Author Topic: Third look at early game  (Read 751 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2018, 09:02:33 AM »
On further thought, most of the "this just isn't going to work long-term" problem with the sidebar showing visual-thing-count is that the tooltip shows the HP and DPS of the entire squad. They could also be shown for an individual sub-squad, but that wouldn't help. In either case, a player looking at a group of fighters on the sidebar and at the fighter tooltip would come to very-wrong conclusions about the durability and power of that collection of fighters.

So if we change the tooltip to show HP and DPS divided by visual-thing-count, that would help. The main drawback is that the tooltip would be showing numbers which don't actually exist in the sim, but they would at least be useful.

(Edit: we'd also have to divide the metal/power/fuel costs, which would involve some fabrications like "0.8 Fuel", but again it would be useful, though it would need to somehow be clear that they're built in batches and that the cost is not for the full batch)

The tooltip would also need to show something indicating "there are X of these in each squad".


After the first release or two with the new GUI's sidebar, it would also be good to add a toggle button for "show strength instead of visual-thing-count". This would allow the player to say "ok, I get that the ship counts are big, now please show me the number that's actually useful" ;)

Heavy abbreviation is fine, along these lines:
1 = 1
11 = 11
111 = 0.1k
1,111 = 1.1k
11,111 = 11k
111,111 = 0.1m
1,111,111 = 1.1m
11,111,111 = 11m
111,111,111 = 0.1b
1,111,111,111 = 1.1b
11,111,111,111 = integer overflow (not really, we use FInt, but you get the idea)


@Badger: that occurred to me as well, but would squad count be useful if we already had both visual-thing-count and strength as display modes?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 09:06:17 AM by keith.lamothe »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2018, 09:50:01 AM »
Keith: I like all of the things that you just said.  It feels like the natural balance between item #1 and #2.  Also, some units using 0.8 fuel or whatnot for "individual ships" really does help emphasize "this is a big game" when you see a larger ship that uses 200 fuel or whatever just for that one thing.  It feels... right.  It reminds me of how Homeworld gave me a good sense of scale, even though their units were not squads, and were far fewer in number, etc.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2018, 10:30:16 AM »
Sounds very cool Keith and I think a very good balance from #1 and #2 like Chris said.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2018, 10:47:24 AM »
chemical_art, I can't express how happy it makes me that you're more engaged now.  Can't wait to have more folks on, but your feedback is always invaluable.  Hopefully with the new GUI we can suck in Cyborg as well. :)
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2018, 11:00:47 AM »
Since the new GUI isn't ready for a release yet (right?) I'll try to get a release with other changes out today, including the switch to the tooltip stats.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2018, 11:13:28 AM »
I suppose that would make sense, yes.  I should have the gui in an internal-release state today, but aiming for later in the week for a to-Steam version is wise.  Having the intermediary release now is a good idea.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2018, 11:33:06 AM »
chemical_art, I can't express how happy it makes me that you're more engaged now.  Can't wait to have more folks on, but your feedback is always invaluable.  Hopefully with the new GUI we can suck in Cyborg as well. :)

Encouragement is always nice.

Once Keith pushes out that next update with slightly increased ships speeds and longer wave times I'll give another go. It shouldn't be so hard to be bogged down also now that I'm a bit more aware of the turret power.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2018, 08:30:21 PM »
The feedback is very helpful :)

0.716 is out now.

Some specific thoughts on avoiding the "My fleet is always moving to stop a wave" syndrome:

1) All ships are 20% faster now, so your ships don't have to head back as soon.
- Honestly I'd like to dial it back to what it was, if possible, as currently it's possible for short-range ships to close really fast against long-range ships, which makes long-range stuff less interesting. I could increase ranges, of course, but if I increase ranges and speeds it's mathematically very similar to just reducing the size of the planet area, which contributes to the whole thing feeling like a cage match.

2) Wave interval increases with AIP (until it hits 10 minutes at 100 AIP), so you'll simply have more time between waves.

3) For the very-low-AIP waves that are still closer to 5 minutes apart, you should be able to stop those easily with turrets.
- Turrets were seriously buffed; short-range turrets are now much tankier on average, medium-range are significantly tankier and do more damage, and the longer-range ones are still squishy but hit like a truck.
- Also, most turrets now cost less power, so you can fit more of them on a planet.
- You'll still probably need to spend some science on turrets before 100 AIP, but with the Mark 1 versions only costing 250 each it's not hard to get enough cap to cover a few frontline planets.

After the 100 AIP mark you can decide whether to involve your mobile fleet more in wave defense (much easier with the extra speed and the extra interval between waves) or spend more science on turrets to just stonewall the enemy. Which one you decide will likely depend on whether you found high-power-production border planets, and how many of them you're having to defend.


On the numeric clarity, the tooltips now show the per-visual-thing stats for HP and DPS (I kept costs at the squad level, but with a bit of extra text to spell that out).
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2018, 08:35:04 PM »

Very good timing Keith, I will punch holes into the AI and see if I can advance.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2018, 01:15:24 PM »
Oh, one other thing I did want to emphasize: if you're simply waiting for something to happen you can speed it up with Ctrl+Plus; it maxes out at *10, which gets just about any wait over with very fast. The tricky thing is pressing Ctrl+Minus fast enough to not pass too much time.

That's different from the normal +/- controls, which just cause your computer to crunch frames faster (it probably can't go much faster than 2x or 3x normal speed right now).

The overall effect is to kill waits, but allow ships to not be really fast in the middle of combat.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2018, 01:28:53 PM »
In the new gui, I wonder if the speed up and speed down visual buttons should be that or the non-ctrl version. Right now it's the latter, it seems like it should be the former. Or maybe right-clicks do the former.

There's some oscillation of ships at higher frame granularity, FYI. It's on trello, but lower priority.
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Offline etheric42

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2018, 01:38:59 PM »
I'm confused about the purpose and effect of the two different speed modulations.  Could you help me understand them?

Normal (+/-) is the "typical" way of increasing game speed (correct?).  Ships move faster.  Things build faster.  Etc.  But it seems to cap out at a certain point where you can keep increasing the number but it doesn't really speed up (I am assuming based on processor power?)

Control (+/-) is doing something differently?  It seems to also make ships move faster, but doesn't seem to suffer from the same cap?

What's the functional difference?  (And if you've already explained it in this thread, I'm sorry, but I didn't get it.  Could you try again on link me to a different thread?)

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2018, 01:49:25 PM »
My understanding is "Normal makes each frame go faster. Coarse skips frames entirely"

So instead of executing frames in this order (with the spaces representing speed)
1  2  3  4  5  7  8
increasing normal speed would be
12345678
and increasing coarse speed would be
1  3  5  8
Both happen a lot faster than the base case.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 01:51:24 PM by BadgerBadger »

Offline etheric42

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2018, 01:59:02 PM »
Great explanation!

How does that affect the game?  If the ship is supposed to be completed on a frame that's skipped, is that ship now gone to the ether?  Are bullets scheduled to fire on one of those skipped frames gone and those ships now sitting ducks to ships that fire on included frames?  Should I be using normal +/- in combat but control +/- out of combat?

Offline x4000

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Re: Third look at early game
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2018, 02:09:43 PM »
That explanation is slightly off. Coarse frames makes frames "bigger."

If normally a unit or shot moves x amount in one frame, then at twice coarseness it would move 2x. It's no extra CPU load, but it's running twice as fast. It probably looks less smooth, though.
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