Author Topic: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter  (Read 6737 times)

Offline Tridus

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #60 on: November 15, 2016, 07:28:01 PM »
For every ressource ever ? Huuuuu, suspension of disbelief died,
And you were able to maintain that feel in AI War Classic even though metal was gained in infinite quantities from those tiny asteroids?

That aside, was there this much complaining about derelicts in the first proposal?  I don't recall.

Honestly, I didn't know they were even in the first proposal. They were added at some point without me noticing (not surprising given the size of that document). The only ones I remember were the first idea of having something you could capture from the AI and drag back to your planets for study, which I guess got changed at some point. But yes, now that we're on the subject...

Quote from: The Old Design
The amount of metal generated per second by derelicts at planets you control will vary based on the design of the derelict itself (we’ll have a variety of designs of various sizes and values).
It also will vary based on what the current health of the derelict is. 
So it’s not an on/off situation of “the AI destroys the metal harvester and thus your metal from it goes completely away for a while.”
Instead it’s “the AI damages the derelict by some percentage of its health (potentially even all the way), and then that derelict yields less metal for a while.
If a derelict has been reduced to 0 health, there will be a timer (based on the derelict in question) that is enforced before it can start being repaired again.  Generally this would vary from 30 seconds on the cheap end of derelicts to more like 2 minutes for the nicer ones.

So, I have a derelict ship that I'm scrapping for metal, but I have to *repair* it if it gets damaged before I can resume scrapping it for metal? I'm repairing it to it's previously useless, derelict state, as opposed to a useless, derelict state that has a laser hole in it? Why? I've never seen the guy at the auto wreckers trying to fix the brake system before he takes apart the car for parts & scrap.

Offline Cinth

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #61 on: November 15, 2016, 07:37:06 PM »
Honestly, I didn't know they were even in the first proposal. They were added at some point without me noticing (not surprising given the size of that document). The only ones I remember were the first idea of having something you could capture from the AI and drag back to your planets for study, which I guess got changed at some point. But yes, now that we're on the subject...

I think the original idea was you were repairing derelict mining facilities or something of that sort.  Husks were the ships you could repair to usable states (and has always been that way).
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Tridus

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #62 on: November 15, 2016, 07:48:39 PM »
Honestly, I didn't know they were even in the first proposal. They were added at some point without me noticing (not surprising given the size of that document). The only ones I remember were the first idea of having something you could capture from the AI and drag back to your planets for study, which I guess got changed at some point. But yes, now that we're on the subject...

I think the original idea was you were repairing derelict mining facilities or something of that sort.  Husks were the ships you could repair to usable states (and has always been that way).

Maybe at some point, but that's not what was in the document. It flat out says they're ships you repair and then harvest for resources.

Quote from: The Old Design
In exactly the same manner that metal deposits were seeded, derelicts are seeded instead.
Derelicts are old, burnt-out ships from past wars.  You can’t move them or capture them (per se).
Derelicts have health on them, like any ship, and on all planets that are not your starting planet(s), the health starts at zero.
These ships are repaired by your command-station-based nanobots just like any other allied ship would be.  They are also targeted by AI ships just like any other ship would be.
Aka, the AI will still attack your sources of metal (now derelicts instead of metal harvesters), and you’ll still have to repair them -- but it’s all automated now, and one more irritating source of micro is gone.
These ships cannot be repaired on planets not controlled by a player (aka one that is neutral or that belongs to the AI or a minor faction).
The amount of metal generated per second by derelicts at planets you control will vary based on the design of the derelict itself (we’ll have a variety of designs of various sizes and values).
It also will vary based on what the current health of the derelict is. 
So it’s not an on/off situation of “the AI destroys the metal harvester and thus your metal from it goes completely away for a while.”
Instead it’s “the AI damages the derelict by some percentage of its health (potentially even all the way), and then that derelict yields less metal for a while.
If a derelict has been reduced to 0 health, there will be a timer (based on the derelict in question) that is enforced before it can start being repaired again.  Generally this would vary from 30 seconds on the cheap end of derelicts to more like 2 minutes for the nicer ones.
The amount of metal generated by a derelict will never be below 20% of its max generation rate, even if it has zero health at the moment.


Offline Cinth

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #63 on: November 15, 2016, 08:06:00 PM »
I'm probably remembering bits and pieces of the forum conversation that led to that.

Happens with the effective memory of a goldfish (upgrading damaged ram isn't always an option :) )
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Tridus

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #64 on: November 15, 2016, 08:46:06 PM »
Oh I totally understand that. :) I only know this because I looked it up.

Offline yllamana

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #65 on: November 15, 2016, 08:46:56 PM »
What if instead you had Metal Harvesters that harvest metal from metal sources (which could be varied - so maybe it's a ship graveyard, or an asteroid, or a big, destroyed golem) and how efficiently they harvest is based on their health level?

