Models - Chris Kuhn

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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:57 pm

TBeholder wrote:What "game balance"? It's a joke. All completely haphazard.


I know it is, that's why I am trying to improve it. But it is an incredibly hard task with the ridiculous number of ships that we have right now. We need to thin the herd.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:07 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
But in essence, yes, the idea was to replace dozens of low-quality models with a handful of high-quality ones. So deleting comes with the package.


By the way, what would you say about deleting some of the more eclectic or low quality models immediately and reshuffling the better looking existing models around a tighter game balance? It would be a preliminary improvement that could be ready in time for the next release or just beyond it.


Which specifically are you thinking of?

Some I'd say go for it... but I'm not sure my "yack" threshold is anywhere near yours ;)
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby IansterGuy » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:26 am

Perhaps ships categories when browsing should be: Class; manufacturer; Model.
Pilots in space identified by: Species; Alignment; Squadron.
Squadron mates in space by: Grouping; AI role orders; Name;

Then some combat AI roles could be: Scouting, Flanking, Blockading, Escorting, Defending, Attacking, Scrambling

Definitions for warships:

    A space fighter is a cheap piloted support ship meant to overwhelm and scramble defenses in support of other ships. They are highly maneuverable in real space and made small and hard to hit by avoiding all unnecessary fuel and equipment, so have limited range.

    A space assault ship is a relatively expensive ship that can operate independently. They are highly maneuverable latterly allowing skilled pilots to dodge projectiles while attacking but are not necessarily fast moving forward.

    • A space bomber is a piloted assault ship that carries an armament of torpedo bombs to battles. Unloaded they can skirmish but carrying their full payload are highly encumbered. To compensate they are heavily fortified, with amour, countermeasures heavy shields and sometimes an offensive turret.

    • A space interceptor would be defined as a piloted dedicated combat ship with good endurance and both large thruster and SPEC engines relative to the ship size. Where often conditioned pilots are outfitted with extensive inertia mitigation equipment like cheap pressure suites and, if necessary the more expensive local gravity meshes to stabilize the pilots vital functions during acceleration.

    A space frigate would be defined as a fast multipurpose warship emphasizing faster acceleration than all other similarly sized ship types. They normally have noticeably large and redundant rear thruster engines and often decent ability to fire upon pursuers at a distance. They can be made very long since turning is less a priority since often the ship keeps it's distance as a support ship during and after battle.

    • A space corvette is an extremely maneuverable crewed ship, targeted at outgunning smaller fighters and bombers while avoiding larger ships. They normally have: high rate of fire weapons on fast turrets providing all around projectile coverage against fighters; light offensive misses, an armament of defensive countermeasures and capability to launch expensive torpedo bombs most often used defensively. When loaded maneuverability can be greatly encumbered by the extra mass so they are often made stealth crafts.
    • A space destroyer would be defined as a highly maneuverable warship emphasizing firepower and endurance. They have noticeably bigger maneuverings thrusters than other ship classes to better evade projectiles and quickly switch position during battle. They normally look stout and cluttered with weapons and heavy armor.


    A space cruiser is a well equipped multipurpose warship that carries ships and heavy armaments for a variety of tasks and are often defended by the more specialized ships. They carry a fair amount of cargo and can often deploy defensive ships.

    • A space Battleship is the most heavily fortified warship. Little priority is given to speed and maneuverability but rather to firepower and fortification. They do not often have significant launching capabilities.
    • A space Carrier is ship specialized in carrying and launching other ships. They are fairly fast with excellent endurance but have little defensive and maneuvering capability. Unloaded they are even faster which is a bonus when launching defensively.

    In addition classes may be further identified by mass as light or heavy.
Last edited by IansterGuy on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:04 am

Well that, Ianster, illustrates Deus' point. Look at your class list, and notice just how many classes you built just to match naval classification. Consider now that a class of ships cannot consist of one ship. You've created a ridiculous number of models to be created, maintained, balanced, and we know this doesn't scale.

Forget naval, military and whatever classifications. Think about gameplay. This is a game.

What makes destroyers, cruisers, battleships and carriers different? They're huge ships, that require massive resources to build (not only in canon lore, but also for us, we have to work a LOT to build one). So, they should share components, be re-purposable.

Limit classification to the essential classes, and that saves us work. It lets us concentrate on what matters.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby IansterGuy » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:28 pm

klauss wrote:Well that, Ianster, illustrates Deus' point. Look at your class list, and notice just how many classes you built just to match naval classification. Consider now that a class of ships cannot consist of one ship. You've created a ridiculous number of models to be created, maintained, balanced, and we know this doesn't scale.
I'm glad that was your reaction because I had aimed to create an expanded list. I wanted to perhaps combine a few classes and suggest three main classes of warships using the historically most ambiguous names Cruisers, Frigates and crafts.

