IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

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trekster
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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by trekster » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:35 pm

Boarding parties, while a core game mechanic, are more a nuisance than purpose driven. Currently, the boarding party is responsible for randomly damaging your vessel and knocking off your crew.
Suggestion: view enemy intruders as a raiding party; perhaps they are responsible for stealing your shield and dodge tokens or maybe your crew.
Suggestion: instead of boarding parties, maybe the enemy transports bombs. Yellow shirts could have the opportunity to disarm them.

You can fend off boarding parties by timing shield and dodge tokens.
Suggestion: what if the boarding party came on board via a shuttle or assault pod that can bypass your shields or dodge and attach itself to the side of a ship. You have to shoot it off with red shirts.

With boarding parties, you can triage the damage sustained by them; fix certain systems while ignoring others.
Suggestion: Place greater weight on systems such as the bridge and engine room. If you lose the engine room, you start lose power to random sections of the ship. If you lose the bridge, all your systems shut down.

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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by NosTek » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:33 am

Going Of what I know About playing this game on my iPod I'd say as far as the ship to ship battles and a mini games are concerned take away the green outline of the ship you are attacking and rather just go into a first person view on the deck and move the target radicals on a animated enemy ship. Have the option to press a button and zoom out of that attack mode in order to command crew members on your ship and be able to swap from command crew mode and attack mode real time, top down to first person in real time.It would also be cool to be able to see while in first person view real time damage on the enemy ship, for instance after the shields are gone and you blow a hole through the hull of the enemy ship to actually see the oxygen being sucked out to space or maybe some of their crew member's being sucked out into space. Maybe even have an option to run your scanners and get a dot matrix view of where the enemy crew is located on the enemy ship and concentrate fire to those areas. If I'm out matched id try to kill the enemies weapons crew and then board the ship. Id also tow the damaged ship to a local scrap asteroid for credits hehehe.

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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by robocaptain » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:09 am

I would keep the minigame system but rearrange it somewhat. I would suggest there only be two minigames: one for weapon targeting, and one for dodging enemy fire. Both would require a person on the bridge to function, in addition to people in the weapons rooms and engineering, respectively. I think having the minigames function only if you had someone on the bridge and in the weapons rooms or engineering would more fully integrate the ship's systems and give the bridge and engineering crew something important to do.

The weapon targeting game would be the same for all weapons, and I would base off what is currently in place for the Plasma Torpedo, since it's the closest to actively aiming at enemy ships. I would replace the current wire-frame image with a top-down overview of the enemy ship, which would have the broad areas of "weapons and command," "science," and "engineering" color-coded (so the enemy ship's image would have red, blue and yellow overlays corresponding to the different areas). This would allow for players to attempt to target distinct parts of the enemy ship, enhancing the tactical strategy of ship-to-ship combat while leaving an element of luck (i.e., if you target the "science" sections of the enemy ship, you might hit any science section, so you'd have a chance to take out their shield recharger or healing room, but you wouldn't know exactly which you were firing at). Having away teams boarding the enemy ship or scanning the ship could allow you to ascertain the locations of specific systems and reduce the element of luck when targeting.

The weapon minigame could be affected by the skill of your bridge and/or weapons crew, and by the speeds of your ship and that of the enemy. Using the Plasma Torpedo as an example: the targeting lines would move slower (making accurate targeting in the minigame easier) if your bridge/weapons crew was very skilled or you had a speed advantage against the enemy ship. The targeting lines would move faster if they enemy had a faster ship or your crew was very green. Your ship's speed could be affected by upgrades to engineering, and how many skilled crew members were stationed there. This would raise the importance of having crew in engineering and allow for new strategic challenges since multiple ship systems would be connected.

The engineering-based minigame would be one where you had a chance to dodge enemy fire. Off the top of my head, I think a minigame that approximated a top-down shooter (in the vein of Space Invaders, except your ship is getting shot at) would work for this. Your ship's speed and engineering crew skill would again come into play here, as you could move side-to-side faster with a speedier ship and more skilled crew.

I would retain the "Dodge Generator" room as it is, but I think the engineering-minigame I described above would be good as a complement. The "Dodge Generator" functions well as a get-out-of-jail-free card, but having the minigame would allow for players to still have a method of avoiding enemy fire even if they declined to build the generator.

