Slots

Design docs discussion of the implementation of certain features
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FluffyFreak
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Slots

Post by FluffyFreak » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:46 pm

Discussion on IRC indicates that we might want to go for a slot based system for ship equipment.

Such a system would have specific limits on the size/weight & type of equipment that could be placed into the slot for example:
  • Powerplant: Medium size - can only take small or medium powerplants, which limits the power available.
  • Shield: Small size - can only take the small shields, which are weaker but use less power, put out less heat.
Some slots, could be multi-purpose allowing them to take several types as long as they're of the correct size, an example might be exterior "slots" or hardpoints for attaching weapons/scanners/collectors or whatever.

Discuss.

nozmajner
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Re: Slots

Post by nozmajner » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:59 pm

I'll drop this image in..
I'd even think it would be "nice" if the slots themselves would be damageable, so if you got roughed up, you won't be able to install stuff on that slot unless you fix it.

sturnclaw
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Re: Slots

Post by sturnclaw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:03 pm

I agree with this in general, though I have a specialization to propose. I would go with a hybrid model that tracks two metrics.

My proposal is that external equipment like weapon hardpoints, engines, hyperdrives, etc. are all represented by slots, which define a fixed upper bound on what can be mounted there. Additionally, there is a metric of equipment space which is used for internal equipment - things like fuel tanks or ammo feeds or cargo space extenders or passenger cabins all use this space. Likely, equipment mounted in slots would also consume equipment space, but at a lower rate - e.g. if you mount a sensor package on the outside it's more liable to take damage, but it also frees up 20-40% of the equipment space it would normally consume.

I like the E:D style of slots to a point, but for Pioneer I'd much rather give the player the option to fully customize their equipment loadout. Using slots for the exterior mounts makes sense; you can only have so many engines - and please don't cut holes in the hull to mount additional weapons - but interior space is a bit more malleable.

Regarding slot classifications, I'd go with the Star Citizen style size-class method, if only out of familiarity; e.g. each slot has a type (weapon, turret, utility, drive, etc.) and a size rating from 1-5, with S1 being the smallest, and S5 being a monster of a beast you might see on a ship the size of the dsminer or something like that. Obviously, you'd consider additional metrics like power draw and heat generation and any other equipment mechanics we might have, but this is the core of the idea.

nozmajner
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Re: Slots

Post by nozmajner » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:04 pm

Why not give a volume to each slot? Then stuff you just bolt to the floor could be put onto the dsminer like there's no tomorrow, but you can still limit the smaller ships.
Like there's a hyperdrive slot with 1.3m3 on the Sinonatrix, and the OPLI drives are quite bulky. But you eventually fly to CIW space and find out that they are much better at miniaturization, so you can go up a class or so for the same room.

More flexible than just having a tiny, small, medium, big, huge tiers, and intuitively makes more sense to me. And there could be an equipment space where you could put a lot of different equipment without hassle, up to it's volume. That would also allow for having a separate equipment room at the back of the ship, and at the front of the ship (depending on ship layout), which are 5m3 each. So You have 10m3 of room for equipment, but wont be able to put in that huge 10m3 luxury passenger compartment, because you have two spearate 5m3 slots.

I can imagine the same for weapons as well. This cannon has a feed system that takes up 0.3m3, then additional parts are another 0.2, so you can squeeze it in a half m3 slot, or put it in a huge 1.5m3 slot normally reserved for larger weapons. Maybe you need more duct tape and paper clips for that.

sturnclaw
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Re: Slots

Post by sturnclaw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:40 pm

nozmajner: That's what the equipment space metric is for - sizes define a standardization which all manufacturers use (give-or-take some ship-specific weapons / turrets / whatever), and the equipment space and power draw allow for flavor within the size class. E.g. more efficient drives may consume less power, but take up significantly more equipment space that could be converted into cargo space instead. I specifically don't want to assign a volume to a slot for two reasons - one is that it's extra complexity and balancing work for relatively low gain, and two is that having a single ship-wide equipment space just makes more sense to me.