    Carriers and battleships are Space Cruisers.

    Destroyers and Corvettes are Space Frigates.

    Smaller ships are Space Crafts or vessels.

This sub categorizing would work both under the assumption of removing all but a few ships and can be expanded to handle many many ships with a little optional complication.

klauss wrote:What makes destroyers, cruisers, battleships and carriers different? They're huge ships, that require massive resources to build (not only in canon lore, but also for us, we have to work a LOT to build one). So, they should share components, be re-purposable.
Eliminate Frigates, and Cruisers. and combine Destroyers and corvettes and the list is left with three large space vessel types and three space craft types.

klauss wrote:Limit classification to the essential classes, and that saves us work. It lets us concentrate on what matters.
I was actually thinking of classes more as the strategic identity of each ship than something that needs to be filled. If there was only one ship in a sub class, it would identify it's specialty. If no ship exists in the game for that class it can still serve as a classification tool outside the game to help organize the tones of models people want to eventually include. Start with the essentials while leaving room for expansion is my thought.
Last edited by IansterGuy on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:32 pm

IansterGuy wrote:
    Carriers and battleships are Space Cruisers.

    Destroyers and Corvettes are Space Frigates.

    Smaller ships are Space Crafts or vessels.


That could work for base hull configurations. You'd have only those three base hulls, and the specific loadout of modules would define an AI role (destroyer or corvette, fighter, interceptor or bomber, etc).
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:42 pm

klauss wrote:Which specifically are you thinking of?
Some I'd say go for it... but I'm not sure my "yack" threshold is anywhere near yours ;)


I would:

Ditch all the aera capital models and make the MK32 model the new big aera capital. Perhaps do the same with the Vigilance.
Ban the uln from flying human ships. Then re-purpose the Cultivator and Dirge as the uln ships. Or use the Midwife and Regret for the uln.
The really worn looking ships, the Thales, Gleaner and Vendetta would be exclusively the domain of the Forsaken and Pirates.
Make the Goddard part of the same faction as the Clydesdale and Mule, as they share a common architecture.
Make the Lancelot part of the same faction as the Admonisher and Pacifier
Make the Gawain part of the same faction as the Progeny and Ancestor.
Give the Hawking to another faction, it doesn't fit with the style of the other andolian capitals- Watson, Kahan and Archimedes.

Since the Tesla and Determinant have no actual textures, remove them from the game until they do. Maybe the Derivative too.
Eliminate low quality models-- Convolution, Hammer, Sickle, Robin, Franklin, Dostoevsky and Sartre.
Eliminate oddballs-- Hidalgo, Macgyver, Entourage, GTIO, H496, Koala, Kierkegaard, Tridacne, Diligence and Yeoman.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby IansterGuy » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:31 pm

klauss wrote:That could work for base hull configurations. You'd have only those three base hulls, and the specific loadout of modules would define an AI role (destroyer or corvette, fighter, interceptor or bomber, etc).
So the program would take the class from the hull and interpret the ships subclass or role from the equipment and modules equipped. That would work, I only realized now that upgrades where a unaccounted for issue. So with default ships having a predictable range of upgrades they may start as their default subclass role and automatically be switched to another after upgrades.

It could be useful to the player and AI to know if the ship is dedicated or diversified into a neighboring role. This though this is beyond unnecessary right now, since the games strategic trumps, are not pronounced enough to have an addition like this be a large factor to the player or AI best strategy.

Speaking of the trumps, why I like the Air Naval warfare classes is because the Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock of it all, is already known, air and sea even have good stealth examples. Many of the most important factors would be the same in space assuming that energy shields are too tough for projectiles and the strongest weapons are always slowish.

Factors like velocity speed are similar to acceleration speed, in that the faster ship will always control the distance. Maneuverability is still a factor of mass shape and lateral thrust due to maximum survivable rotational inertia, sheer, thrust size limits and leverage; which effects how well they can position for and react to weakness. Finally firepower and shield armor are similarly limited by ability of the ship mass and engines to resist and counteract the impact and recoil, since a large slug projectile stopped by the shield could dammage a smaller ship from the resulting impact acceleration alone.

