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Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » Noctis-Style Gameplay
Noctis-Style Gameplay
SpaceEngineerDate: Friday, 27.05.2011, 19:28 | Message # 1
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As you know, I plan to include some game-play features in SpaceEngine. My main goal is to create a Noctis-like game. Players will have a huge interstellar ship with some shuttles to land on planets. The player can fly over mountains in shuttle or drive vehicles on land. If I implement a good underwater environment, then players can use a submarine as well.

Basic physics is Newtonian, including orbital flights. The main ship and shuttles will have powerful rocket engines that require some kind of fuel (hydrogen would be collected in gas giant atmospheres using a special device or a special harvester spaceship). The engines used will equalize velocity and potential energy of ship with velocity and potential energy near target before hyperjump. This introduces some calculations for the hyperjump. Orbital flights require calculations too.

Hyperflight is a series of short jumps (teleportations), that preserves energy. The length of a single jump is dependant on local gravity field, so when near planets and stars the "hyperspeed" decreases. Preservation of energy means that you must accelerate to 11.2 km/s near Earth to leave its gravitational field, using main engines. Think about hyperflight as usual "Newtonian" flight with usual cosmic velocities of 10-100-1000 km/s, but with time compression. So hyperflight calculations are tiny modified orbital flight calculations.

If I introduce networking, then there will be a possibility of organizing a database on the web server, so players can then upload to server, data and coordinates of interesting places they discover, or they can download information from other players. An automatic search algorithm will find interesting events such as solar eclipses or an expected supernova explosion. Players can read about this in "astronomy news" and then fly there to watch the events for themselves. I could even introduce possibility of player interactions, such as cooperative journeys, or even have some form of combat, but with some restrictions as determined by network bandwidth and server performance.

*





 
NeonDate: Friday, 27.05.2011, 23:27 | Message # 2
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Woohooo sounds great... I can't wait biggrin I love the idea smile

Given these ships are so large, would it be possible at sometime
in the future for more than one player to be on the same ship
controlling different stations? That is if the networking side
works out. Visions of Star Trek science officer come to mind lol.

I like the way you are thinking, was thinking just a small ship with
a single cockpit, I like your idea much more smile
 
AceDate: Saturday, 28.05.2011, 08:09 | Message # 3
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One game to check out is Independence War which had Newtonian physics but two modes of non-thruster travel that worked well for gameplay purposes.

So you had standard flight and maneuvers with chemical thrusters.

Then there was LDS drive, which accelerated your ship to fractions of C. This mode was inertialess but allowed for quick transit around a planetary system. (So Earth-Moon, between Jovian moons, etc. You could reach the star in 5-10 minutes if needed)

The third type of FTL was for longer distances and instantaneous and also had a strategic side.

Capsule drive effectively teleported the ship between LaGrange Points.

What would be interesting is to see the hyperdrive you discussed work somewhat like LDS drive and would be something good for in-system or local cluster travel.

You could throttle velocity from 0m/s to 5psc/s or so. Ships lose inertia when engaging the drive, preventing reality-breaking kinetic energy issues. (everything would break down to relativistic kinetic kill vehicles otherwise)

For another type of FTL that would be very advanced, hyperspace windows would be great. Operates a lot like a portal in the game Portal. Basically you move through it to a new location, conserving momentum and inertia. You can also see through the other side of the portal or fire objects through it.

This might be a form of FTL used to instantly move a whole cargo or war fleet. With a dedicated jump ship that generates the entrance and exit portals and other ships move through. Portal locations could be limited to Lagrange Points to add a strategic side and prevent abuse. (things like opening a portal in a planet atmosphere, etc.)


Edited by Ace - Saturday, 28.05.2011, 08:11
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Saturday, 28.05.2011, 20:19 | Message # 4
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Ace,

I don't like portals because it destroys the continuity of space in SE. Transition via portal is like moving to neighbour's room, it would negate the need to have slow majestic interstellar flight. I have had this kind of discussion on the Russian forums as well. They argue there that portal windows must move through space with velocities of 500-1000 km/s to satisfy energy-momentum preservation laws. This is the velocity of galaxy, plus velocity of star relative to cosmological commoving coordinate system. Portals must rest relative to this. So a portal resting relative to a star or planet is impossible. Btw, The Portal game has a physics error: Its portals saves momentum, but does not save energy. So it's possible to take infinite energy when falling between two portals opened in floor and ceiling (if there is no air brake).