So those are my ideas; they seem to be in line with some of the other suggestions on this topic. Going back to the original prompt - I think that having weapons do different amounts of damage to shields and the hull is a good idea and would certainly make building your ship a lot more strategic.

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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by jpcoombs » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:53 pm

ixloc wrote:I always thought it would be interesting to introduce maneuvers into the game for the ship to ship combat.

This would allow the bridge to staffed and have a use during combat.

Similar to weapons, shields, and dodge Maneuvers would be another action your crew could perform in battle or Before battle.

Let say you come upon an Antorian ship. a behind the scenes dice roll happens to determine who go the drop on who or are both ships on equal footing. The more crew you have in your bridge the better chance you will get your ship in a better firing position.

Let's say you win the dice roll. you are then presented with the option of positioning your ship in one of 3-4 places to allow your weapons to better target certain systems on the enemy ships. ( this would be different for each race and some may not have weakness at all.) Some example maneuvers: Broadside, Ambush, Hit and Run, Full Frontal Attack. These tactics would give a bonus to the attacking ship their weapons the next time they fire. If it's the enemy ship weak spot (if it has one) then you get a double bonus.

Broadside: Your ship goes alongside the enemy ship and the first salvo from your guns impact the enemy ship at close range.

Ambush: Your ship waits for the enemy to pass by then attacks from behind.

Hit and Run: Your ship attacks from either the top or the bottom (players choice)

Full Frontal Attack: Your ship spirals head on at the enemy ship guns blazing. Your ships weapons are instantly ready to fire the first salvo. any hits you make get bonus damage.

Standard attack: If you loose the dice roll the enemy could perform a maneuver on the player or the standard equal footing battle commences.

These maneuvers could also give possible hinderances as well if they fail. A failed broadside would have the enemy behind you for example. I'm still thinking about how to see that happen visually. It could all happen via text or when you zoom out to see both ships you would see their positions on the screen. it would add a little more user involvement to the game during fighting that was not just mini game/repel boarders.

Thoughts?
Like this a lot - but one of the problems is the ships arent 3D or overhead - so its impossible to "rotate" them. So if you do a broadside attack the visual really isn't going to match. It's something we are struggling with.
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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by Glacian » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:06 pm

What if each ship were free to move about its half of the screen (thus preserving angles for art, etc.)… dodge maneuvers (however accessed) could move left, right, up, down to avoid shots and reposition spatially. Shields would be an additional layer as mentioned in an earlier suggestion to be "positionable" in any direction with as many nuances as you'd like [all shields to one area, balance to several, etc.]

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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by jpcoombs » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:17 pm

robocaptain wrote:I would keep the minigame system but rearrange it somewhat. I would suggest there only be two minigames: one for weapon targeting, and one for dodging enemy fire. Both would require a person on the bridge to function, in addition to people in the weapons rooms and engineering, respectively. I think having the minigames function only if you had someone on the bridge and in the weapons rooms or engineering would more fully integrate the ship's systems and give the bridge and engineering crew something important to do.

The weapon targeting game would be the same for all weapons, and I would base off what is currently in place for the Plasma Torpedo, since it's the closest to actively aiming at enemy ships. I would replace the current wire-frame image with a top-down overview of the enemy ship, which would have the broad areas of "weapons and command," "science," and "engineering" color-coded (so the enemy ship's image would have red, blue and yellow overlays corresponding to the different areas). This would allow for players to attempt to target distinct parts of the enemy ship, enhancing the tactical strategy of ship-to-ship combat while leaving an element of luck (i.e., if you target the "science" sections of the enemy ship, you might hit any science section, so you'd have a chance to take out their shield recharger or healing room, but you wouldn't know exactly which you were firing at). Having away teams boarding the enemy ship or scanning the ship could allow you to ascertain the locations of specific systems and reduce the element of luck when targeting.

The weapon minigame could be affected by the skill of your bridge and/or weapons crew, and by the speeds of your ship and that of the enemy. Using the Plasma Torpedo as an example: the targeting lines would move slower (making accurate targeting in the minigame easier) if your bridge/weapons crew was very skilled or you had a speed advantage against the enemy ship. The targeting lines would move faster if they enemy had a faster ship or your crew was very green. Your ship's speed could be affected by upgrades to engineering, and how many skilled crew members were stationed there. This would raise the importance of having crew in engineering and allow for new strategic challenges since multiple ship systems would be connected.