Deus Siddis wrote:I would: Ditch... Ban... exclusive... domain... Make... share... Give.... style... remove... Eliminate
Now that I see your intentions keep all my favorite ships, and ax many of the ones I don't care for, I can say I support the idea of trimming down; At least temporary to require higher standards. Then again I have not yet seen many of the ships in the game and don't know the stories and original intentions, so I won't see as much loss as another person might. Variety is nice, though so is quality.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:00 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:Which specifically are you thinking of?
Some I'd say go for it... but I'm not sure my "yack" threshold is anywhere near yours ;)


I would:

Ditch all the aera capital models and make the MK32 model the new big aera capital. Perhaps do the same with the Vigilance.
Ban the uln from flying human ships. Then re-purpose the Cultivator and Dirge as the uln ships. Or use the Midwife and Regret for the uln.
The really worn looking ships, the Thales, Gleaner and Vendetta would be exclusively the domain of the Forsaken and Pirates.
Make the Goddard part of the same faction as the Clydesdale and Mule, as they share a common architecture.
Make the Lancelot part of the same faction as the Admonisher and Pacifier
Make the Gawain part of the same faction as the Progeny and Ancestor.
Give the Hawking to another faction, it doesn't fit with the style of the other andolian capitals- Watson, Kahan and Archimedes.

Since the Tesla and Determinant have no actual textures, remove them from the game until they do. Maybe the Derivative too.
Eliminate low quality models-- Convolution, Hammer, Sickle, Robin, Franklin, Dostoevsky and Sartre.
Eliminate oddballs-- Hidalgo, Macgyver, Entourage, GTIO, H496, Koala, Kierkegaard, Tridacne, Diligence and Yeoman.


Sounds like a plan.

I feel for the GTIO, it's a good model. But it does feel out of place, sadly. More like a weird jet than a space ship.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:51 pm

klauss wrote:Sounds like a plan.


Cool. I will write up a more complete plan that specifies exactly which ships each model will be re-purposed as and further include proposals for presently unused models (apparently there are quite a lot of ship models that have gone unused for years; they have no entry in units.csv even).

Also you should really test the existing balance changes as soon as possible. Until it has been tested, any issues worked out, and the patch committed, it may not be prudent to keep heaping further changes on to the CSVs.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby TBeholder » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:55 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
TBeholder wrote: What "game balance"? It's a joke. All completely haphazard.
I know it is, that's why I am trying to improve it. But it is an incredibly hard task with the ridiculous number of ships that we have right now. We need to thin the herd.
Non sequitur. Either we know what we want to do, or not.
If we know, the task of applying the same general principles to more instances won't become disproportionately harder. And once we have answers to "is THIS a step in the right direction?", we can use incremental optimisation, so it's just matter of time.
If we don't know, we don't have any meaningful "task" in the first place. Division by zero doesn't become "harder" or "easier" depending on whether the number you want to divide get ten times more or ten times less.

IansterGuy wrote:What I find interesting is the defining of roles themselves. Since tactics are based in fictional 3d combat in a foreign environment, that is quite a feat to do believably well. [...]
As for balancing individual ships, my thought was that it could be just as easy to balance all the abstract ship roles, then strictly define each ship to a role with some variation. When the pilot including the Artificial Intelligence knows what kind of ship is attacking, they can determine the best defensive strategy. Otherwise it requires the player and the AI to know every ship in the game and then indeed many ships is a huge problem.
Here is my version of definitions for warships:
You're placing a cart on a horse's side and want them racing. The physics of the process defines the list of possible roles. So it's either "define X and let's see what happens to Y", or "we need this Y, let's pick X" - they aren't independent.

Deus Siddis wrote: The really worn looking ships, the Thales, Gleaner and Vendetta
What's with Vendetta? Other than strange placement of thrusters, that is.
Deus Siddis wrote: Make the Goddard part of the same faction as the Clydesdale and Mule, as they share a common architecture.
I see what's common with Mule and Goddard, but what they have in common with common with Clydesdale?
Same with some others.
So... you start with the need to make a system out of madness, continue with "oh, let's start from scratch" and then proceed with seemingly semi-random removal and rearrangenment, without even sketching the lines along which everything have to settle. Question: how this is going to change the situation? :?
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:00 am

TBeholder wrote:Non sequitur. Either we know what we want to do, or not.
If we know, the task of applying the same general principles to more instances won't become disproportionately harder.


The more units you have, the more difficult it is to find a place for a unit in the balance which isn't already filled by another unit. Also the differences between the units becomes smaller, making each one more indistinguishable and forgettable.

If we don't know, we don't have any meaningful "task" in the first place.


I have created five tasks, or "roles" as I call them, that I want to base the new balance around-- Interceptor, Flanker, Siege, Shuttle and Transport. I described the first three in an earlier post. The Shuttle primarily moves a small amount of cargo quickly and the transport moves a large amount of cargo slowly. For larger factions, there will be both aerospace and capital units of each role.

What's with Vendetta? Other than strange placement of thrusters, that is.


It is so modular and not aerodynamic looking relative to other fighters that you can imagine it being built out of re-purposed materials and scrap. And then it is overloaded with guns to compensate for its deficiencies. These visual qualities make it best fit as a corsair and poor man's warship, in my opinion.