Offline x4000

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #66 on: November 15, 2016, 08:51:26 PM »
aka: You really want to use derelict ships for whatever reason and just want to handwave it away.

Right.  Do you have any idea how many ideas there are that you take for granted in AI War that started this way? ;)  I say that in jest, kinda, but honestly that's sort of the nature of this sort of thing.  I needed a plausible reason for the AI to not just crush you, so had to invent it being distracted.  I had a mechanic that needed to have some sort of lore attached to it, so lore was conjured-up.

The Neinzul as a race came about because I wanted to explore a mechanic where there were perpetual children through attrition.  So a whole race popped out of that.  The nature of the spire as a species came because I was playing around in Zbrush and came up with a cool visual style with the white.  So then I came up with some reason why they would look that way.  I also was able to cheaply make really large ships with that style, so hence them becoming the most powerful race.

If you're a AAA studio then you can just make things out of whole cloth because you thought of it, but for me I've generally had to take ideas in all sorts of random orders, often because "hey I can do this thing, so how can I make it fit?"  Or "hey this art would look cool, what can I do with it?"

Change for the sake of change? I honestly have no idea.

It's really very simple: I have a cool way of doing the graphics for destroyed ships, and I think it would look dramatic on planets scattered around.  Thematically it would also be fitting with the wreckage of past wars (which is what the scrap piles were in the first game, too).  People also have really latched onto the name of derelicts, because it just sounds nifty.

Frankly I don't really care that much beyond that, but I think it would look cool as heck.  These were in the spec from day one on the first KS and nobody complained.

The repair mechanics on these is simply so that the AI has a way of denying you resources (as with metal harvesters), but you don't have to expend metal to get metal, as that previously led to slow doom cycles of annoyance.  There are a few other mild usability features that get smoothed out with this, too.  Visually it would work with any of these approaches, even with metal harvesters if we wanted to make those free to build but just take time, or whatever the case.

Overall it doesn't really matter a huge amount, but visually this is what I have a cool idea for, and I think you'd enjoy looking at this more than anything else I can think of for this thing.  That's really it.
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Offline x4000

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #67 on: November 15, 2016, 08:56:39 PM »
What if instead you had Metal Harvesters that harvest metal from metal sources (which could be varied - so maybe it's a ship graveyard, or an asteroid, or a big, destroyed golem) and how efficiently they harvest is based on their health level?

This is pretty similar to what I was suggesting.  But I was thinking that we could cut out the metal harvesters and thus have a few less ship graphics in the system.  In terms of the burned out derelicts, I thought they would look the neatest and also would be using a consistent shader, meaning they can be batched very efficiently.  If I do asteroids and so forth, that's a second draw call, which is not killer, but there are a variety of ways I could make that work.

Making metal harvesters always auto-build and cost zero power AND be free to build (and not accelerate-able?  Not sure.) would solve the death spirals that could otherwise happen with them.  Frankly that's up to Keith; if you guys want it the same as it was before, it's not some grand crisis, but it's a minor pain in your butts and also one minor thing that a new player has to learn, etc.

I'm not planning on taking a general attitude of "trust me guys, there is good and sufficient reason to just do what I say every time," as I don't think that serves anyone well.  Often there is good and sufficient reason to NOT do the thing, too.  I just am a little frustrated right now because I hadn't expected to get into a giant debate two days before the relaunch about what feels to me to be a pretty minor point that is mostly a visual thing.
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Offline yllamana

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #68 on: November 15, 2016, 09:49:41 PM »
What if instead you had Metal Harvesters that harvest metal from metal sources (which could be varied - so maybe it's a ship graveyard, or an asteroid, or a big, destroyed golem) and how efficiently they harvest is based on their health level?

This is pretty similar to what I was suggesting.  But I was thinking that we could cut out the metal harvesters and thus have a few less ship graphics in the system.  In terms of the burned out derelicts, I thought they would look the neatest and also would be using a consistent shader, meaning they can be batched very efficiently.  If I do asteroids and so forth, that's a second draw call, which is not killer, but there are a variety of ways I could make that work.

Making metal harvesters always auto-build and cost zero power AND be free to build (and not accelerate-able?  Not sure.) would solve the death spirals that could otherwise happen with them.  Frankly that's up to Keith; if you guys want it the same as it was before, it's not some grand crisis, but it's a minor pain in your butts and also one minor thing that a new player has to learn, etc.

