Arcen Games

Games => AI War II => Private Alpha Discussion => Topic started by: zeusalmighty on March 11, 2018, 03:02:02 PM

Title: Immersion suggestions
Post by: zeusalmighty on March 11, 2018, 03:02:02 PM
1) I think that the AI progress should have an additional tooltip such that it gives you a sense of the AI's interest in your activities. Personally, I like the idea of it saying stuff to the effect "a lion pays no attention to the activities of gnats" and progressing appropriately.

The number by itself is hardly indicative of what player's actions do to antagonize the AI.

2) Separately, I feel that the "Controller" needs to have some lore to make it more compelling and convincing as the strategic hub of the planet. As it stands, it seems to exist purely as a mechanic (a needed one) but without any rationale as to why the planet's control depends on its ownership.

This is somewhat related to the issue that the planet's themselves seem to be purely cosmetic background pieces. If feasible, it could be interesting if the planet's themselves determined what resources were available. To the effect that gas planets produced abundance of fuel, and terrestrial planets produced metal, etc.

IMO this would make the planets more immersive because they dictate the resources available.   

Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 12, 2018, 11:11:20 AM
Hey there!  Excellent points.

To #1, we actually are looking at having a "Mood" indicator on the GUI coming up pretty soon, which should help do just that.  It was kind of a throwaway idea from our volunteer GUI designer, Eric, but I immediately loved it because of its ability to help tutorialize.  "Is 40 AIP good or bad?  What does that even mean?"  Etc.  There's been some further discussion about the mood indicator showing something related to how the AI feels after attacks or as waves hit or something, but that's not fleshed-out yet at all.

There will be a lot more personality to the AI in general as we start getting the many (many) taunt lines in there.

---

To #2, the name of the "Controller," you know, that's one of those low-lying "I hadn't thought of it consciously, but now that you bring it up that's been bugging me, too" items.  My first thought was that we could rename it LaGrange Point or something, but then it couldn't move (or would have to move).

Perhaps it should be called "Space Elevator" or something, instead.  "He who controls the space elevator, controls the planet" -- Sun Tzu

That would also explain why the humans and the AI are capturing it, and not just destroying it.

---

I agree that having planet types determining resource types would be good.  I'd love to be going "ooh, a gas giant, tons of fuel and science, yay!"  Having these also affect the movement speed of all ships to a small degree (+- 10%?) I think would also be a nice touch.

Will be interesting to hear what the others think about this.  There are more visuals for planets that I hope to get in sometime during the beta or during the press period, if I have time.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: TheVampire100 on March 12, 2018, 12:15:32 PM
I agree that having planet types determining resource types would be good.  I'd love to be going "ooh, a gas giant, tons of fuel and science, yay!"  Having these also affect the movement speed of all ships to a small degree (+- 10%?) I think would also be a nice touch.

Will be interesting to hear what the others think about this.  There are more visuals for planets that I hope to get in sometime during the beta or during the press period, if I have time.
I like this idea actually, maybe the community can help come up with some nice dieas what planet type could do what.
I always liked that in The last Federation different planet types affected the races living there. Somethign similiar having here (just in space) would make a nice addition.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 12, 2018, 12:21:54 PM
I quite agree, and I'd love to have players involved in that.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: BadgerBadger on March 12, 2018, 12:23:14 PM
If we're going to add speed modifiers, what about a structure you could build with a low galaxy cap (maybe you get 2 or 3 total) that gives your ships enhanced move speed on a planet?
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 12, 2018, 12:38:29 PM
If we're going to add speed modifiers, what about a structure you could build with a low galaxy cap (maybe you get 2 or 3 total) that gives your ships enhanced move speed on a planet?

We used to have those in Classic.  I don't remember if those got nerfed out or not.  I really liked them.  Using the new planetary power model here, having a larger cap of something like 5, but making them MEGA expensive in terms of power might make them interesting.

Having the electrical storm planets have a ton of extra power would be really fun, incidentally. :)
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 12, 2018, 03:35:56 PM
Gravity generators actually buff local ship speed, in addition to slowing down enemies.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: Draco18s on March 12, 2018, 04:37:07 PM
I like this idea actually, maybe the community can help come up with some nice dieas what planet type could do what.
I always liked that in The last Federation different planet types affected the races living there. Somethign similiar having here (just in space) would make a nice addition.

Can we get a ring world model?  ^.^
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 12, 2018, 05:06:31 PM
I like this idea actually, maybe the community can help come up with some nice dieas what planet type could do what.
I always liked that in The last Federation different planet types affected the races living there. Somethign similiar having here (just in space) would make a nice addition.