The engineering-based minigame would be one where you had a chance to dodge enemy fire. Off the top of my head, I think a minigame that approximated a top-down shooter (in the vein of Space Invaders, except your ship is getting shot at) would work for this. Your ship's speed and engineering crew skill would again come into play here, as you could move side-to-side faster with a speedier ship and more skilled crew.

I would retain the "Dodge Generator" room as it is, but I think the engineering-minigame I described above would be good as a complement. The "Dodge Generator" functions well as a get-out-of-jail-free card, but having the minigame would allow for players to still have a method of avoiding enemy fire even if they declined to build the generator.

So those are my ideas; they seem to be in line with some of the other suggestions on this topic. Going back to the original prompt - I think that having weapons do different amounts of damage to shields and the hull is a good idea and would certainly make building your ship a lot more strategic.

There's some really good stuff here. I like two mini games for the different functions and maybe changing some of the mechanics based on the actual weapon or defensive maneuver you are using.

It also might be fun to make the ship vs. ship a little more RPG/Final Fantasyesque - show the ratings of your members vs. the ratings of their crew and that helps determine how the minigame is going to go. Add a bit of twitch in there, but for the most part a lot of the damage and results are determined by the skill ratings of your crew vs. their ratings (+bridge condition/+engineering condition/+upgrades/+tactical choices/+twitch results)
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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by lewis-brooks » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:02 am

I think RoboCaptain's longer comment hits the nail perfectly, it references my earlier post but in more detail. I still think that a luck generator needs to be added with more experienced crew increases the chance of a direct hit or more damage (Referenced by somebody else I believe)

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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by jpcoombs » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:44 pm

lewis-brooks wrote:I think RoboCaptain's longer comment hits the nail perfectly, it references my earlier post but in more detail. I still think that a luck generator needs to be added with more experienced crew increases the chance of a direct hit or more damage (Referenced by somebody else I believe)

Maybe you have the RPG system for each of the crews competing. The higher the skill levels of each crew the more likely you get a natural 20 - a "direct hit" like you said. You can augment this with a jewel system - taking the tokens the rooms are generating and using them for bonuses when you fire.
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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by timrizk » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:40 pm

A lot of ideas floating around so I copy and pasted them in bold, and added my comments (unbolded).

I think allowing more than two crewmembers to man each weapon would improve the depth of strategy. Rather than filling the gun rooms and defending them, there would be more incentive to move and defend different rooms. The limiting factor to offensive power would be moved from number of slots (which the player doesn't control) to positioning of crewmembers (which the player controls directly). This would make the rock-paper-scissors somewhat more interesting than the current system of "fire away!!!"

I disagree; I find the incentive to defend certain rooms is based on the room type and the size/number of invaders. If invaders are going to destroy my weapons systems, I will throw the kitchen sink at them. However, they can destroy the Medical Room without me shedding a tear.

I would like to see that change, every damaged/destroyed room should cause a noticeable change in the crew/ship behavior. Below is a list of penalties a ship and its crew suffer when a particular room is destroyed:

Engine Room – Entire ship loses power, no rooms are able to generate tokens or expend them. Ships lights are cut off (minus a few “emergency lights). Creatures that cannot see in the dark suffer accuracy penalty.

Bridge – Lose sensors to determine enemy ship’s hull/shields, weapons statuses, and intruder level. Lose indicator that enemy has fire a weapon at your ship (makes it more difficult to dodge).

The other rooms’ penalty for being destroyed is simply not being able to use those particular abilities during combat.

An interesting concept (yes, I know this goes along the “Alien Tactics”) would be for species that can see in the dark (Antorians) to specifically target the Engine room to cause a lights out situation where they have the advantage.

I would like to see a larger maximum crew size however (a few extra crewmembers than I have slots) so I can dynamically reassign the white shirts into roles as I lose ppl, rather than immediately juggling my crew around. Alternatively, add slots for each room than it needs to operate at 100%. If a red room needs 2 people to operate at 100%, let me have a 3rd slot, so I can create an ad-hoc security/heal/repair detail with compromising my room’s performance. I do not mind juggling the crew around as a battle goes on, but requiring me to do this from jump just makes the ship feel… undermanned.

