(by tongHoAnh, compiled by Kornel Kisielewicz)
The name said most of it so I'll jump into details:
- The main char shall be a captain of a starship.
- 'Towns' are now starbase and/or inhabitated planets
- The world map is the galaxy and the dungeons are the nebulas or distant spaces chained by wormholes.
Leveling and character stats
For character stat, I guess Stamina (for long fight), Charisma, Intelligence and maybe Perception should be it. For leveling: I prefer exp being pooled directly into skills, and the higher the skill the higher the exp needed to increase it (see skill section for details)
The character should be allowed to have a high variety amount of skills, depending on which direction he want to be. A short list might be: Gunnery, Leadership, Mechanical Engineering, Recon, Research, Manufacturing, etc.
This is the most fun part of the game, since the PC cannot appply his skill if there's no equipment using it onboard. A gunship would you Gunnery, the larger the ship the higher the Leadership should be, the higher the Mech Eng., the better power generator might be placed etc...
I guess a combination of size-based and slot-based should be nice. First, everything on the ships should be confinable into the ships based on size, except for external equipments.
Second, every items on the ship would eat up energy power and man power on its on (exception: power generators doesnt eat up power but fuel) External equiments (gun mostly) use energy power and man power only when activated. each ship has an limited amout of 'slot' you could mount guns on, though.
Extra power generated by power generator (if any) get stored to some extend, depending on you batteries size. Those power then could be used when more power then the power output need to be used (in battles and in warps mostly)
- Buy a whole new ship
- Find/buy parts then put them together.
- Buy/loot them
- Find/buy Blueprints then manufacturing them self
- Mine ores/loot
- Refine ore/scrap parts for construction material
- Find/buy blueprint for parts
- Construct the part based on the blue print.
I'm not quite sure about the control, since space ships can do manything at once. In my opinion, allowing the player doing multiple action in one turn is fine, as long as those are different. Apparently,
I guess those actions could be done in one turn:
- Fire/Activate,deactivate weapon
- Fire/Activate,deactivate other weapon(s) (maybe fire to another locked target(s) with confirm)
- Activate a special equipment (like cloaking, deploying interceptor, activate shield drain etc)
- Lock onto an another target.
That's it for now, comments are welcome.
If sometimes you are a person in a starbase and sometimes you are a starship in outer space you have a chimera of two quite different games. Maybe you can restrict the character to being a starship at all times; the interaction between a ship and a space station doesn't need a lower abstraction level.
A large ship, with an adequate staff and adequate computers, must use everything every turn to be credible; firepower can be limited by available power and by cooldown and reloading pauses, not by control capabilities.
I would go through available weapons every turn and ask what to do with each (select a target and fire the weapon or pass), while continuous use global systems like cloaking or shields can have a pair of specific commands to turn them on and off.
Interesting. Here's an idea, many rogue-likes have pets. Why not have robots or androids that serve various functions? Let's say you find 4 tons of armor material, you're not going to throw that into your back pocket. But if you have a heavy lifting robot, you could task it pick up the goods, carry them back to the ship, and return to you. Perhaps you can 'program' robots with certain behaviors. For example, if you fall in combat, your robot(s) will try to pick up your body and carry it back to the ship's auto-doc for repair. Control over a humber of robots can lead to some interesting puzzle solving. Recon, repair, combat, lifting, medical, engineering, etc. there are a lot of specializations that you could do with robots to flesh out your character's crew/landing party.
R. Dan Henry
If one wanted to make the game ship-centric, the PC could be a human (or other organic) brain wired in to control the ship (living "computer") in a world where AI is highly limited (convenient excuse: AIs actually do rebel as frequently as bad sci-fi would have us believe, so nobody dares use it). Then activities outside the ship could be handled by robots with simple computer brains that can follow basic instructions (with some interpretational ability, but not capable of independent operation outside of their instructions). This would eliminate most concerns about "crew", as you wouldn't need one -- the ship-mind would run the ship and externals would be up to various drones. This would also mean you could explore hostile environments with fewer worries, so a "gas giant" adventure would be quite doable.
Perhaps the tasks the ship can perform should be decided by what crew it has (rather than what skills the commander has). If you bring 20 scientists aboard, exploring and documenting the universe is a lot faster and gives more accurate results, if you bring more mechanics or engineers, it will take less time to repair the ship after a battle (providing you have the needed spare parts), etc.
Each crew member could even have its own set of attributes, and to get the total level of a skill for the ship, the level of that skill for all members would be summed.
I very much like the idea of having a star ship based rogue game. I had a similar idea once, way back in the day, based on the Star Trek universe. Basically, your character would start out with their first command with a lower class star ship. As you progressed in the game you would be able to augment and upgrade your ship, trading it in from time to time for a completely new command. (better starship.)
