Author Topic: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter  (Read 4451 times)

Offline NichG

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #75 on: November 16, 2016, 05:16:37 AM »
It's a strategic abstraction anyhow. Calling it 'metal' avoids technobabble and makes it easy to understand (consumable resource needed to make stuff), but you could say that actually you're mining qubits of entangled matter to make use of an extragalactic computational resource created long ago by an since-departed alien civilization; and if that entanglement is broken because it wasn't extracted carefully enough, it decoheres and you can no longer make use of it, but there's a ton of it in the ancient scouts and dreadnaughts. But, I think if you called it 'qubits' or 'entmat' or something, people would just get unnecessarily confused, even if it might make more sense in terms of exactly how it behaves in the simulation.

To that extent, you might as well just call it 'Futuristic Materials' - not just raw resources from an asteroid, but some other material which has been manufactured/modified/etc in a way that requires care and special facilities to feasibly extract.

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #76 on: November 16, 2016, 06:32:04 AM »
So I rolled some thoughts around in my head and actually came up with an explanation that lets Chris keep his ships, but has less ooptech, and reconciles a gameplay/lore issue.

First off? The derelicts don't make, refine or collect metal. The derelicts are salvage coordinators, helping your command stations optimize the process of collecting scrap. They're left over from the post-AI War period, when they helped coordinate the recovery of military grade metals. They made one way trips to orbit, and were eventually abandoned in place after the most valuable pieces got picked up. Fast forward to the present, and the devices are more useful than ever because the AI's return means a bunch of new scrap, and no time for it to form metal fields. After all, AIW2 takes place much earlier in its war than Classic does its own. No time for those familiar fields to show up.

The AI can't listen in on human communications this time around, which is why it doesn't bother to destroy the derelicts completely -- they are neither serving a military nor economic purpose that it can tell, and they are not supporting human life. The AI blasts holes in them to stop their signal and moves on. The player's forces don't even need to repair them entirely if Chris wants to keep the damaged ship thing going, since a fully repaired ship represents a possible threat to the AI, while a half repaired weaponless vessel is a curiosity worth exploring much later (though it's still getting blasted).

This is just a lore change, they keep all the same gameplay functions. They produce metal and science under player control, are immobile, don't have weapons, etc. etc. This way toothey can be completely destroyed and rebuilt in game. There just has to be one in place when the player arrives in a system.

Change the name from "derelict" to something more descriptive when it's captured and I'm content. How's this work for everyone else?

Offline NichG

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #77 on: November 16, 2016, 07:07:22 AM »
Thing is, I really like the name 'derelict' as well as the idea of scavenging stuff from relics and remainders that the humans don't fully understand. The nice thing about the term for me is that it adds a bit of mystique. Metal harvesters or scrap collectors or whatever feels like kind of a dead end - there isn't really a way to make them interesting. But if the thing you're gathering from isn't fully understood, then there's a sense in which further development of that line in DLC could lead to plot-based stuff, alternate kinds of derelicts that are more than just big metal harvesting sites, etc. I could for example see a DLC adding a system where as you spend in tech, for example, you get secondary benefits from derelicts (so all provide metal, but after buying the second rank of 'metal harvester' equivalent tech you find that some give you power, others have weapon systems that come online, or drone controllers, or whatever).
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 07:10:43 AM by NichG »

Offline Tridus

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #78 on: November 16, 2016, 07:46:27 AM »
Thing is, I really like the name 'derelict' as well as the idea of scavenging stuff from relics and remainders that the humans don't fully understand. The nice thing about the term for me is that it adds a bit of mystique. Metal harvesters or scrap collectors or whatever feels like kind of a dead end - there isn't really a way to make them interesting. But if the thing you're gathering from isn't fully understood, then there's a sense in which further development of that line in DLC could lead to plot-based stuff, alternate kinds of derelicts that are more than just big metal harvesting sites, etc. I could for example see a DLC adding a system where as you spend in tech, for example, you get secondary benefits from derelicts (so all provide metal, but after buying the second rank of 'metal harvester' equivalent tech you find that some give you power, others have weapon systems that come online, or drone controllers, or whatever).

Or you could add actual derelict ships when you have a game mechanic that warrants having derelict ships, rather than trying to shoehorn them in where they don't make any sense because people are highly attached to misusing the word "derelict". Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

I mean, according to this thread, the human forces are getting their metal, science, AND power from these derelict ships. They're literally the only reason we can fight the AI at all. I guess we're really fortunate the AI never studied military tactics, because if it does, it can end the entire threat to itself with two words: Scorched Earth.

Offline z99-_

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #79 on: November 16, 2016, 08:19:33 AM »
So I rolled some thoughts around in my head and actually came up with an explanation that lets Chris keep his ships, but has less ooptech, and reconciles a gameplay/lore issue.

First off? The derelicts don't make, refine or collect metal. The derelicts are salvage coordinators, helping your command stations optimize the process of collecting scrap. They're left over from the post-AI War period, when they helped coordinate the recovery of military grade metals. They made one way trips to orbit, and were eventually abandoned in place after the most valuable pieces got picked up. Fast forward to the present, and the devices are more useful than ever because the AI's return means a bunch of new scrap, and no time for it to form metal fields. After all, AIW2 takes place much earlier in its war than Classic does its own. No time for those familiar fields to show up.