Edit: realized that didn't really fall into "ship-to-ship" category. oops. Here's one that's actually pertinent to the discussion

I feel like there needs to be some sort of differentiation between the enemy ships. As it falls right now, the only way to tell if one is fighting the antorians vs the zombies is that the invading sprites are different. Maybe some sort of auditory feedback from the enemy would help make things a little less generic. Every time a missile hits, some sort of anguish from the enemy captain could be heard. Rather than watching a little bar go down, it would provide an indication that something was being accomplished


I agree that there should be differentiation between enemy ships. On that note, I think that hearing the enemy captain grunt/groan/moan/whatever every time I land a hit would be incredibly annoying. I also think the effort would be wasted because I am willing to bet most players play with their phones on mute.

Ships should be different though, different looking weapons they fire, with different characteristics(damage, recharge rate, etc.). I know you are already addressing tactics of the different alien races, but ships between the same race should also play differently too. A smaller ship would probably have a smaller crew, so they would probably attempt a boarding party at different rates/sizes and might have different objectives.

What if engineers could offer temporary boosts to the production of particular weapons? For example maybe having an option in the engine room in which multiple engineers could combine to re-route power from Shields (slowing down Token production) or dodge (slowing down token production) in order to create "super charged" torpedo tokens, which do extra damage... And also damage the torpedo launcher when fired... That could be a cool last ditch effort if you were trying to end an enemy ship before they were able to put one more shot on you.

I don’t think engineers should play a role in changing how other non-engineer rooms operate. I do like the ability to reroute power to different rooms/systems to make them more effective. Rerouting power to engines could make your ship’s dodge generator recharge faster. Same concept for shields and weapons.

Supercharging sounds like a cool concept, but I would like to get away from tokens, they don’t really do much except slow down the game and make me micromanage. You should have the opportunity double charge (select the option from the room with an existing full charge). Supercharging any system should allow it to create 2.25-2.5 times its standard effect (since you took twice as long to charge it, it should create the double effect plus some extra to create an incentive). A downside to supercharging would be the chance of having a critical failure where something blows up or does damage to your ship somehow.

What about the ability for an offensive attack to allow the player to specify a enemy system?

Attack the engines makes a ship slower, giving the player an speed advantage
Attack sensors makes the enemy ship have a disadvantage in locking weapons on the player ship
ATtack weapons makes the enemy ship unable to fire back, gives the player a choice to either continue attacking or a chance to repair.

This sounds like a fantastic idea. I would like the idea Having the ability to target any enemy’s transporter or weapons would make the combat much more interesting.

if the engine room is damaged your mobility decreases meaning you become more septable to increased weapons lockon, ability to evade weapons fire has been decreased until the room has been repaired. Possibility of shield/power drain to other systems?

Damage to the weapons room could mean perhaps less damage hit on the enemy ship or accuracy becomes more difficult until room is repaired.


Agreed. I think that as a room takes damage there should be minor penalties until the room is destroyed.

Make we should have some sort of trap system on the ship hall way for intruders, (Not so common for me though),
Doorways and things the enemy should be able to charge through, and then you have to barricade it or something


I think locking doors would create an interesting mechanic which allows players to funnel intruders into a certain direction. Of course these doors could be destroyed by weapons fire or larger enemies (big Antorians) smashing the door down. It would also give the player an opportunity to respond to a situation before an entire room of engineers gets overrun. Room locking could be toggled on at the rooms themselves or control all the doors at the bridge. Of course if someone were locked IN a room and something bad happened (hull breach/fire) it wouldn’t be very good for that person.

If mini games aren't off the table, perhaps you could alter them a bit... For example instead of just having a "hit the mark" mini game, perhaps you coul have a "vs ai" mini game.
So you assign one of your engineers or science officers to jam their sensors, or scramble their transporters... And what you get is a mini game where you square off against a member of the opposing crew as they attempt to thwart you... Not something as complex as chess, but more strategic than tic tac toe. Different alien races could have advantages or handicaps in certain areas... And perhaps a handicap could be applied in the players advantage if he/she is using a crewmen with a high skill level in that area.