Some basic ideas I had revolved around crew taking the place of the normal status or characteristics. For example, in a typical rogue-like the character will have attributes such as Strength or Wisdom, etc, but in this game those stats would be represented by a specific crew member. Strength might be represented by your tactical officer. Intelligence by your science officer. and so on. In this way as your officers gain experience in their respective fields your stats would increase. An interesting twist of game play might be to implement a sort of "Gearhead" style character interaction between your crew members that would ultimately effect their ability to follow orders and work along side each other. For example, having a "Klingon" and "Vulcan" as crew members might incur some penalties to collaborating their skills together. However, by interacting with your crew you might be able to negate such penalties through facilitating relationships and such. 'course, that'd probably be next to impossible to code. (but a boy can dream, right? ^_^)
As for navigation I thought it might be effective to use multiple layers to express different scales of perspective. I'm thinking something kind of like ADOM where as you walk around the world map one tile represents a large area in which if you encounter someone, or if you're feeling bored, you scale down to. For space you could have a quadrant map be similar to the overworld or world map in something like ADOM and sector maps similar to the individual fields and such that you can scale down into.
Which brings up an interesting possibility with ship combat and enemies. I seriously doubt any ship will enter into a stereotypical rogue like "dungeon" so I thought it might be intriguing to make it so that in order to engage in combat with ships in a sector you must first "collide" with them (re: enter into the same tile as them) which would zoom you in to an even closer level of detail where a battle or other types of ship to ship interaction can take place.
When it comes to a ship to ship combat it presents an interesting problem of logistics due to the fact that rogue-like combat is turn-based by default. The first approach would be the typical rogue-like movement via the num-keys using various keys on the board to correspond to different actions. (Ie: "f" to fire phasers.) Although a lot more action like, I wouldn't enjoy this version of ship to ship combat. An alternative way of handling it would be to issue a series of commands to your crew, just like a real captain would, and watch it play out. Something like at the beginning of combat you're given an option to queue up commands to your various crew members. Something like;
"Ops: red alert. Helm: Attack course alpha on <enemy ship #1> Sci: scan enemy vessels for weaknesses. Tac: ready phasers and photon torpedoes."
or something like that. This should probably be menu driven with more options available to choose from as your crew grow in experience. For example a level 1 tactical officer may only be able to fire phasers and torpedoes but as they gain experience they can learn to do things like target specific elements of another ship or do special attacks with their weaponry. (Like arming a torpedo with gas probe equipment so that it can find a hidden cloaked klingon ship...and Sulu can then yell "Target that explosion and FIRE!") Once the initial commands are laid in the turns begin. I suppose you could use the typical "." to allow one turn to pass. Each task that you've assigned will probably have a finite time limit on implementation. So where a specific attack pattern will play itself out as long as there is an enemy to track it might take a turn or two to change from one pattern to another. Also preforming things like firing weapons might take a turn to fire and two or three turns before your weapons are ready to fire again. And, of course, while you're giving orders to your crew the enemy is doing the same with theirs reacting to your playing style and such.
Fighting multiple enemies would work pretty much the same as a single enemy where you are now just given the option as to which ship you wish to target.
A rather interesting implementation might be to add armada battles as well. I don't know about anybody else, but when I watched the battles they had in DS9 back in the day I was elated filling my head with all sorts of ideas and daydreams. I think it'd be neat then as a low ranking/experienced captain the first armada battle you'd enter into you'd be receiving orders from the admiralty. Something like:
"Ops: 'Capt. We have received new orders. We are to take out the destroyers attacking the admirals ship."
So on top of surviving being attacked yourself your primary goal would be to defend your commanding ship. Eventually your captain would gain experience to the point where you might be giving the orders to an armada. Giving orders to ships shouldn't be to complicated. there's nothing worse then micro-managing, I think. But telling a specific ship to attack another specific ship or defend etc should be good.
And, of course, battle isn't the only way to resolve hostile situations. There should always be a potential diplomatic solution to every conflict. So the question of how you want to play is up to you; will you be a Kirk or a Picard? o_O??
As for how to actually handle ship navigation I was thinking that instead of the traditional hitting an arrow key moves you one tile you could implement a more star trekish way of doing things where you would plot a course to the desired destination via your helm officer. The actual plotting of a course could be done using the arrow keys kinda after the same fashion most projectile weapons are used in a typical rogue like. An interesting twist might come with if your course takes you through a planetary system or asteroid cloud the experience level of your helm officer can have a huge impact on how long it takes you to navigate such things. Where a low level helm officer might be forced to plot a course around such obstacles a high level officer might give you the option of a shortcut with a risk assessment verses ETA difference. Once a course and speed are laid in I think it would be a good idea for an option screen to be made available in order to put your crew to work at various tasks during the trip. Ship repairs/maintenance, research on alien artifacts, upgrading weapons, etc... would all take a substantial amount of time that can be used during the time it takes getting from point A to point B, even though once you "engage" it looks like only one turn/round has taken place.
Because travelling through space can take a lot of time you'd want to put in some form of an interrupter or something. It would suck having your ship travel from earth to a far off planet at a lower "warp" only to arrive at your destination to find that while you were travelling an enemy managed to wipe out your entire civilization. oops. You're going to want to have the ability to take a call from the admiral on your way to somewhere, I think.
well, sorry for the long post. just some ideas I've been dying to share with people who might actually be able to do something with them.