I see what's common with Mule and Goddard, but what they have in common with common with Clydesdale?


The Mule is basically the top-front part of the Clydesdale. Very similar shape. The fuselage design of the Goddard has many striking similarities to the Clydesdale's hull-- The horizontal groove around the middle, the drooping bow 'chin', the flatter top side and taller bottom side, the profile curve of the topside and the aft radiator fins or rudders. I am also thinking of making the Hyena part of the same faction as these because of its visual similarities to the Goddard.

Question: how this is going to change the situation? :?


It concentrates ships done in a similar style aesthetically (and probably by the same artist) into a single faction. It also favors filling as many roles as possible for a few major factions rather than have ships spread sparsely over numerous small factions. The design philosophy of a faction is also applied to its ships after the reshuffle, so that the ships of a particular faction have common traits in game play as well as aesthetics.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby IansterGuy » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:45 pm

TBeholder wrote:Non sequitur. Either we know what we want to do, or not.
If we know, the task of applying the same general principles to more instances won't become disproportionately harder. And once we have answers to "is THIS a step in the right direction?", we can use incremental optimization, so it's just matter of time...
This is a good point. I support planning it out. There a few types of gameplay optimization for ships: Visual; strategic; mission; ectera. I have only acknowledged strategic recently, but it all would be inportant.
TBeholder wrote: You're placing a cart on a horse's side and want them racing.
There has been many changes discussed and generally agreed upon recently which would take time to implement. They have missing variables, that I think makes some prediction necessary. Part of the reason I'm placing carts beside horses isn't because the grand plan is to lash them together and watch them race. But because I expect more carts and horses to show up. I'm trying to get people possibly playing Sudoku here, so that there is minimized desire for regression at the end.

Some of the assumptions I'm making are: That space hubs and lanes will make the commonly traveled areas much smaller and non SPEC-able; That SPEC will be made less often useable in the middle of open combat; That AI will be more aware of the environment; and essentially that shields despite being raised or lowed quickly would be drained and charged or rather stabilized and destabilized more gradually over a longer period of time to be more cumulative.

Tweaking latter is fine and not an issue, but regression maybe, since once it's in it rather stays in.
Off topic:
Gradual development while maintaining decent game balance is like playing Suduku with a magically expandable game board, while trying to have each line continually nearly equal. It's to a degree doable, but not perfectly. This though is in addition to the normal game, which itself often moves forward on assumptions based on necessary or lazy guesses that sometimes are right and save time and sometimes are wrong and consume time; but also sometimes are faster than no decision.

Deus Siddis wrote:The more units you have, the more difficult it is to find a place for a unit in the balance which isn't already filled by another unit. Also the differences between the units becomes smaller, making each one more indistinguishable and forgettable.
The part about units already filling predefined roles I don't believe would be such an issue if units are also identified by those abstract roles. Except that it indeed would really help to enforce consistency in the most iconic factions and focus efforts on getting those critical corner stones in place.

Deus Siddis wrote:
If we don't know, we don't have any meaningful "task" in the first place.

I have created five tasks, or "roles" as I call them, that I want to base the new balance around-- Interceptor, Flanker, Siege, Shuttle and Transport. I described the first three in an earlier post. The Shuttle primarily moves a small amount of cargo quickly and the transport moves a large amount of cargo slowly. For larger factions, there will be both aerospace and capital units of each role.
These role that you and others have created specifically for space combat strategy are interesting and entertaining. I have compiled a similar arrangement where your roles are ship configurations and the classes are hulls as suggested: Interceptor=>Fighter, Flanker=>Frigate, Siege=>Cruiser, Shuttle=>AeroSpace, Transport=>Hulk.

I'll be thinking some to further figure how to order and combine some ideas into classes, roles, and configurations. Seems very promising. We could mockup some more combat examples between classes and roles that are not obvious to try to discover what needs to be emphasized.

Deus Siddis wrote:
Question: how this is going to change the situation? :?
It concentrates ships done in a similar style aesthetically (and probably by the same artist) into a single faction. It also favors filling as many roles as possible for a few major factions rather than have ships spread sparsely over numerous small factions...
Adding visual distinctness and organization to the most united factions would reflect how united and organized the player perceives those factions, and help the player understand the game politics going on outside his ship.

Updated categories

Ships categories: Manufacturer; Class; Model; Configuration.
Pilots in space identified by: Species; Alignment; Squadron; Identification.
Squadron mates in space by: Grouping; Name; AI role; orders.