*





 
NeonDate: Sunday, 12.06.2011, 19:41 | Message # 5
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Yeh I'm against portals too. I like feeling like I'm travelling through a medium
rather than leaving one place n instantly arriving elsewhere. Evochron did that
and it always felt like a load screen even though it wasn't. Portals are a good
discuise for a load screen but we don't need it here, so it makes sense to
use what we have smile

I'm not familiar with Noctis, only references I find on youtube are final fantasy.

Will there be things like an economic system, ie make money to gain technology?
I like that system, particularly as a new user, takes u a little while before you
can get the good stuff n get out of the local neighbourhood. Of course, if
a combat system is in place, it opens up the possibility for advanced ships
picking on new players with weaker ships which is a real downside, something
that should be avoided.
 
ThursDate: Tuesday, 14.06.2011, 18:37 | Message # 6
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You have not played Noctis, Neon? Go google Noctis IV+ and try and get it to run on your computer. Spend a few hours in it. It's a unique gaming experience unmatched by any. Remember that it is from the 90s, and built for DOS.

As soon as a basic ship model is added, perhaps one that you can walk around in, and a system for landing and exploring planet surfaces is created, you will be able to adventure around the universe, recording your findings in your pilot's log, and uploading it somewhere for others to see (and possibly included in their game, like Noctis did). It was really cool opening up Noctis and seeing that every star in your vision had been explored and named by someone, but of course there were billions more to be discovered. To travel to a star, you walked around the spaceship, looked out one of the windows and picked a star. If you had enough fuel, you could make it there (exactly the same as when you hit G in SE). Then, you could pick a planet and orbit it, and choose to go down on the surface if you desired.

I don't want to bring up Spaceway a whole lot in here, but the latest patch added vehicles inside the main player ship that you could undock. One of these was a rover you could explore the surface with. You could get out of the rover too and walk around, if you wanted. Vova, get on this wink I know as a programmer myself that it's not a huge task...and it would vastly deepen the program (and turn it into an actual gaming experience). Of course, there is plenty of stuff to be done beforehand.


Edited by Thurs - Tuesday, 14.06.2011, 18:48
 
NeonDate: Tuesday, 14.06.2011, 19:53 | Message # 7
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You have wetted my appetite Thurs lol... think I'll do a little hunt for both of those
and have a look. Is spaceway also in english? It's a Russian game right? Both
sound alot of fun, even with old graphics. lol

[Edit:- just had a look at both, Noctis 4 looks very old, but still it's an interesting
idea. I would love to see something similar to Spaceway in SE, but maybe a bigger
ship than the small one I saw. Don't think I'd like to see the Noctis style interface,
or ship controls in SE. Think these day's we can do so much more. smile

Spaceways looks good though. In English?
 
ThursDate: Tuesday, 14.06.2011, 20:37 | Message # 8
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Yes Spaceway has a good English translation. If you don't know, Artlav is the creator of Spaceway. He is a very reputable developer for Orbiter. It's a little different than SE, I don't think its quite as pretty but the flying around is a lot different and adds an element of control and scale to the game. It's really awesome landing your ship on a planet, and zooming out...and zooming out...and zooming out... Until your ship is a little dot on the side of a mountain, then gone as the mountain becomes a little speck on the side of an ocean, which becomes a little speck as the planet recedes into distance... Too bad Artlav has not updated it since the start of March.

Noctis is really really old and its incredibly impressive how it looks considering the framework it was constructed on. You have to use your imagination quite a bit, and strain it at times, but it is incredibly rewarding. It is an immersive gameplay experience, as you wander lonely empty galaxies and record your explorations, the strange fauna and creatures you have found, the giant quartz crystals 4 miles high...

There's some other games like this too.

Pioneer is an open-source Elite follow-up which is similar to Spaceway at its present state. However, there is much more focus on gameplay. You dock with stations, cities, starports, you can buy ships, commodities, equipment, and you can engage in combat with the police, traders, criminals... It's pretty buggy and hard to play in its current state, and also pretty dreadfully ugly, but it holds a lot of promise. The last update was released a few days ago.

There's Ad Astra, which was commercial but not for free. Its old, but its fun and not too resource intensive. It gets boring and similar pretty fast however, even with the procedural planets and missions. It's also obscenely unrealistic. It's not being developed, but its fun to spend a few hours messing around in.