I'm not planning on taking a general attitude of "trust me guys, there is good and sufficient reason to just do what I say every time," as I don't think that serves anyone well.  Often there is good and sufficient reason to NOT do the thing, too.  I just am a little frustrated right now because I hadn't expected to get into a giant debate two days before the relaunch about what feels to me to be a pretty minor point that is mostly a visual thing.
Well, you know, I did make a bunch of comments in my post earlier that you didn't respond to. If you wanted a way to derail the current conversation that would be an easy one. :) I read through that entire document to make those comments!! :)

What I'm trying to get at here, in the frustrating conversation, is that there's no reason they have to be named derelicts in the game. They can just be metal sources, and then metal harvesters can go on the metal sources when you take the planet, and metal harvesters can work exactly the way you're describing the derelicts - basically being these unkillable structures that manage themselves - while being free of the baggage that comes with "derelict." You can still visually have your cool derelicts and people who like the concept can have them there without it confusing anyone.

But please feel free to take the conversation on a different path!

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #69 on: November 15, 2016, 09:54:15 PM »
Frankly I don't really care that much beyond that, but I think it would look cool as heck.  These were in the spec from day one on the first KS and nobody complained.
I've actually been meaning to bring this up three or four times. Other things (that matter) keep coming up. Like the apocalyptic email, our story talk, rewriting the KS document, etc. etc. etc. ;p

Like you said, it's a small thing, but I do think it matters for setting consistency.

What I'm trying to get at here, in the frustrating conversation, is that there's no reason they have to be named derelicts in the game.
The issue is that he has a cool visual effect for damaged spaceships. If resource points aren't derelicts anymore, then there's no point in using the cool visual effect.

Sorry Chris!

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #70 on: November 15, 2016, 10:21:48 PM »
I thought the original document's usage of the term derelict was odd. The mechanic was fine, and I was busy, so I didn't say much.

Handwaving is fine where necessary, but I don't think it's really all that necessary here. The more we have, the more confusing the initial impression of the game (which runs counter to usability), especially if we use words in ways that are counter-intuitive to real-world usage (having "husks" be closer to spaceworthy than "derelicts" is a bit like a fantasy world that has "dwarves" that are consistently taller and skinnier than humans).

Is there a reason we can't:

1) call the "ships you can actually make fly again" derelicts
2) and call the "weird things you can get resources out of but are otherwise completely inoperable" husks?

Then make the metal-producing husks look like hollowed out huge (as in "we're not sure what race built ships this big") transports that you can't see most of the interior of. Or whatever in the toolbox is most conducive to that helps support the suspension of disbelief.

The science-producing ones as more-normal-sized husks that would be fine. Similar with energy, since small-ish reactors that produce impressive amounts of power essentially forever are a staple of many sci-fi worlds. Especially if it's from some race that no one knows about anymore, or something like that.
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Offline hatless

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #71 on: November 15, 2016, 10:58:30 PM »
But what colour should the bikeshed be?

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #72 on: November 15, 2016, 11:02:15 PM »
we're not sure what race built ships this big
Take your pick: Zenith or Spire? :D Plus it makes sense for both to produce material over time. (I'm actually not against the idea of ships making metal, but it can't be galactic standard.)

Also, don't all resource generators produce the same material? So the same metal point is making your metal and your science, not two different ones. Is that right? Without checking the design doc, are power and fuel separate from that or part of the same package?

Offline yllamana

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #73 on: November 15, 2016, 11:23:39 PM »
You could always keep it simple and say they're from the earlier human wars, either with or without the AI. They're no longer made because technology superceded them or because nobody has enough metal (or fuel?) to actually make one functional anymore. A system's supply of metal could be the remnants of just one or two of those ships that haven't yet crashed into a gravity well. :)

Then you can make an expansion where you can collect enough husk bits from across the galaxy and turn them into a functional ship at the price of removing those metal sources from the galaxy!!

Offline kasnavada

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #74 on: November 16, 2016, 03:58:42 AM »
For every ressource ever ? Huuuuu, suspension of disbelief died,
And you were able to maintain that feel in AI War Classic even though metal was gained in infinite quantities from those tiny asteroids?

That aside, was there this much complaining about derelicts in the first proposal?  I don't recall.

Then again, derelicts weren't exactly explained to people on the forum, or I missed the explanations apart from "we can write a description of it" part.


And, nope I don't have issues with "tiny asteroids".

I originally read this on science magazines, but, from wikipedia:
Quote
In 1997 it was speculated that a relatively small metallic asteroid with a diameter of 1.6 km (1 mi) contains more than US$20 trillion worth of industrial and precious metals.[7][57] A comparatively small M-type asteroid with a mean diameter of 1 km (0.62 mi) could contain more than two billion metric tons of iron–nickel ore,[58] or two to three times the world production of 2004.[59] The asteroid 16 Psyche is believed to contain 1.7×1019 kg of nickel–iron, which could supply the world production requirement for several million years. A small portion of the extracted material would also be precious metals.

So yeah, an asteroid or 2 could actually produce enough for an AI War game or 2.

What I'm objecting to here is that spacefaring people capable of replicating ships in seconds being unable to build a metal mine. That some derelicts could be mines, I don't have an issue with that. That whatever factions are in AI War rely exclusively on derelicts for metal is what's causing an issue to me.