Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

joonicks
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am

Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by joonicks »

Ooo, I dont like writing too much but I could go on and on with ideas forever so please dont ban me for spamming.

I just stumbled upon Pioneer two days ago now from watching Scott Manleys youtube video review of it. I have been an Elite enthusiast for almost as long as I had computers. Briefly touched original Elite on Amiga, followed the development of Frontier for a long time and played it on PC, played Frontier: First Encounter and recently tried Elite: Dangerous (Steam). Quite disappointed with E:D, its just souped up graphics for the original Elite, barely any added gameplay. Seems to me that Frontier had way more immersion and depth. Seems to me that E:D is just an attempt to commercialize and profit from the Elite fans. (Microtransactions, Expansions...) And then I stumble on Pioneer, an open source remake of Frontier that I might actually be able to add to myself. Did I die and go to heaven?

I had my own computer since 1989 (C64 at first), Ive been programming lots (started on C64). Currently Im suffering from disability, but hey, at least I get to stay home all day every day, so I have plenty of time. Currently Im not doing much programming but some php, html/css/javascript, Linux C. I am the principal author of the energymech IRC bot, but havent touched it since like 2009. I have my own VPS, not for anything serious, just messing around and hosting my own little web things. Unfortunatly I have stayed clear of anything object oriented, so no real knowledge about C++, but its similar to C and im a fast learner. I am a perfectionist, so most of my projects never gets finished, I spend too much time on tiny details.

So, Im even having trouble sleeping because my head is so full of ideas, so lets try and get some ideas down "on paper".

1, Redefining cargo/modules to become volume(m3) and mass (kg, possibly expressed as tonnes with decimals)

This has already been discussed on the forum Ive seen, but I think its important and should be prioritized since it would allow for much finer granularity and details.
You cant add fine-grained alternatives like "save 5% fuel" if 5% is rounded off to zero. you may buy fuel by the tonne, but if you spend it by the kg, things like 5% more fuel efficient hyperdrives can be added. Which leads to my next idea,

2, Specialized equipment.

There is a large universe there filled with millions and billions of different manufacturers, Im sure they dont all use the same blueprint for their class 1 hyperdrive. If I wanted to gain marketshare I would sink big money into R&D to try and make my hyperdrive better than my competitors over at Barnards star.

Class 1 Hyperdrive options;
cheap "made in china" generic standard, cheap but breaks more easily so will have to be repaired/replaced more frequently
standard quality, passed QA, normal price normal everything
high quality expensive Rolls royce, handcrafted, extended jumprange/better precision, massively expensive/hard to find
high quality expensive Toyota, better fuel efficiency
high quality lightweight, same fitting volume, less mass (indirectly better performance like thrust, jump range, fuel economy. but not as much range as the RR)
high quality durable Volvo, less maintainance, longer lifespan, less likely to malfunction

And thats just one module, other modules could be similarly varied. Tweaked modules could be obtained in interesting ways, like mission rewards, salvaged from wrecks, etc.

3, Equipment wear and tear.

As simple as an attribute added to equipment->wearntear = new int32; Could start at 100,000 (factory outlet), dropping over time, presented as % (100,000/1000). Eg. Buy a new hyperdrive from a factory retail outlet. wearntear = 100,000. Make one jump, wearntear -= random(0 to 50); at wearntear 0, chance of breakdown is 100%, trying to hyperspace would make the drive explode into small fragments, unrecoverable. but with 10% left, only 20% chance of fail-n-explode, but 40% of mis-jump, 80% of jump-but-destination-is-1000au's-away. if it fails-n-explodes, it cant be repaired, but if it only fails, it needs a crew engineer to repair it (successfully) before another try can be made. the ship itself would also have a wearntear. at 0% it would simply collapse into a pile of rust n dust as soon as you touched the thrusters. other modules could have similar failures.

hyperspace drive, fail/explode/misjump/inaccurate
reactor, fail/explode/spike and damage other modules/low power other modules flicker on and off randomly
sensor, fail/undetected contacts/ghost contacts/mis-identify pirates as police and vice versa
autopilot, fail/erratic flight/jam throttle at 100%/sit for 2 hours at 0 throttle

4, Crew skills.

Hired a competent engineer? Cool, he can repair the hyperdrive that just failed. Skill = 10% --> chance to fail and brick the drive 90%; Skill 90% -> succeed and add +1000 wearntear points; Skill 0% --> BOOM, hello tombstone!
skilled gunner? add 5% to damage output
skilled navigator? add 5% to jumprange and drop into normal space closer to the sun.