Ship Categories
Classes &
  • Configurations

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Utility Ships
Aerospace ship
  • Shuttle
  • Currier

Hulk ship
  • Space Transport
  • Space Hauler

Deployment ship
  • Asteroid Mining
  • Gas Mining

Warships:
Space Fighter
  • Space Striker
  • Space Interrupter
  • Space Raider

Space Assault
  • Space Bomber
  • Space Interceptor
  • Space Hunter

Space Frigate
  • Space Corvette
  • Space Destroyer
  • Space Flanker

Space Cruiser
  • Space Carrier
  • Thunderhead
  • Space Battleship
  • Siege

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\\/\/\/

Definitions for Utility ships

Aerospace ship highly efficient airframe craft

  • Deus Siddis wrote:Shuttling is the movement of cargo between the surface of a planet and orbital altitude. It is especially critical for fringe systems where young colonies require high end necessities they can't yet produce for themselves at full capacity and which don't have space elevators, stations or even enough of their own shuttles to transport goods themselves.

  • Currierbig engines and small cargo bays[...] load up with the intent to get to a single destination as soon as possible. No traveling salesman crap or making bus stops.


Hulk for any transport too immense for its engines to land on even a large moon.

  • Space Transport moving of people and luggage around the galaxy.
  • Deus Siddis wrote:[Space Hauler is the movement of cargo between the orbital altitudes of different planets, often located in different solar systems. It is especially critical for mining operations and planets with extreme environments, since these places usually have enormous quantities of a few types of goods and never enough of most everything else they need.


Deployment ship

  • Deus Siddis wrote:Asteroid Mining is the break down and collection of asteroids for the metal ores they contain. It is dangerous due to the ambient collision threats and the cover against detection they provide to hostile craft.

  • Deus Siddis wrote:Gas Mining is the collection of elements from gas giants for use as reaction mass, fuel, coolant and artificial atmospheres. It is dangerous due to super storm turbulence and the inability to quickly escape the gravity well in case of attack.

Definitions for Warships:

A Space Fighter is both a ship hull class and a neutral configuration. It is a cheap piloted support ship meant to overwhelm and scramble defenses in support of other ships. They are highly manoeuvrable in real space and made small and hard to hit by avoiding all unnecessary fuel and equipment, so have limited range.

  • Deus Siddis wrote:A Striker would need no powerful thrusters, just powerful weapons. A striker needs the support of interceptors to protect them from being intercepted, but once in range of its target is capable to deal a good pounding worthy and fearsome.
    Like "striker" for craft with powerful main thrusters and fixed forward heavy weapons...

  • Deus Siddis wrote:[Interrupter] is filled by ships that trade in maneuverability, armor, endurance and overall firepower for extreme forward linear acceleration and dangerous but generally short lived firepower from forward fixed weapons. They are for nearly immediate defensive response as well as hit and run strikes against enemies relatively close to a base or vessel capable of refueling and rearming them. As such they are usually found standing guard near wormholes, hidden inside asteroid fields, sitting on planetary launchpads or docked en masse with stations and large ships.
    klauss wrote:...they're escorts that can intercept attacking craft before they reach the main fleet. As such, they must be fast and deadly, but they have no need of endurance (large fuel reserves).

  • Deus Siddis wrote:The Raider needs to be agile and stealthy, and it does need lots of endurance, since it must first reach and pass enemy lines. Its function is to wreak havoc deep in enemy space, so it needs to be agile, stealthy, and carry a lot of fuel. It can't deal devastating blows, but it can perform surgical strikes on weak but important targets, or it can fulfill the role of scout, relaying enemy positions back to a fleet. Or it can smuggle stuff.

A Space Assault ship is both a ship type and a neutral configuration. The configuration is a relatively expensive ship that can operate independently. They are highly maneuverable latterly allowing skilled pilots to dodge projectiles while attacking but are not necessary fast moving forward.

  • A Space Bomber is a piloted assault ship that carries an armament of torpedo bombs to battles. Unloaded they can scrimish but carrying their full payload are highly encumbered. To compensate they are heavily fortified, with armour, countermeasures heavy shields and sometimes an offensive turret.

  • A Space Interceptor would be defined as a piloted dedicated assault ship with good endurance and both large thruster and SPEC engines relative to the ship size. Where often conditioned pilots are outfitted with extensive inertia mitigation equipment like cheap pressure suites and, if necessary the more expensive local gravity meshes to stabilize the pilots vital functions during acceleration.

  • Deus Siddis wrote:Hunter is filled by ships that favor stealth, detection, endurance, moderate armor and considerable but not long lasting firepower. While interceptors quickly deal with close in threats, hunters take their time tracking down long term threats over great distances and are deployed in smaller numbers. They are usually found deployed inside enemy territory near the cover of asteroid fields, debris fields, stars or uninhabited planets as well a good distance from friendly forces serving as a first line of defense.