Can we get a ring world model?  ^.^

Has anyone ever rendered that well in 3D?  I've only ever seen renderings that look pretty janky, in my opinion.  I'd love to see an example of that which excites me on the level that various Dyson Sphere models have, etc.  Anyhow, maybe a ring world will be an expansion thing.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: zeusalmighty on March 12, 2018, 06:33:02 PM
Here's some thoughts on planet types/resource allocation:

Gas planet: fuel and/or power
Asteroid belt (with large asteroid mining facility as the "planet"): metal and/or fuel
Volcanic planet: power and/or fuel
Garden planet: all resources
Industrialized planet: power and/or metal
post-apocalyptic planet: research
Ancient alien civ planet: research + random resource

Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: zeusalmighty on March 12, 2018, 06:48:00 PM
As I was thinking about the planet types, it occurred to me that I currently don't feel that AI2 makes me emotionally invested in my planets as AI classic--largely because in classic you had a homeworld and this dictated how you would expand your control over the galaxy.

To address this, (maybe in expansions or modding) it would be interesting to seed some planets that have their own unique scenarios attached with them along with corresponding bonuses/penalties.

For example, I imagine a planet in which a human population is enslaved by the AI. By capturing the planet, you can support the rebels to gain control of the planet but must provide metal while also increasing AIP during the rebellion. Once captured, you are rewarded with a substantial increase to limit of max metal, AIP returns to its prior state, and some suitable defense against the AI from recapturing (maybe a planetary cloaker)

Another possible example would be, say, a Desert planet that provides no resources but the most valuable resource in the known universe--and controlling it allows your ARK to warp DIRECTLY to any planet that you control. (Plus it's a nice homage to "Dune"  :o)
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 12, 2018, 08:16:52 PM
That would be pretty wicked in terms of the Dune-style planet. :)

As far as not feeling invested in planets, my hope is that will change as the tower defense element of this game starts ramping up more.  Badger has made us aware of just how insignificant waves have been compared to what the AI is doing with reinforcements and its defensive warden fleet, and so the AI is now a lot more offensively aggressive.

And you have one turret open from the start, so you can immediately see just HOW much more powerful turrets are than fleet ships (I believe turrets are about 3x the bang for your metal buck compared to fleet ships, with the caveat of immobility).

Hopefully the new balance makes you start caring about planets because of territorial concerns.  For me, in Classic the homeworld was rarely my most interesting planet.  Usually it was some bottleneck leading to my homeworld.  I don't see a reason why that sort of dynamic won't also wind up happening here.  Particularly with the changes to make the Ark no longer an offensive beast you bring to every party.

Balance still needs a lot of work, but hopefully as that falls into line things start feeling more like Classic when it comes to the significance of planets.  A lot of that feeling is just due to balance being off right now, or at least that's part of it.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 12, 2018, 08:19:01 PM
Incidentally, I'm starting to throw this stuff up on mantis:

https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=19474

and then:

https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=19475
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: BadgerBadger on March 12, 2018, 10:48:09 PM
@Keith, remind me, why did you decide turrets shouldn't be buildable on planets you don't control? The Ark and flagships do provide some local power. I feel like Beachheading with turrets was a fun gameplay mechanic in AIWC.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: Draco18s on March 12, 2018, 11:55:06 PM
Can we get a ring world model?  ^.^

Has anyone ever rendered that well in 3D?  I've only ever seen renderings that look pretty janky, in my opinion.  I'd love to see an example of that which excites me on the level that various Dyson Sphere models have, etc.  Anyhow, maybe a ring world will be an expansion thing.

Not that I've seen, at least not outside of science fiction movies/tv
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: keith.lamothe on March 13, 2018, 06:31:46 AM
@Keith, remind me, why did you decide turrets shouldn't be buildable on planets you don't control? The Ark and flagships do provide some local power. I feel like Beachheading with turrets was a fun gameplay mechanic in AIWC.
That was in AIW2, with Ark and Flagships providing some small local power, but I took it out when I removed the power cost from turrets and other such changes.

Now that the power cost is back, and a galaxy-cap to boot, I could restore the ability for flagships to power turrets. I agree that this would be fun (it's also a good use for the turretry-pattern thing, as it gives you a quick "dump turrets!" button if one is defined with suitable logic)

I suppose the Ark could do so too, but I think that would confuse the message of "keep your King out of enemy territory" that we've been trying to send.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: etheric42 on March 13, 2018, 01:05:48 PM
3d ringworld model exists in Stellaris.

(http://i.imgur.com/h3ojpje.jpg)
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 13, 2018, 01:11:47 PM
@Keith, remind me, why did you decide turrets shouldn't be buildable on planets you don't control? The Ark and flagships do provide some local power. I feel like Beachheading with turrets was a fun gameplay mechanic in AIWC.
That was in AIW2, with Ark and Flagships providing some small local power, but I took it out when I removed the power cost from turrets and other such changes.