I love the mini-games, it makes me feel as though I am the one controlling the weapons and targeting systems. I would like to see a little more variety than the dot moving around the circle. For those people that hate the mini-games you can give them the option to skip them and allow their crew to perform the attack based on their skill. When you have a low skilled crew at the start, you will probably want to do the mini-games yourself since your crew will probably miss a lot. As the game progresses, you can pass the buck to your crew, which will be a relief, since you will probably be too busy managing other tasks at that point. Choosing which would be as simple as choosing “Automatic” or “Manual” after you choose the “Fire” button.

Be careful making the mini-games too complex, since we want to focus on the Star-Command and a complex mini-game just slows everything down.

If the ship had a few more tactical options then the Aliens (and the player) could think outside the box more… for example what if you could actually do things from the bridge or engineering… like lock doors, or vent radiation… these would need to be last resort type options, but they could be accomplished pretty easy I think…

Desperate action: Vent radiation from light wave engines into engineering killing everyone there (simple green cloud area effect)

Negative side effect: lose all benefits of engine upgrades for 30 seconds

Desperate action: Open an air lock… sucking things out… and putting out fires…I think that’d work well if fires will be SPREADING with future updates…

Negative Side effect: Weakens hull’s structural integrity leaving several “soft spots” that are only a few points of damage away from breaching… they could vary in size and severity by how long the air lock was open.

Desperate action: detonate a torpedo token… killing all intruders in that area…

Negative Side effect: kills everyone in that area… hull breached…

Desperate action: Overload circuits in a particular room doing severe damage and knocking down any crew working in that room, or any Alien Sapper attempting to interface with that room. (Notice not all the people in this room will be hurt only those “actually working with the circuits”)

Negative Side effect: room is rendered inoperable until repaired…

Desperate action: transporting… I think you should be able to actually transport things… IT should be time consuming and not TOO simple (mini-game; maybe require a token), so that if you are focusing on transporting everyone around your ship, then you aren’t able to be moving tactical officers, making tokens, etc… But it’d be rad to transport a bug into space…

Negative Side effect: time consumption… BUT if you made the process of transporting a mini-game, then if you screw up, its beamed off target… “oops I meant to beam that bug into space Captain… sorry he ended up on the bridge”… or worse yet… “Engineering where is Dr. Smith” “I just beamed him to the bridge as you ordered captain, the transporters show that the transport is complete… isn’t he there?” –concerned looks all around-

These sorts of things would make it feel a little less like a smash em and bash em and more like an outsmart em… maybe there could be “missions” where there isn’t a ship… but there is something on your craft… and you have to take drastic steps to find it and kill it… like a bad case of starship fungus…

This idea makes me hesitate, because there are so many “just kill everything” options, that I imagine certain players will find a way to abuse this system. Instead of a building a defensive force and strategically killing their enemies, they will “cheat” the system.

Like how players took advantage of the non-exploding ship and hid their entire crew in the weapons rooms and allowed hull breaches to suck all the enemies out.


Being able to seal off areas enableing you to vent to atmosphere would be cool. Blast doors could be an upgrade path, if you have a spreading fire, you can seal the blast door and vent the area loosing everyone inside and rendering the room/s useless untill repaired. This means you could even seal off areas thats been breached to stop your crew wandering in front of the area of effect and getting sucked into infinity.

That what shield tokens are for. If shields are up, then hull breaches don’t suck anyone out. Use shield tokens to buy engineers time to repair hull breaches.

More options for weapons, ¬- Yes, more weapons to make bad guys go boom.

multiple decks. – Might make things too complicated, I’d rather have one deck but a big ship.
Cosmetic designs for ships, or a ship layout construction type setup – You can already choose different cosmetic designs and ship layouts…I would like to see the ability to design your OWN ship. That would be really cool.

The ability to change the colors of your crew uniforms. – I kind of like the skittles thing.

More exploration and diplomacy rewards. – Yup.

A scanning room to give you added damages with your weapons or shield penetration. - Weapons rooms already have upgrades……

One more idea, some ships have special abilities

Ship special abilities does sound rather interesting. At least unique characteristics (ship x gets +10 dodge recharge, etc.)


How about a luck based system were you still make the tokens but there is no mini game but there are % the guns will miss but you can improve the accuracy by upgrading the room

I think tokens should go away immediately. A crewmember skill and luck based system for attack/other functions would be nice for players that do not feel like doing a mini-game every time they attack. Allow the player to choose manual targeting (mini-game mode) or automatic (skill/luck system). Choosing which would be as simple as choosing “Automatic” or “Manual” after you choose the “Fire” button.