A Space Frigate is both a ship Hull class and a neutral configuration. The configuration would be defined as a fast multipurpose warship emphasizing faster acceleration than all other similarly sized ship types. They normally have noticeably large and redundant rear thruster engines and often decent ability to fire upon pursuers at a distance. They can be made very long since turning is less a priority since often the ship keeps it's distance as a support ship during and after battle.

  • A Space Corvette is an extremely manoeuvrable crewed ship, targeted at outgunning smaller fighters and bombers while avoiding larger ships. They normally have: high rate of fire weapons on fast turrets providing all around projectile coverage against fighters; light offensive misses; an armament of defensive countermeasures; and capability to launch expensive torpedo bombs and fighters most often used defensively. When loaded maneuverability can be greatly encumbered by the extra mass so they are often configured as torpedo then stealth or launch then evade carriers.

  • A Space Destroyer would be defined as a highly maneuverable warship emphasizing firepower maneuverability and endurance. They have noticeably bigger maneuverings thrusters than other ship classes to better evade projectiles and quickly switch position during battle. They normally look stout and cluttered with weapons. They normally keep their distance from heavy damage exchanges and quickly move in with their firepower to quickly finish off ships and reduce the enemies fighting ability before they recover.
  • Deus Siddis wrote:Space Flank[er] ships combine maneuverability, armor and long lasting but close ranged firepower often mounted in turrets or swiveling casemates. They are used to protect friendly forces in tight formations and attack opponents at the closest possible range, where their maneuverability, survivability and flexible firepower allow them to get around or behind the enemy's defenses. [flankers] are usually seen deployed en masse in close defensive positions around assets or in small groups near enemy territory forming a second line of defense and standing ready to support friendly hunters caught by patrols in enemy territory.

A Space Cruiser is both a ship Hull class and a neutral configuration. The configuration is a well equipped multipurpose warship that carries ships and heavy armaments for a variety of tasks and are often defended by the more specialized ships. They carry a fair amount of cargo and can often deploy defensive ships.

  • A Space Carrier is ship specialized in carrying and launching other ships. They are fairly fast with excellent endurance but have little defensive and maneuvering capability. Unloaded they are even faster which is a bonus when launching defensively.
  • Thunderhead for relatively fast large warships that maneuver poorly but are armed with considerable turret based weaponry, [consisting of smaller frequently firing projectiles to deal with smaller ships.]

  • A Space Battleship is the most heavily fortified warship. Little priority is given to speed and manoeuvrability but rather to firepower and fortification. They do not often have significant launching capabilities.
  • Deus Siddis wrote:Siege craft trade in all forms of agility for long ranged, long lasting, fearsome forward firepower as well as detection and possessing good frontal armor but weak flanks and rear. They are used to demolish entire fleets, hardened targets and swathes of infrastructure from a safe distance. Siege craft are usually found near friendly bases for mutual protection or at the center of a flight group.

This list is haphazard and again some classes and configurations could easily be combined. There are many other suggested categories of ships in the Wiki entry for ships, that I believe would all fit within these classes if necessary.


I suggest that Fighters may be separate from assault ships by size. Though some Fighters would be considered relatively long range, they would not be considered independently capable because due to their size, they rarely carry jump drives.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby pheonixstorm » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Another way of looking at things is how do other games or series handle the issue with a large amount of models/animated ships.

Look at Star Wars. Lots of ships but many of them were the same or were multi-purpose.

Corvette: Simple blockade runner and more of a large scout. Could not hold other craft ( I think)
Frigate: Same model for both sides. Could carry a limit amount of vehicles.
Cruisers: Mostly used by Alliance and appeared to be of the same design with only a few slight changes.
Battleships: Star Destroyers, Empire based only during the movies. Could carry a large number of support caft.
Support craft, combat: Rebels had 3 ships as did the Empire (with the exception of the advanced TIE seem in the first film). Fighter, Interceptor, and bomber. Though in the last film the rebels did get an additional ship, a fighter/bomber (B-Wing).

Additional support craft were mostly transports for the rebels and very few other cargo ships made any type of appearance (other than the Falcon)

Battlestar Galactica did not have a large number of ships (Talking about the new series). If you look at everythingit all revolved around 3 main combat ships per side. Base Star/Battlestar, Combat shuttle/scout?, and Fighters. Beyond that you may have a dozen other ships. Though in certain episodes you can see an additional 3-5 variations of the battlestar plus the original Cylon carft from the original series.


Really the first thing is we need to setup something that we can use to make getting the data side of our new and even older ships to have more realistic values, which is why we need correct scaling when the models are created. 1 grid, 1 meter. Instead of having to scale the models up in game, which throws off any calculations you may try to make to get the data values right.