5, Missions

Lots of diversity can be added here.

5A, BBS tabs for easy browsing.

Use tabs for "All / Deliveries / Combat / Trading [commodities, ships, modules ] / Services [crew, repairs, police ] / Other [charity, black market, personal, dummies]"

5B, Dummy entries

As was said somewhere, the BBS is public and persistent not just for you but also for others, so entries which are not for you should still show up.

5C, BBS chat format

Instead of one small page that blanks and refills with text and buttons, it could be made into more of a chat log format. Instead of a text input you have buttons, press a button, the buttons go away and you transmit what the button said, the reply comes and a new set of buttons show up with the next thing to say, but previous sent and replies stay in the window. You might even piss off an NPC by asking the same thing too many times;

Him: Hello, my name is Lucifer Mephisto and I need someone to transport some documents to Hell star, Hades outpost, before December 31st, 3199.
You: Is it dangerous?
Him: Oh no, not at all.
You: Is it dangerous?
Him: Umm, no.
You: Is it dangerous?
Him: Are you a retard or what?
You: Is it dangerous?
Him: <click>

5D, Mission-chain one

Step 1, Do a normal passenger run. "People are out to get me", get him/her safely to destination (or alive atleast), Passenger pays, and says "Good job, I owe you one. Here take this data chip and next time you see a Bigdummypost on the BBS, give them this data chip, and they will find you a nice reward. Should be a very small chance of this happening, maybe 1/100 or so.

Step 2, You eventually find a Bigdummypost on a BBS. You have talked to Bigdumyposts before but they never say anything of interest, but this time you have a button to say "Someone told me to give you this..." they say like "Oh yes, our organization is very grateful for your assistance. It so happens we have some surplus equipment on (20ly away star), why dont you go there, talk to Yetanotherdummypost and he will fix one for you, ok?"

Step 3, Go to surplus-star, talk to Yetanotherdummypost and receive a free, high quality Volvo hyperdrive, or a Plasma Inc weapon, or something rare like that.

5E, Mission two

"Hey there commander, I have some info you might be interested in.. my cousins wifes fathers sisters son came across this derelict ship at Rustys star. If you give me some credits I'll provide you with the coordinates, deal?"
So, you pay him some 100-1000cr and you get the coords. You get there and...

option 1, nothing is there, youve been had.
option 2, pirates pop out of nowhere and go like "Yeah dude, I told you this guy is good at baiting people. Look at this shiny dummy he got us, now lets get to work..."
option 2a, after blowing up the original 2 rats, 1 more show up, bigger ship, higher combat rating (like a chief rat), disposing of him leaves more bounties/salvage/commodities
option 3, you find a derelict ship and salvage parts/commodities worth some reasonable amount, or (rarely) some hard to get equipment

5F, "mission" three

Black market ships or equipment not available from legit shipyards. BB entry might only be found in anarchy systems or pirate hideout orbital stations or such.

5G, faction/organization bbs entries.

under a weird nonsensical bbs post you might find something that is a dummy post until you have reached (a hidden counter) enough standing/rep to access it.
after access is available, there might be good or services available for beneficial rates.

6, Jump gates

A few systems might have afforded the construction of huge jumpgates. You may use them if you pay/have high enough rank/rep/standing with the controlling entity. Jumping through (one-way?) launches you at high speed 100ly (some long distance) away at high speed (1/10th of the normal travel time for that distance). Number of known such gates in the universe might only be 10 or so, but creates "highways" between high population high-tech areas of the galaxy. Secret gates might take you to secret places.

7, Making your own outpost

It has long been a dream of mine that, why cant I just buy some slaves/... and liquid ox, water, food, machinery.. and then go drop them on an unihabited planet, and after some time, a new outpost would pop up, one that I owned/controlled. Not especially for financial gain. Possibly a big endeavour to travel great distances out into the unexplored and setting up an outpost where you could eventually refuel, repair, etc. Population might grow, with or without you interaction. First 10, then 20, then 50, then 100, ... 10,000... 200,000... this might be especially attractive if the next idea is implemented. This is not a "make money" feature, more of an "im bored, Im elite, have every ship in game, am loved by all factions, 100billion in the bank, now what?"