Think of the sizes like a broadphase pass - it narrows down what you can mount to something that will physically fit on the ship (and can be used as an indicator of relative power or value), and then the equipment space use and power draw are your specific tradeoffs between items of that class. E.g. a gun firing half-meter chunks of titanium isn't really something you're gonna fit on a sinonatrix. I should mention that the size class is a one-way metric; a S2 item will fit in a S3 slot just fine, but not the other way round.

Much like the cargo refactor, I don't think we're going to support a split model for equipment space - we're not simulating ships to that level. If that ever changes, I'd agree with you, but it's extra complexity and maintenance for something that only really goes on under the hood.

impaktor
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Re: Slots

Post by impaktor » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:43 am

fluffy wrote:Some slots, could be multi-purpose
Like current fuel scoop and cargo scoop. (They used to be separate)

ecraven linked to Star Conflict's slot-system:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbnljuR ... O6&index=6

The video above mentions three different damage types:
- Kinetic energy (e.g. Projectile weapons like rail-gun),
- Electromagnetic energy (Beam weapons, lasers)
- Thermal energy (?)

That's interesting, but as always, the more complexity, the harder to balance, I'd venture. I'm not sure what "extra" dynamics/function thermal energy weapons/damage give? I assume kinetic energy weapons hit the hull armor plates, while EM weapons hit the shields.

Also, I like the idea of neural implants to improve crew's traits, kind of like in Syndicate. Now, only problem is that crew's traits aren't in any way hooked into pioneer's game mechanics. Yet.

Should maxing out be possible? I.e. should it be possible to simply buy the most expensive thing of each equipment and then only have positive turnout (besides the added weight)? Or will one installed "module" come with negative as well as positive effects?
1. if installing module X, that fills the slot x, thereby you can not install module Y which is "negative" for you
2. if installing module X, this adds weight/power use, to your ship, that is negative
3. if installing module X, it has some really "active" negativity about it: maybe leaking radio-actives harming your crew, or indicating to the police you might be a pirate, or some other added "negative" feature?

Games with "levels" that "unlock" the next set of "modules" contribute to making a game addictive (=fun).

Of what I gathered from the Star Conflict video, it is very clear to the player exactly what each component will do "add 3% speed to ship", I suspect pioneer need to get better at this level of transparency.

nozmajner
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Re: Slots

Post by nozmajner » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:44 am

I was thinking a lot about that kind of expensive - more better linear progression. It shouldn't always be that way, if even at all.
It could work somewhat like RPG character generation, and equipment would have different stats. And price would govern, how much points you could allocate to each stat. But as the price goes up, the available points wouldn't go up linearly. Example: For 100$ you'd had 100 points. For 200$ you'd had 190, for 1000$ you'd had 500. Can't recall the mathematical term for that relation.

A 100$ engine for example would have:
- 100MN of thrust for 30 points
- 100 Mm/s for 50 points (efficiency costs more) (Sum: 80)
- It would have an ugly 70% efficiency for minus 30 points, (making it to generate an ugly 1500MW waste heat) (Sum: 50)
- For another 30 points, it would be quite easy to maintain. ( Sum: 80)
- For another -10, it's a quite common engine (70).
- And for a final 30 points, it's a relatively small engine compared to engines with similar performance (75% size). (100)

Just a quick example, without any thought of how it would balance. I think it should be somewhat self-balancing actually, if the point costs are well thought out.

nozmajner
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Re: Slots

Post by nozmajner » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:50 am

Clarification: this is not an in-game way for the player to make parts, but how it would work behind the scenes.
And it might even made procedural if it works.

nozmajner
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Re: Slots

Post by nozmajner » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:41 pm

Here are the notes I wrote down on the wiki, I mentioned on IRC.
I've put it on the wiki for easier editing.

clausimu
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Re: Slots

Post by clausimu » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:24 pm

Wow - just preparing those notes with illustrations must have taken a small village's worth of vacation... Impressive.

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