The AI can't listen in on human communications this time around, which is why it doesn't bother to destroy the derelicts completely -- they are neither serving a military nor economic purpose that it can tell, and they are not supporting human life. The AI blasts holes in them to stop their signal and moves on. The player's forces don't even need to repair them entirely if Chris wants to keep the damaged ship thing going, since a fully repaired ship represents a possible threat to the AI, while a half repaired weaponless vessel is a curiosity worth exploring much later (though it's still getting blasted).

This is just a lore change, they keep all the same gameplay functions. They produce metal and science under player control, are immobile, don't have weapons, etc. etc. This way toothey can be completely destroyed and rebuilt in game. There just has to be one in place when the player arrives in a system.

Change the name from "derelict" to something more descriptive when it's captured and I'm content. How's this work for everyone else?

+1 to all of this.

For the 'scavenging stuff from relics and remainders that humans don't fully understand' thing, I think that would be better served by a stretch goal / expansion that brings back relics from the original design doc.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #80 on: November 16, 2016, 08:38:05 AM »
Thing is, I really like the name 'derelict' as well as the idea of scavenging stuff from relics and remainders that the humans don't fully understand. The nice thing about the term for me is that it adds a bit of mystique. Metal harvesters or scrap collectors or whatever feels like kind of a dead end - there isn't really a way to make them interesting. But if the thing you're gathering from isn't fully understood, then there's a sense in which further development of that line in DLC could lead to plot-based stuff, alternate kinds of derelicts that are more than just big metal harvesting sites, etc. I could for example see a DLC adding a system where as you spend in tech, for example, you get secondary benefits from derelicts (so all provide metal, but after buying the second rank of 'metal harvester' equivalent tech you find that some give you power, others have weapon systems that come online, or drone controllers, or whatever).

Or you could add actual derelict ships when you have a game mechanic that warrants having derelict ships, rather than trying to shoehorn them in where they don't make any sense because people are highly attached to misusing the word "derelict". Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

I mean, according to this thread, the human forces are getting their metal, science, AND power from these derelict ships. They're literally the only reason we can fight the AI at all. I guess we're really fortunate the AI never studied military tactics, because if it does, it can end the entire threat to itself with two words: Scorched Earth.

+1

Offline NichG

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #81 on: November 16, 2016, 08:39:20 AM »
I mean, according to this thread, the human forces are getting their metal, science, AND power from these derelict ships. They're literally the only reason we can fight the AI at all. I guess we're really fortunate the AI never studied military tactics, because if it does, it can end the entire threat to itself with two words: Scorched Earth.

Well this pretty much applies to the entire premise. If the humans were the priority target, the AI could end the entire threat to itself by just killing them before they got big. I think you have to accept that either the AI is behaving suboptimally, and that is the only reason its possible to win. Barring a stealth system, that is.

Offline Tridus

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #82 on: November 16, 2016, 08:46:52 AM »
I mean, according to this thread, the human forces are getting their metal, science, AND power from these derelict ships. They're literally the only reason we can fight the AI at all. I guess we're really fortunate the AI never studied military tactics, because if it does, it can end the entire threat to itself with two words: Scorched Earth.

Well this pretty much applies to the entire premise. If the humans were the priority target, the AI could end the entire threat to itself by just killing them before they got big. I think you have to accept that either the AI is behaving suboptimally, and that is the only reason its possible to win. Barring a stealth system, that is.

It's always been a thing to a degree, yeah (with the AI leaving golems lying around and such, but it did remove backup design servers if it lost the system at least). But we're taking it to extremes now, with the idea that the humans apparently can't mine, can't run a power plant, can't repair these ships to be functional, but can get infinite amounts of resources out of them and run their power generation systems just fine.

I'm not a fan, obviously.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #83 on: November 16, 2016, 08:52:58 AM »
I mean, according to this thread, the human forces are getting their metal, science, AND power from these derelict ships. They're literally the only reason we can fight the AI at all. I guess we're really fortunate the AI never studied military tactics, because if it does, it can end the entire threat to itself with two words: Scorched Earth.

Well this pretty much applies to the entire premise. If the humans were the priority target, the AI could end the entire threat to itself by just killing them before they got big. I think you have to accept that either the AI is behaving suboptimally, and that is the only reason its possible to win. Barring a stealth system, that is.
Yea, but combining the disbelief of "the AI isn't destroying this thing that's critical to my war effort" and "my metal comes from this broken magic spaceship that constantly creates matter out of nothing (or warps it in from some other universe)" into the same mechanic, when it's a basic, background, supposed-to-not-get-in-the-way mechanic... just boggles the mind of someone encountering it. It's like, "why?".

Since we can do "broken ship" graphics well, we can have "broken ship" derelicts that get repaired into flagships and golems. If they need to be more common than that, use them for science and maybe energy gathering places.

I don't see the need to have them also do metal.
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Offline NichG

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #84 on: November 16, 2016, 10:23:56 AM »
So I guess that brings up a question - is there actually a point to having the sources of metal be separately destructible compared to just requiring that the system be under player control in order to extract resources from it?

It seems like it resolves this issue if the derelicts are the science sources, and metal sources are just an invisible 'if you own the system, it gets taken care of' thing.

Offline x4000

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Re: (Please review) Design info for re-launch of AIW 2 Kickstarter
« Reply #85 on: November 16, 2016, 11:16:21 AM »
Mostly I'm going to bow out of this conversation, because I've got video and presentation things to do.  And ultimately this is Keith's show in terms of this sort of thing in particular, so I'll let him sort it out. ;)

As far as why these things would be destructible, the reason is so that every planet has multiple weak spots for you.  There needs to be a reason for you to defend more than just one big blob at your command station.  Beyond that, there's not real reason.
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