8, Timeline "multiplayer"

No direct interaction, simply a server that keeps track of missions done and goods traded. A timeline server could be private or public and might eventually allow players to collaborate. Maybe throw a system into anarchy, maybe clean up that rat infested anarchy sesspool and turn it into a prospering democracy. Maybe collaborating on setting up an outpost?

Any player action would be recorded by date and would not occur for another player until his game time reached that date.

-----------------
Things I'd like to do:

Diversify models, add ships, orbitals, city buildings, etc. If I can.
Impaktor suggested I have a look at the city generation code. That might be right down my alley as Im a big fan of procedural generation.

Ah let me post this and take a break from writing for now.

/A, Joonicks (yes thats an intentional play on UNIX)
impaktor
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Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by impaktor »

Hi, and welcome!

I don't know if you ever "learn" C++, but it becomes tolerable after a while (in my opinion). Most of our Lua code is not Object oriented though. If you have experience with IRC bots, have a crack at ours if you like. Check the How you can contribute

1. Redefining cargo/modules Yeah, I talked to you on IRC about it, so you have the links to the github and post here on the forum on this. If we use tonnes or kg is a moot point to me. Just separating volume from mass would be a big benefit.

2. Specialized equipment.
One key aspect to keep in mind here is how will the player notice / know these different traits in hyper engines? Sales pitch? Just by player experience, they'd have to play a long time to notice these things, if at all?

I hacked up #2990 over a weekend, which is why I don't remember anything about it but sounds similarish / something that you might be interested in, and it links to this post dev-forum.

3. Equipment wear and tear.
I think here we should consider what "half a scanner" or "half a gun" will mean, and implement that. Also keeping in mind that if we're too evil, the game won't be fun, and the player will just restart from latest load state.

I'd very much like to have a repair/damage tab in ship info view (F3) so we can see health bars for the different ship systems. When hit by laser/missile/ground, you would have some system for doing random damage to these systems, and assigning which to be repaired (some kind of "repair priority"?). I'm very much thinking about Silent Service II, or the very old game Starflight (I think it had some kind of damage system).

Image

4. Crew skills.
Yeah, a lot of stuff in pioneer is half done. I think Brianetta did a lot of crew-stuff, then his interests dwindled to other things, so a lot to keep working on here. Mainly, I think crew should have a meaningful purpose. Not sure I like the idea that a bad engineer will do damage to you ship (how will the player know that? If you have crew that should be a benefit, even if he's not so skilled). I think a bad engineer should repair slowly instead.

5A. Diversity:
yes please. Believe me, you are not the first to want to sort/organize the BBS adverts. But keep in mind that doing that, "exposes" the formula for what the mission is. "Oh, it's one of those "Take X to system B"-missions. I much prefer to reduce the current flood of adverts on the BBS. Please see my rant on SSC for more on this.

5B. Dummy entries
Yeah, I'm on board with that. Not sure what an example would look like?

5C. BBS chat format
I find the Lua UI a bit difficult to work in, but have a crack at it and see what you can come up with. Sounds like it's worth a shot.

5D, Mission-chain one
Brianetta implemented persistent characters to have "the same faces" periodically show up in a BBS, but it was never implemented into the actual BBS, so that sounds like something you can use/build on. Could be used for the classic Frontier "Have you seen person X?" adverts. Currently I think we only use the persistent characters for when you accept to transport passengers. (they will be persistent during the time the mission is active)

We've talked/dreamed in IRC about having chained "normal" missions. I.e. some small probability that when you finish one mission, you will be offered another (preferably of any flavor / mission-module) with some added bonus.


5F, "mission" three
Black market ships or equipment not available from legit shipyards. BB entry might only be found in anarchy systems or pirate hideout orbital stations or such.
I'm actually working on exactly this. Pirate base, with special illegal equipment, and special services offered on the BBS, no police, no law, and preferably docking by external pads on/close to a (old tattered) bulk ship.


6, Jump gates
I/we've been thinking about this. I think the upside is that you get more "fun" in the sense that you have common places of huge strategic value. And you get a natural "highway" of ships going to/from the gates. There have been (very vague) talks about jump drive only working from a Lagrange point. Also, we're no longer a Frontier clone, so I'm very much willing to consider any form of this.


7. Making your own outpost
I suggest we get back to this once you know the pioneer code, done work, and are a regular contributor.