Cargo values cannot be base on the ships dimension to begin with.. it creates grossly inaccurate readings.

If anything we can combine most ships into a few prime classes

Battleship/Dreadnaught
Cruiser
Corvette/Frigate/Destroyer (frigate and destroyer serve the same function anyway for the most part)
Assault craft (gunboat, troop transport, raider. Juamp/Spec capable, modular model? Would look different if weapons were attached as sub-units)
Fighter/Interceptor (can tell the difference if they are spec or jump capable)
Bomber (as above)

So you have 6 main ships type for 6 models not including variations (modules). Depending on how they are modeled you could use the cruiser hull to adapt the base model to become a carrier. Same for the battleship hull.

As for other general craft, perhaps have 1 or 2 that are faction specific and have a modular approach for the rest (cargo, shuttle). Most cargo ships should just be different variations of one or two hull types (Ox for exmaple could have 2 different command modules, 1 thrust module, and 1 cargo module that can be extended repeatedly for various sized ships).

As long as we can create new variations from differing modules we could fake 50+ ships per faction while only maintaining 10 base model type

It all comes down to having an easy way to assign each ship proper values.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:32 am

pheonixstorm wrote:Really the first thing is we need to setup something that we can use to make getting the data side of our new and even older ships to have more realistic values, which is why we need correct scaling when the models are created. 1 grid, 1 meter. Instead of having to scale the models up in game, which throws off any calculations you may try to make to get the data values right.


True. But for the current generation of models, what I have done is import them all into a single, huge blender file and scaled them according to the scale values in units.csv. So I can see and compare everything in the game true to scale and side by side.

With this tool in hand I can set more interesting, consistent and yet dramatic scales. I can also more easily match up models by appearance, so those done in a similar style can be coalesced into the same faction and total misfits can be tossed. I already have a prototype reworking of the whole fleet put together that should fix a lot of these problems at once.

Cargo values cannot be base on the ships dimension to begin with.. it creates grossly inaccurate readings.


What I do is measure the cargo section of a to-scale ship in three dimensions in blender. So my results can be about as accurate as you would ever need for a game.

If anything we can combine most ships into a few prime classes...


Indeed, but boil down the classes based on currently engine supported game play and the results are even more concise than that-- 4 roles altogether. That is all. And aerospace craft and capital craft reuse these same roles:

Interceptors that are fast but not very maneuverable, with great armament for short bursts but minimal armor.
Flankers that are maneuverable but not very fast, with good close range armament and good armor.
Bombarders that are neither fast nor maneuverable, with great long range armament and good frontal but weak rear armor.
Transports.

We do not need anything more for the near future and that is all the engine currently does well (support for features like stealth or carriers is completely broken).
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby IansterGuy » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:03 am

pheonixstorm wrote:Battleship/Dreadnaught
Cruiser
Corvette/Frigate/Destroyer (frigate and destroyer serve the same function anyway for the most part)
Assault craft (gunboat, troop transport, raider. Juamp/Spec capable, modular model? Would look different if weapons were attached as sub-units)
Fighter/Interceptor (can tell the difference if they are spec or jump capable)
Bomber (as above)

Interesting that you like Cruisers and Dreadnaughts separate, and Assault as Gunship/Boarding_Craft/Raider, while bombers and interceptors separate.

pheonixstorm wrote:So you have 6 main ships type for 6 models not including variations (modules). Depending on how they are modeled you could use the cruiser hull to adapt the base model to become a carrier. Same for the battleship hull.
I like that it starts with a particular base configuration and can be somewhat altered.

pheonixstorm wrote:As for other general craft, perhaps have 1 or 2 that are faction specific and have a modular approach for the rest (cargo, shuttle).
I believe someone was thinking that unique parts would give a faction a unique look. Also, the shuttle may be one of the classes where aerodynamics matters, since it would be expected to land quickly. Perhaps an aerodynamic rating baised on how round and long parts are could directly effect how slow a ship must descend and therefore how much fuel is used.

pheonixstorm wrote:It all comes down to having an easy way to assign each ship proper values.
People love crunching Specifications and Preformance Statistics. I believe hulls and moduals should declare small bonuses or penalties to upgrades to give each ship personality. That way the upgrades determine the ships Role, but certain ships are normally certain roles. The player would react to local prices and perhaps the AI spawning could eventually too.


Deus Siddis wrote:
If anything we can combine most ships into a few prime classes...
Indeed, but boil down the classes based on currently engine supported game play and the results are even more concise than that-- 4 roles altogether. That is all. And aerospace craft and capital craft reuse these same roles:
I too see aerospace crafts and capital ships well being any class. Capital ships are simply the most important ship in a faction. If it is destroyed, the next largest or most important ship would become the capital ship. A currier could be any fast ship with a 'Space Partitioning Expansion and Contraction' [SPEC] drive. A shuttle could be any ship with a combination of high aerodynamic value, lots of thrust and cargo space.

