Docking Ports

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Docking Ports

Postby -REBEL3- » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:33 pm

I brought this up a little while ago in another post, chuck_starchaser asked me to post it here so it wouldn't be forgotten.

A feature the game could use is more differentiation between small ships and capships. The feature of different sized docking ports accomplishes this. Basically, you would have two sizes of docking ports-small and capship (more could be added later). Only capships could dock @ capship docking ports, and vice versa. If you docked at a capship docking port, you would start out in a different part of the station-the GUI of the upgrades/trading screens would be different, etc.

Anything I missed?
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Re: Docking Ports

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:42 pm

Sounds to me like it should be easy enough to do; I cast my vote for giving this a high priority.
Possible solution is to model the natural paradigm and have two port classes derived from a common abstract_port class.

I'd like to add my own request that perhaps docking ports should have 'forward' and 'out' unit vectors in units.csv, defining an orientation; and that capships could have also docking ports with 'forward' and 'in' vectors that the AI/autopilot should try to match. That way, we could add visible cargo hatches to large ships such that, when they dock at a station, will align exactly with the station's cap-ship ports.
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Re: Docking Ports

Postby -REBEL3- » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:12 pm

One thing about docking that has been irratating me for a while...

Lets say I dock at a mining base in my Goddard. Then, lets say 20 min later I undock. The Goddard will instantly be moved anywhere from 2 feet away from the station to a whole light-minute. It gets worse if I try docking in a capship. The capship might be partly inside the base-if I move an inch, the ship explodes. The ship might also be a light-min or so away from the base-I have noticed that the min range of transport away from the base (of a capship) seems to be a good bit more then the min transport distance away from a base (for a non-capship)

We should have it that the ship's hull is about magically moved 20-40 feet away from the base, NO MORE! The player should get to fly it out.
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Re: Docking Ports

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:19 pm

I suspect this is all part of the AI, which is the most intractable mess in the vegastrike engine, and will therefore have to be
rewritten from scratch, most probably, rather than fixed.
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Re: Docking Ports

Postby -REBEL3- » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:33 pm

What part of the AI could be doing this? I've played around with the files, and have never seen a "Move undocked ship x feet from station/planet.

chuck_starchaser wrote: I'd like to add my own request that perhaps docking ports should have 'forward' and 'out' unit vectors in units.csv, defining an orientation; and that capships could have also docking ports with 'forward' and 'in' vectors that the AI/autopilot should try to match. That way, we could add visible cargo hatches to large ships such that, when they dock at a station, will align exactly with the station's cap-ship ports.


I like this idea-very nice. Also, add a "front/back" variable that will a tell a ship to dock forwards or backwards. Watching a Clydesdale trying to back into a Rlaan base is fun, but totally shatters the psuedo-realism of the game. :mrgreen:
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Re: Docking Ports

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:33 pm

-REBEL3- wrote:What part of the AI could be doing this? I've played around with the files, and have never seen a "Move undocked ship x feet from station/planet.
I'm not familiar with the AI at all; there was only one file I looked at for a few hours, can't remember which. I was taking a guess; but I don't think there's anything NPC's do that isn't "AI"; I may be wrong.

chuck_starchaser wrote: I'd like to add my own request that perhaps docking ports should have 'forward' and 'out' unit vectors in units.csv, defining an orientation; and that capships could have also docking ports with 'forward' and 'in' vectors that the AI/autopilot should try to match. That way, we could add visible cargo hatches to large ships such that, when they dock at a station, will align exactly with the station's cap-ship ports.


I like this idea-very nice. Also, add a "front/back" variable that will a tell a ship to dock forwards or backwards. Watching a Clydesdale trying to back into a Rlaan base is fun, but totally shatters the psuedo-realism of the game. :mrgreen:
Forward, back, or laterally; but I think that will be dictated by where we put the cargo hatches on ships.
Yeah, I think this feature needs to go together with the separation of ports into two classes, because if the AI doesn't use the ports properly, it will feel like two separate realities: The player's and the AI's, disconnected. It already feels that way to me; the AI's don't feel like there's a human piloting the ships, at all. Rushed, unsophisticated...
A Clydesdale, IMO, should take at least an hour to dock, and spend many hours at a dock before it departs. And if players want to sit there for 9 hours to verify the operation, they could. And it shouldn't be easy for the player to dock manually; it should be darn difficult, but a docking autopilot should be available, and manual docking be an option.
AI's should have autopilots too, using the same code as the player's autopilot.
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