I always thought it would be interesting to introduce maneuvers into the game for the ship to ship combat. This would allow the bridge to staffed and have a use during combat. Similar to weapons, shields, and dodge Maneuvers would be another action your crew could perform in battle or before battle.

Let say you come upon an Antorian ship. a behind the scenes dice roll happens to determine who go the drop on who or are both ships on equal footing. The more crew you have in your bridge the better chance you will get your ship in a better firing position.

Let's say you win the dice roll. you are then presented with the option of positioning your ship in one of 3-4 places to allow your weapons to better target certain systems on the enemy ships. ( this would be different for each race and some may not have weakness at all.)

Some example maneuvers: Broadside, Ambush, Hit and Run, Full Frontal Attack. These tactics would give a bonus to the attacking ship their weapons the next time they fire. If it's the enemy ship weak spot (if it has one) then you get a double bonus.

Broadside: Your ship goes alongside the enemy ship and the first salvo from your guns impact the enemy ship at close range.

Ambush: Your ship waits for the enemy to pass by then attacks from behind.

Hit and Run: Your ship attacks from either the top or the bottom (players choice)

Full Frontal Attack: Your ship spirals head on at the enemy ship guns blazing. Your ships weapons are instantly ready to fire the first salvo. any hits you make get bonus damage.

Standard attack: If you loose the dice roll the enemy could perform a maneuver on the player or the standard equal footing battle commences.

These maneuvers could also give possible hinderances as well if they fail. A failed broadside would have the enemy behind you for example. I'm still thinking about how to see that happen visually. It could all happen via text or when you zoom out to see both ships you would see their positions on the screen. it would add a little more user involvement to the game during fighting that was not just mini game/repel boarders.

Thoughts?



I think this system is pretty complicated, and would be very difficult to implement.

I think the main problem is the battle is too slow-paced, reduce the weapons recharge time a little bit

Agreed, remove tokens altogether, and allow players to mini-game or rely on crew skill to fire the weapons.


What about coordinating joint attacks against multiple ships/fleets or even armadas! The game could allow fleets to engage and take down specific systems on ships.

I like the idea of fighting alongside other ships, creates a new dynamic (2vs2, 2vs1, etc.).

Why not allow piracy to occur in space when you board an enemy ship you could take it and sell it, or keep it for yourself.


Interesting, but there really isn’t any in game currency to sell the ship for (except tokens).

What about as a last resort, allow the player to ram an enemy ship and transfer crew to an ally ship or another ship/planet nearby. This could a one-time occurrence and not something featured in common ship combat.

Eh… I can’t say this idea really excites me.

I personally don't mind the mini-games, but I also don't think they're necessary. I think if you replaced them with a better animated combat experience, maybe one that is a bit quicker in pace, people would be happy.

See my above comments on mini-games.

I realize there's a fine line in how fast the pace should be because of factors like upgrades and their effect as well as how difficult/fun it might be to have a crazy fast tapfest. Nobody wants this to be Cooking Momma. As far as animation goes, I would like to see the crew interact more with the ship and for exploding ships to look cooler. The current way it all works and looks is great but I would personally have more fun looking at the screen and playing the game if things were a little more animated.

A little vague. Kind of like telling a cartoonist to draw his cartoons more cartoonish.

I think the mini games are a core mechanic for the game for tablets and phones and I think if you start replacing or substituting the mini game, you will disrupt the flow of the game negatively. You may want to increase the tempo, but to what end.

Agree.

However, I don’t think the mini game will translate well to PC version. I look forward to finding out how you implemented in the PC version.
Form a tablet user perspective, I like the mini games, but I don’t find them very dynamic; visually they are very bland and does not compliment the pixel art of the game. Also, which I think is lost in the mini game, is the art and detail of the enemy ships.

I think the mini-games are fine since you are really looking at them for about 15 seconds anyway.

So much of my focus as a player is on the boarding parties and damage and fire control, I don’t have a reason to pan out; to view the other ship.
Suggestion: replace the dark green schematic of the enemy vessel in the mini game with the more detailed visual of the ship.