Deus Siddis wrote:We do not need anything more for the near future and that is all the engine currently does well (support for features like stealth or carriers is completely broken).
The smallest ships in Vega Strike are huge currently and Fighters without SPEC don't make any sense without carriers. Your right, there is no stealth because there is no sensor distortion. No bombers and shield ships since any ship can be quickly destroyed with constant firepower because shields mostly charge suddenly. No gunships because damage from large turret beams are so fast and deadly to smaller ships that AI's are not allowed to aim. And no sige ships because there is no ITTS to aim reliably. I say move forward with your plan that works today. In the future one could demote classes into subclasses called roles if necessary. So maybe they should be called roles now as suggested.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:49 am

Deus Siddis wrote:We do not need anything more for the near future and that is all the engine currently does well (support for features like stealth or carriers is completely broken).


No need to ignore them altogether, they could be fixed eventually. Make room for them. Maybe not implement them rightaway, but they should have a place.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:50 pm

klauss wrote:
Deus Siddis wrote:We do not need anything more for the near future and that is all the engine currently does well (support for features like stealth or carriers is completely broken).

No need to ignore them altogether, they could be fixed eventually. Make room for them. Maybe not implement them right away, but they should have a place.


There is not much I can do to make room for conceptual features until they can be tested in game (i.e. are no longer conceptual). Which is undoubtedly years off for most cases. But whenever a worthwhile feature reaches completion, it is the job of balance and art to accommodate it. Which is another reason why you want a small balance and art set; to more easily adapt to future features.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:36 pm

I don't see how carriers and stealth craft could be a problem before they're fully functional.

Stealth of course there is not, and I see no problem accomodating stealth later. But carriers could be added right now, even though their functioning would be rather broken, they could be there and they could mostly work. Their brokenness might even prompt us to fix them.

Adding carriers later could be very hard balance-wise
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby loki1950 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:04 pm

I can see lots of balance issues with carriers the first being how many fighters each carrier can carry then how they are deployed both by the NPC carriers and player controlled ones if we allow carriers to be purchased.

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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:52 pm

loki1950 wrote:I can see lots of balance issues with carriers the first being how many fighters each carrier can carry then how they are deployed both by the NPC carriers and player controlled ones if we allow carriers to be purchased.

Enjoy the Choice :)


Of course, that's my point. If you don't consider them now, they'll be destabilizing when added
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:51 pm

klauss wrote:I don't see how carriers and stealth craft could be a problem before they're fully functional.


Features that are completely broken work entirely differently from those that are fully functional.

For stealth, there is currently only "cloak" where you have no way to be detected at all. So the only way to kill a stealth craft is to wait for the cloak to drain the capacitor. Which is a whole different (simplistic) paradigm from the cat versus mouse, destroyer versus submarine, guard versus commando mechanics used by successful stealth-oriented games.

With carriers, we have two distinct, totally broken features doing this one job. There are AI carriers that use guns which shoot smaller ships as ammunition ("ammo wing men") and cannot retrieve them afterwards. And then player carriers use "cargo wing men" which are launched by jettisoning them, tediously retrieved one at a time with a tractor beam and in the process are instantly repaired, rearmed and stripped of all custom upgrades.

Also lacking are support features like new AI and interfaces to make the above things worthwhile.

And at this stage we do not even know that stealth or carriers can work well in this game.

Their brokenness might even prompt us to fix them.


If brokenness is a motivator then we best use it only on features most desirable at the moment.

Right now, much more than we need carriers but also a prerequisite to them, we need Player Fleet As Escorts to make flight group management and deployment a first class feature that gets everyone's full attention. Giving the player the power to always have affordable escorts that he can customize and care about, will bring to light bugs in the flight group AI code. Because obviously without effective cooperative AI, carriers are worthless.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:32 pm

I agree for stealth.

But for carriers... is the current status of affairs, which I know is really bad, but is it blocking?

That's my point. I don't think it's blocking. Carriers could use gun wingmen, and we can fix it later. It's an implementation detail that doesn't affect overall game design.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:12 pm

With carriers it is not just a broken implementation.

Right now they are no different from any other capital ship. All capital ships have a wing of uncoordinated aerospace escorts following them around just fine under the power of their own spec and jump drives. And you can dock with any capital and rearm/refuel your ship. So carriers have no niche and changing the game so that they do would be an enormous change.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:37 pm

Well... you're the de-facto game designer right now, so I'll leave it up to you
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