Now that the power cost is back, and a galaxy-cap to boot, I could restore the ability for flagships to power turrets. I agree that this would be fun (it's also a good use for the turretry-pattern thing, as it gives you a quick "dump turrets!" button if one is defined with suitable logic)

I suppose the Ark could do so too, but I think that would confuse the message of "keep your King out of enemy territory" that we've been trying to send.

I'm 1000% for this, for flagships, since it would be great for beachheads being a thing again.  I agree the Ark shouldn't do it, since that would be confusing.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 13, 2018, 01:13:20 PM
3d ringworld model exists in Stellaris.

(http://i.imgur.com/h3ojpje.jpg)

Hmmm.... isn't that more of some sort of mechanical partial-Dyson-Sphere?  I thought ringworlds were these inexplicable rings of actual terrain, just out by themselves?

(https://i1.wp.com/www.ergohacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/halo-ring.png?resize=1280%2C640&ssl=1)
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: etheric42 on March 13, 2018, 01:18:52 PM
A lot are represented that way.  But the cover of the Niven novel "Ringworld" looks closer to Stellaris.  Dyson spheres are in that game too as energy accumulators.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: BadgerBadger on March 13, 2018, 01:26:34 PM
I've always understood a ringworld to be a transitional step toward a dyson sphere. It's simpler to build than a dyson sphere since it's just a ring, but it's trying to accomplish the same basic set of goals.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: etheric42 on March 13, 2018, 01:36:39 PM
Depends.  Ringworlds came from Niven and (if I remember right) were about creating habitable areas in the goldilocks zone.  Dyson Spheres came from Dyson and are about massive energy collection.  I suppose you could live on a Dyson Sphere too and I suppose Ringworlds could collect solar energy too.  Interestingly Dyson wasn't actually envisioning a complete shell, but instead a cloud of platforms/panels.

But since these things aren't real, people make of them whatever they want.  Halo (the video game) I think really popularized the Ringworld and that may be why we get this image of visible terrain features on the inner ring and not orbiting a star.

Picture of a work-in-progress Dyson Sphere from Stellaris

(https://www.windowscentral.com/sites/wpcentral.com/files/styles/xlarge/public/field/image/2017/04/stellaris-dyson-sphere.jpg?itok=fOb5tsRG)
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 13, 2018, 02:09:57 PM
Wowzers, that's a cool image.

Anyway, food for thought perhaps for later.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: Draco18s on March 13, 2018, 08:27:58 PM
Hmmm.... isn't that more of some sort of mechanical partial-Dyson-Sphere?  I thought ringworlds were these inexplicable rings of actual terrain, just out by themselves?

The "inexplicable terrain" aspect is the fact that if you have a big enough ring and give it a spin, you have surface "gravity" on the inside surface. Give it some walls to hold in an atmosphere and you can put whatever you want at the bottom. The "backside" as it were is still giant plates of unobtainium holding things together, the topside has terrain on it because humans like trees.

It's like a circular cross section of Babylon 5. And fifty bajillion times bigger.
(http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/ftp/Pictures/Effects/garden.gif)
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 13, 2018, 08:37:30 PM
Oh!  Okay, that makes sense why it looks that way, then.  I wasn't really sure how this was posited to exist.  Completely artificial, got it.  I really need to read that at some point.  At this point I'm finishing up the Bobiverse books, though (sooo good).
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: Draco18s on March 14, 2018, 12:54:04 AM
Oh!  Okay, that makes sense why it looks that way, then.  I wasn't really sure how this was posited to exist.  Completely artificial, got it.

Oh yeah. Definitely. They're called "megastructures" for a reason!

Quote
I really need to read that at some point.  At this point I'm finishing up the Bobiverse books, though (sooo good).

Bobiverse is amazing. I listened to it on Audible and it was very well done. I wouldn't say that it pushes the boundaries at all (the hostile alien race reminds me of at least one other, older work of fiction). But it is a finely crafted story.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: x4000 on March 14, 2018, 09:20:40 AM
I like the perspective of the Bobs, and how this basically handles the idea of a Von Neumann machine in a fresh (to me) way.  The idea itself is not new, remotely, but the way it is personalized is fantastic.  I read something else from the perspective of a Von Neumann machine a number of years ago; can't remember what it was, but it didn't have the same personality.  I think... maybe it was Spin, by I forget the author.  Basically the earth gets wrapped up in a giant shell for a number of years, and the premise of that is really cool.

Anyway, yes, the chief antagonists here aren't that novel, but the way they are handled has me interested.  The way the combat plays out so differently every time, it also never feels stale, which is really good.  The anthropology aspect is also interesting.  Plus all the general geek references.
Title: Re: Immersion suggestions
Post by: Draco18s on March 14, 2018, 12:19:40 PM
Right, right. Exactly.
It was fresh, even if it wasn't unique.