Edited by Thurs - Tuesday, 14.06.2011, 20:42
 
NeonDate: Friday, 17.06.2011, 19:58 | Message # 9
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Spaceway wouldn't work for me... just crashed everytime. Orbiter was
a great sim, but the programmer let the users down by never giving
them the interactivity they desired for gameplay.
 
NeonDate: Friday, 17.06.2011, 22:16 | Message # 10
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I've been thinking on gameplay, so tomorrow I'll make a post
on what I'd like to see in the way of gameplay that fills all the
holes Celestia & Orbiter never did, n hopefully reflects what
we as a species probably will do when we get out there in RL.
Still based around exploration. Too tired now. tongue
 
Deltawing777Date: Thursday, 07.07.2011, 15:29 | Message # 11
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Quote (Neon)
Spaceway wouldn't work for me... just crashed everytime. Orbiter was
a great sim, but the programmer let the users down by never giving
them the interactivity they desired for gameplay.

I agree 100%. There was talk that Dr. Martin was thinking about releasing the orbiter core as open source. But then decided against it. So any form of "improvements" are made through addons but are at the mercy and limitations of the core. They did separate the graphics from the core. And the dx9 graphics client (only being coded by one guy) is coming along slow but steady. So now the ships will look very nice as they pass through another vessel or lower their landing gear and land on top of the earths ocean tiles. wink Hoping for something better and more realistic
 
RobbieDate: Sunday, 21.08.2011, 12:42 | Message # 12
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From what I have gathered here -though it's still rather sketchy in its details- the goal of SE is to be a realistic space simulator with some form of game-play similar to Noctis, but with additional features yet to be decided.

What will be the incentive to play the game? If there is no monetary gain as an incentive (from what I have read elsewhere), I take it then that we will be motivated to explore, discover, gather material resources and refine them. Would we use a research facility to manufacture and assemble components to create technologies to build or upgrade our mother-ship? And would the player use some form of 'tech tree' as an upgrade path to achieving certain objectives? Would certain skills be required of the player to use such a tech-tree?

It appears the main objective of the game then is to build a bigger and better space-ship to travel greater and greater distances and to put civilisations on other worlds while travelling the universe. This would be our main incentive to play the game. Yes?





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SpaceEngineerDate: Monday, 22.08.2011, 09:22 | Message # 13
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That's right. Players can upgrade their ship, build structures on planets and in space, explore alien words, collect resources for ship and buildings, colonize terra planets and do terraformation. Players can meet cooperatively and do research missions, transport civilians to new colonies, observe interesting events, such as asteroid impact or supernova explosions. Sometimes these catastrophic events may threaten player colonies, so they may have to destroy the asteroid, or do an evacuation of a planet, or even build huge planetary defence shield to protect colony against super solar flares.

All these game-play features require a lot of work with programming and artwork. I plan to introduce this into the game as far as it becomes ready. Once the game server is launched, it will never stop, and the game will be upgraded continuously from there on. No transition to version 2.0, 3.0 etc. This is similarly to what Eve online does. All game upgrades will appear as progress of in-game civilizations develop.

Another game-play feature will be discovery of mysterious ancient civilizations that will leave behind maybe some huge planet-sized artefacts. Discovering of these artefacts will give some information to finding the next artefact, perhaps placed in some other galaxy etc. Eventually, a player will discover the answer to where those civilizations are?

This subject requires much more art work for direction; fortunately this idea can fit into the gradual development of the game.

*





 
RobbieDate: Monday, 22.08.2011, 13:44 | Message # 14
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Your game-play concepts look promising. I hope the game is an immersive and fun experience when it finally arrives. smile

I had to scour the English and Russian forums in many different threads to acertain my synopic account of your gameplay ideas. It stole my time doing so. It may be a good idea sometime soon to have an overview summary at the website on what you're planning gameplay-wise for newcomers. It will be very helpful to them (and you, as it will save you from having to reiterate this stuff) as no doubt when more people start to join the community, more and more questions like mine will be asked. An FAQ on game-play is a must in that sense.





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EleSigmaDate: Monday, 12.12.2011, 17:05 | Message # 15
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(New person here, hello!) So if I get this right? instead of going for the "massive space empires with lasers and space battles" approach, it's going to be like a massive online space sim and exploration game where players can work together and create awesome construction projects and watch virtual galactic events unfold?

If so then I like this idea very much. biggrin
 
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