8. Timeline "multiplayer"
robn recently (read: February 2015) merged in some code (#3342) for this purpose. So we have some networking code, for this, but it's not activated. If you want to work on this, ping him on IRC (Note: Melbourne time zone for him). Also see:
http://pioneerwiki.com/wiki/ServerAgent
http://pioneerwiki.com/wiki/Network_features

Conclusion

For starters, I'd recommend finding something (one thing) to work and focus on to get into the community (all five of us :smily:) and to not be so overwhelmed by all your thoughts. We all have lists similar to yours with ideas, but there are only 24 h in a day.

So see what you can come up with, and have fun doing it.

We're glad to have you on board.
joonicks
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by joonicks »

2. Specialized equipment.
One key aspect to keep in mind here is how will the player notice / know these different traits in hyper engines? Sales pitch? Just by player experience, they'd have to play a long time to notice these things, if at all?
I see no reason not to be open about it in the item descriptions. No realistic reason to treat it as a secret. The manufacturer would publicly advertise the benefits of their equipment.
3. Equipment wear and tear.
I think here we should consider what "half a scanner" or "half a gun" will mean, and implement that. Also keeping in mind that if we're too evil, the game won't be fun, and the player will just restart from latest load state.

I'd very much like to have in ship info view (F3) so we can see health bars for the different ship systems. When hit by laser/missile/ground, you would have some system for doing random damage to these systems, and assigning which to be repaired (some kind of "repair priority"?). I'm very much thinking about Silent Service II, or the very old game Starflight (I think it had some kind of damage system).
Combat damage can be significant (0-100%), daily wear less so (0-1%). But what Im suggesting is a probability system where the likeliness of anything minor happening is minimal over 50% equipment health. Only below 50% or so is where you would begin to see simple malfunctions and only in the last 0-5% major malfunctions and at 0-1% catastrophic malfunctions. As daily wear would be below 1% you would have several days or weeks (real time, not game time) to service/repair/replace, or face the consequences.
4. Crew skills.
Yeah, a lot of stuff in pioneer is half done. I think Brianetta did a lot of crew-stuff, then his interests dwindled to other things, so a lot to keep working on here. Mainly, I think crew should have a meaningful purpose. Not sure I like the idea that a bad engineer will do damage to you ship (how will the player know that? If you have crew that should be a benefit, even if he's not so skilled). I think a bad engineer should repair slowly instead.
Slow repair is a great idea. But I still think if a player ignores all warning signs, like multiple failed jumps, erratic destinations, and then hires a 5% skill engineer to fix it, they deserve the boom scenario (which is still not a guarantee, only a risk). It would take severe negligence and stupidity to get a boom, but I think its a realistic risk, if you send Dumb&Dumber to repair your nuclear reactor on day 1 at work...
5A. Diversity:
yes please. Believe me, you are not the first to want to sort/organize the BBS adverts. But keep in mind that doing that, "exposes" the formula for what the mission is. "Oh, it's one of those "Take X to system B"-missions. I much prefer to reduce the current flood of adverts on the BBS. Please see my rant on SSC for more on this.
I think thats where the diversity comes in, finding room in the lua to vary the bbs posting title and the conversation once you contact, and the mission parameters as well. diversity ftw. If too many missions are added, thats when the tabs are needed. Currently no. But some people only want to see delivery missions for example. If the BBS ever becomes 3 pages long, tabs will be needed (and I hope it does) imho.
5B. Dummy entries
Yeah, I'm on board with that. Not sure what an example would look like?
I'll try banging my head against the lua to see if I cant come up with an example.
5F, "mission" three
Black market ships or equipment not available from legit shipyards. BB entry might only be found in anarchy systems or pirate hideout orbital stations or such.
I'm actually working on exactly this. Pirate base, with special illegal equipment, and special services offered on the BBS, no police, no law, and preferably docking by external pads on/close to a (old tattered) bulk ship.
Yeah I was reading some forum just now and saw something about it. Please dont make it just one station in the whole game, let the engine place them albeit with low chance of occurance. I read somewhere that an "open air" orbital presents a problem with the current code. But does it? if you could set rotational speed to zero or infitesimaly low, that'd work wouldnt it? Im sure you have seen the little station Ive been modeling up...open air. With a skull n bones decal itd be absolutely piratey. Maybe some neon sign damsel wiggling also. Total trashy station.
6, Jump gates
I/we've been thinking about this. I think the upside is that you get more "fun" in the sense that you have common places of huge strategic value. And you get a natural "highway" of ships going to/from the gates. There have been (very vague) talks about jump drive only working from a Lagrange point. Also, we're no longer a Frontier clone, so I'm very much willing to consider any form of this.
As I see it, the orbital station code could handle this with very minor adjustments, maybe none. eg, reach point A, event is triggered...
8. Timeline "multiplayer"
robn recently (read: February 2015) merged in some code for this purpose. So we have some networking code, for this, but it's not activated. If you want to work on this, ping him on IRC (Note: Melbourne time zone for him).
I could probably whip up a quick server (Linux, unix, C) in a day or two if I knew how the protocol should look like.
Conclusion