I agree, I never pan over to view the enemy ship, so *maybe* a visual display might be more friendly for some users.

Specific suggestion: remove the token generation of the plasma torpedo and keep only the mini game.

Agree wholeheartedly. Remove all the tokens. You can upgrade your rooms based on the goals they achieve (fire and hit 15 shots, 1 upgrade, inflict 500 pts damage, another upgrade). If you don’t want to base upgrading rooms on goals, then perhaps we should introduce a currency system (a lot of other ideas will rely on a currency system anyway) and you simply spend currency to upgrade a room.

Boarding parties, while a core game mechanic, are more a nuisance than purpose driven. Currently, the boarding party is responsible for randomly damaging your vessel and knocking off your crew. Suggestion: view enemy intruders as a raiding party; perhaps they are responsible for stealing your shield and dodge tokens or maybe your crew. Suggestion: instead of boarding parties, maybe the enemy transports bombs. Yellow shirts could have the opportunity to disarm them.

I do agree boarding parties are a nuisance, and do not do much. They should have an objective such as disabling a particular room. Transporting bombs is interesting, and I believe was a topic discussed in “alien tactics”.

You can fend off boarding parties by timing shield and dodge tokens.
Suggestion: what if the boarding party came on board via a shuttle or assault pod that can bypass your shields or dodge and attach itself to the side of a ship. You have to shoot it off with red shirts.


I like the idea of seeing boarding parties come aboard via different methods. It would be cool to see an assault pod attached to the side of your ship spewing out enemies.

With boarding parties, you can triage the damage sustained by them; fix certain systems while ignoring others.
Suggestion: Place greater weight on systems such as the bridge and engine room. If you lose the engine room, you start lose power to random sections of the ship. If you lose the bridge, all your systems shut down.

Agreed. I mentioned this earlier.

Going Of what I know About playing this game on my iPod I'd say as far as the ship to ship battles and a mini games are concerned take away the green outline of the ship you are attacking and rather just go into a first person view on the deck and move the target radicals on a animated enemy ship. Have the option to press a button and zoom out of that attack mode in order to command crew members on your ship and be able to swap from command crew mode and attack mode real time, top down to first person in real time.

I like the mini-games, and switching between top-down to first person views would be very difficult/demanding.

It would also be cool to be able to see while in first person view real time damage on the enemy ship, for instance after the shields are gone and you blow a hole through the hull of the enemy ship to actually see the oxygen being sucked out to space or maybe some of their crew member's being sucked out into space. Maybe even have an option to run your scanners and get a dot matrix view of where the enemy crew is located on the enemy ship and concentrate fire to those areas.

It would be nice to see the effects of your weapons systems on the enemy. Perhaps not a first person view, but watching their ship become damaged through the battle would be nice. Scanning the ship and concentrating fire in those areas is an idea with merit as well.

If I'm out matched id try to kill the enemies weapons crew and then board the ship. Id also tow the damaged ship to a local scrap asteroid

I am not sure the game is set up for this idea right now. Especially considering there isn’t really “currency”.

I would keep the minigame system but rearrange it somewhat. I would suggest there only be two minigames: one for weapon targeting, and one for dodging enemy fire.

A mini-game for dodging fire and recharging shields sounds like a fun twist. If you do poorly on the dodge mini-game, the hit will have a full effect based on the enemy’s weapon. If you do decently, the enemy will hit with reduced damage. A perfect play will cause the enemy to miss completely.

Shield mini-game is similar. The better you perform in the game the more shields you can recharge.

Both would require a person on the bridge to function, in addition to people in the weapons rooms and engineering, respectively. I think having the minigames function only if you had someone on the bridge and in the weapons rooms or engineering would more fully integrate the ship's systems and give the bridge and engineering crew something important to do.

I disagree, requiring three systems to be operational before being able to fire a weapon would make things incredibly difficult if you are losing a battle. The only room that should be critical the ship’s performance is the Engine room, since it provides all power.

