've found myself wanting to flatten out the map to make it more fun and less work.

For tactical play with a few dozen units sure. For strategy with a few hundred stars, eek!


[Updated on: Wed, 02 February 2011 20:31]

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Thu, 03 February 2011 06:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Dogthinkers wrote on Thu, 03 February 2011 02:30

putting patches of fog all over your 3D map and expecting the player to be able to figure out which routes the fog is effecting.

That's what computers are for. At least HomeWorld seems to do a good job of displaying a few patches of fog here and there. Cool

I can imagine the "fuel usage display" adding useful remarks such as "25% additional drag due to nebulas" or "can't jump thru that huge mass of dust" or "cargo will arrive safely, but no crew or passengers will survive that kind of radiation unless your Rad band optimal value is at least 65mR" or "our engines can save up on fuel and go at least 2 warps faster thanks to nebulas" Twisted Evil


Quote:

For tactical play with a few dozen units sure. For strategy with a few hundred stars, eek!

I guess perhaps for some scenarios and as an option for the more hardcore "realistics" out there... Deal



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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icon5.gif  Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Thu, 10 February 2011 10:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chazarus is currently offline Chazarus

 
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I am glad that I am not the only one who has grand ideas of creating something "like stars!... only different"

Regarding a 3D representation of the game "space" however, would I be right in thinking that most of you feel that it would over complicate things and would possibly detract from the fun of the game?

Without wanting to give too much away right now, how do people feel about the prospect of a combination of Stars! and the tactical side of Total War?

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Sat, 12 February 2011 08:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Oohh, do give away, do!! Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Deal Cheers


So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Sun, 13 February 2011 19:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Steve is currently offline Steve

 
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I've been playing with universe creation.

I created 3d versions of Star field (sort of like our neighborhood), Globular cluster, Lens galaxy, type Sc spiral and Open cluster.

Looking at the Milky way, it is about 100,000ly in diameter and about 1000yr thick. Scaling that down by a factor of 100 yields a galaxy 1000 ly in diameter and 10 ly thick. Close enough to 2d to meet strategic objections.

I'm going to experiment with expansion in a 230 ly radius sphere with about 100,000 stars. Should be real lively Smile




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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Sun, 13 February 2011 21:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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Well, I don't think an actively controlled combat engine would be a good idea - it works for games where turns are short and played back to back, but not so well on a turn-a-day game like Stars!... Some hybridization between the two concepts would be nice; pre-planned battle orders, but smooth flowing physics and all, like SSNG was supposedly going to have.

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Mon, 14 February 2011 05:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chazarus is currently offline Chazarus

 
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Re: combat - totally agree. For something like stars! the combat will have to be a "see the outcome of battles in a battle viewer" a-la what we have right now.

The only thing that I think the current method would benefit from is being able to give more detailed orders so you have more control over the fleets actions....

...that and super whizzy graphics Very Happy

I am thinking Total war tactical/campaign view for main game (presented as some kind of holo-map projected from some kind of super futuristic war-room table in the same way that the total war maps are like paper maps layed out on a table top), with a Birth of the Federation type battle viewer (but without stopping between orders)

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Mon, 14 February 2011 08:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Steve wrote on Mon, 14 February 2011 01:08

I created 3d versions of Star field (sort of like our neighborhood), Globular cluster, Lens galaxy, type Sc spiral and Open cluster.

Sounds good. Cool We should probably compare algorithms. Deal

What about displaying the beast and "navigating" thru it? Sherlock



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Mon, 14 February 2011 08:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Coyote wrote on Mon, 14 February 2011 03:01

I don't think an actively controlled combat engine would be a good idea

Seems to me there's already plenty of games that have that, while Stars! has plenty of other things. Sherlock

That said, the battles are important, and a more versatile set of automatisms / orders / targeting would be quite desirable. Dueling



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Mon, 14 February 2011 08:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Chazarus wrote on Mon, 14 February 2011 11:05

I think the current method would benefit from is being able to give more detailed orders so you have more control over the fleets actions....

...that and super whizzy graphics Very Happy

Sounds great! Cool

There should also exist a wider variety of "weapons effects" out there... Fire bounce

Quote:

I am thinking Total war tactical/campaign view for main game (presented as some kind of holo-map projected from some kind of super futuristic war-room table in the same way that the total war maps are like paper maps layed out on a table top), with a Birth of the Federation type battle viewer (but without stopping between orders)

Please enlighten me: are those similar to the way old Homeworld viewed battles? UFO



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Mon, 14 February 2011 10:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chazarus is currently offline Chazarus

 
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BOTF was turn based a-la stars for empire management / tactical movement, but the combat was also turn based with encounters being resolved at the end of each turn (OMG!?!?!? too many turns!!!!)

At the start of each battle ships from opposing sides would be lined up against each other, sort of like how Stars! lines everyone up on the battle grid. You would issue your first order (something like evade / flank left / open hailing frequencies, etc) and a single combat round would be played.

Assuming that both sides did not hail (which ended the combat peacefully) you could then issue new orders to your ships (evade / flank / attack / concentrate fire on a specific target, etc) for each subsequent combat round until the combat was resolved.

Obviously this would need refining for a Stars! like game as you would have to be able to queue up your orders or have some kind of "IF [shields] = down AND [Armour] < 50% THEN (Disengage)" logic as you would not be able to issue orders to ships during the combat.

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Tue, 15 February 2011 07:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Chazarus wrote on Mon, 14 February 2011 16:14

At the start of each battle ships from opposing sides would be lined up against each other, sort of like how Stars! lines everyone up on the battle grid. You would issue your first order (something like evade / flank left / open hailing frequencies, etc) and a single combat round would be played.

Assuming that both sides did not hail (which ended the combat peacefully) you could then issue new orders to your ships (evade / flank / attack / concentrate fire on a specific target, etc) for each subsequent combat round until the combat was resolved.

What I most wanted to know was the kind of GUI used, but the procedural info is nice to know too. Cool

Quote:

Obviously this would need refining for a Stars! like game as you would have to be able to queue up your orders or have some kind of "IF [shields] = down AND [Armour] < 50% THEN (Disengage)" logic as you would not be able to issue orders to ships during the combat.

Or perhaps even more refined / automated, such as in:

Quote:

"Whatever happens Mr. Sulu, if you think you have the tactical advantage
you fire on that ship even if we're still on board. That's an order.
"


Twisted Evil



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Tue, 15 February 2011 11:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chazarus is currently offline Chazarus

 
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...well i'll just have to find a few screen shots or a video then Smile

it was a 3d view of all the ships + stations involved in the conflict which you could pan around. between each turn you were treated to an animation of all ships carrying out their orders and whizzing through space shooting at one another.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26cuUjrRnNw&feature=relat ed


[Updated on: Tue, 15 February 2011 17:19]

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Re: Thoughts on a next gen Stars Tue, 15 February 2011 18:18 Go to previous message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Chazarus wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 17:50

...well i'll just have to find a few screen shots or a video then Smile

I see. Nice. Reminds me a bit of Stars! itself. Deal



So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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