For starters, I'd recommend finding something (one thing) to work and focus on to get into the community (all five of us :smily:) and to not be so overwhelmed by all your thoughts. We all have lists similar to yours with ideas, but there are only 24 h in a day.
[/quote]

My day usually has 12-14 hours of computer in it, with the rest being sleep. Id be glad to sink a few thousand man-hours into Pioneer, Im just a bit irked by the C++

/joo
FluffyFreak
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Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by FluffyFreak »

joonicks wrote:
2. Specialized equipment.
One key aspect to keep in mind here is how will the player notice / know these different traits in hyper engines? Sales pitch? Just by player experience, they'd have to play a long time to notice these things, if at all?
I see no reason not to be open about it in the item descriptions. No realistic reason to treat it as a secret. The manufacturer would publicly advertise the benefits of their equipment.

/joo
I think that he meant:
How would the player notice?
How noticeable would the differences be between the models of engine.
If you have to jump 1000 times before a drive fails then will you notice if it's 990 or 1010 times.
joonicks
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by joonicks »

Well I think the idea is that it should be noticable by the player. The premium price would have to earn itself back somehow within a reasonable amount of time.

I remember the original frontier, if you wanted to head out into the unknown, you could. You could get about 1000ly out without using the wraparound exploit, but 1 second after your 365 days of hyperdrive service was up, the hyperdrive would turn into rubbish. Id like to avoid that..

"Volvo" drives for example might have double the durability.

Balance the benefits, noticable and worthwhile but not OP.

/A
Marcel
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Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:39 am

Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by Marcel »

The different manufacturers are described as producing ships of varying qualities already. This fits right in. As for how the player could tell the difference, there needs to be a screen in the UI to display % of wear and tear, etc. I don't see why a spaceport would sell ships at the shipyard at all. It's just a leftover from Frontier. A shipyard is for repairs and upgrades. In walterar's Scout Plus is a place called Ships Resale where you can trade in your ship for another. We could expand on that idea by eliminating sales at the shipyard. Instead, a spaceport would have various ship dealers, based on population and faction. An official dealership for the ships produced in that faction and used ship dealers. They'd place ads on the Bulletin Board. If you buy a new ship at a dealership it will be at 100%, but if you buy used, it may be cheaper but you might have to put a lot of money into it to make it serviceable. If you buy a new ship you pick your options, but if you buy used, you get the equipment installed by the previous owner. We also have the possibility of pleasant or obnoxious interactions with salespeople.
joonicks
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by joonicks »

New ideas before I forget:

Bookmark starsystems in case you have favorites and wants to target them quickly.

Station manager screen which is terribly empty right now might have info like:

"
Welcome back commander!
Much time has passed since you visited here on Jan 1st 3200...
"
joonicks
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by joonicks »

Skills?

On the bbs you might buy access to an "online course" in commanding/piloting "medium combat spacecrafts", spend X amount of in-game time waiting for your persona to learn it (basically one or more hyperjumps), or just time accelerate until its learnt. gives you skills to pilot bigger ships and handle other equipment. unless maybe your crew possesses the skill?
joonicks
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by joonicks »

Possible solution for the market buy/sell, only buy option horribly mucked up....

Image
joonicks
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Hello, Im new, and I have ideas (big text)

Post by joonicks »

separate ship equipment from cargospace, where it makes sense.

fueltank can still be mounted in the cargo bay, maybe split it, internal fuel bay (fixed), external fuel bay (extra fuel mounted in cargobay)

hyperdrive;

buy a "sirius corporation E1 hyperdrive", mount it in a ships E1 (or E2, or E3, ..) compartment

E1 equipment can be mounted in any E1 or larger (E2,E3,E4,...)
however an E2 cannot be mounted in an E1 (just isnt enough room)

would prevent players from overloading their ships with oversized hyperdrives and getting ridiculous ranges.

equipment could come in variations that all fall within the "norm" of performance.
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