The weapon targeting game would be the same for all weapons, and I would base off what is currently in place for the Plasma Torpedo, since it's the closest to actively aiming at enemy ships. I would replace the current wire-frame image with a top-down overview of the enemy ship, which would have the broad areas of "weapons and command," "science," and "engineering" color-coded (so the enemy ship's image would have red, blue and yellow overlays corresponding to the different areas). This would allow for players to attempt to target distinct parts of the enemy ship, enhancing the tactical strategy of ship-to-ship combat while leaving an element of luck (i.e., if you target the "science" sections of the enemy ship, you might hit any science section, so you'd have a chance to take out their shield recharger or healing room, but you wouldn't know exactly which you were firing at). Having away teams boarding the enemy ship or scanning the ship could allow you to ascertain the locations of specific systems and reduce the element of luck when targeting.

Agreed. This sounds like a fun and interesting proposition.

The weapon minigame could be affected by the skill of your bridge and/or weapons crew, and by the speeds of your ship and that of the enemy. Using the Plasma Torpedo as an example: the targeting lines would move slower (making accurate targeting in the minigame easier) if your bridge/weapons crew was very skilled or you had a speed advantage against the enemy ship. The targeting lines would move faster if they enemy had a faster ship or your crew was very green. Your ship's speed could be affected by upgrades to engineering, and how many skilled crew members were stationed there. This would raise the importance of having crew in engineering and allow for new strategic challenges since multiple ship systems would be connected.

I like this idea as well.

The engineering-based minigame would be one where you had a chance to dodge enemy fire. Off the top of my head, I think a minigame that approximated a top-down shooter (in the vein of Space Invaders, except your ship is getting shot at) would work for this. Your ship's speed and engineering crew skill would again come into play here, as you could move side-to-side faster with a speedier ship and more skilled crew.

Sure, sound good.

I would retain the "Dodge Generator" room as it is, but I think the engineering-minigame I described above would be good as a complement. The "Dodge Generator" functions well as a get-out-of-jail-free card, but having the minigame would allow for players to still have a method of avoiding enemy fire even if they declined to build the generator.

No. I think the any room should really have a “get-out-of-jail-free” card. The dodge generator would merely give you the opportunity to dodge invader/weapons.

So those are my ideas; they seem to be in line with some of the other suggestions on this topic. Going back to the original prompt - I think that having weapons do different amounts of damage to shields and the hull is a good idea and would certainly make building your ship a lot more strategic.

What if each ship were free to move about its half of the screen (thus preserving angles for art, etc.)… dodge maneuvers (however accessed) could move left, right, up, down to avoid shots and reposition spatially. Shields would be an additional layer as mentioned in an earlier suggestion to be "positionable" in any direction with as many nuances as you'd like [all shields to one area, balance to several, etc.]

I think this game focuses more on controlling the internals of the ship itself, and adding the ability to changing positions would shift the direct toward a space flight simulator.

It also might be fun to make the ship vs. ship a little more RPG/Final Fantasyesque - show the ratings of your members vs. the ratings of their crew and that helps determine how the minigame is going to go. Add a bit of twitch in there, but for the most part a lot of the damage and results are determined by the skill ratings of your crew vs. their ratings (+bridge condition/+engineering condition/+upgrades/+tactical choices/+twitch results)

I don’t think bridge condition should really factor into the damage a weapon does. The bridge would be responsible for sensors and indicators (as I mentioned much earlier). Perhaps if the bridge is damaged/destroyed the color coding system in the mini-games (referenced earlier) would go away. Having a damaged Engine room should affect all rooms to a certain degree (reducing their effectiveness since they are being supplied with less power) leading to total power outage when the Engine room is destroyed.

I didn’t see it mentioned, but I think it goes without saying. Please make all rooms in the ship vulnerable to hull breaches. Make the ship destructible (you can lose if it sustains enough damage and blows up). If a room receives a direct hit, there should a small chance of knocking that room offline for a little while (15-30 seconds). There should also be a TINY chance that a critical hit to the Engine or Weapons rooms will cause a massive explosion destroying much of the ship around it and killing the crew or destroying the ship. I’m thinking of the USS Arizona during Pearl Harbor, when a bomb exploded in the magazine room nearly destroying the ship completely with 1 hit.

To anyone that read this monstrous post, congratulations, you deserve a medal. :ugeek:

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Re: IMPROVE IT: Ship-to-Ship Battles

Post by Glacian » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:18 pm

Another potential improvement would be to match incoming attack types to the damage inflicted: torpedoes cause hull breaches when they strike, lasers raise temperatures and trigger fiery outbreaks, etc.
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