Your game functionality wishlist

What resource types and engine functionality would you like to see in an EV game?

Be sure to describe how you want them to work, especially brand new ideas or significant changes to existing concepts.

By category:

Shields
1. The ability to raise/lower shields. When shields are not in effect, they do not use energy, when raised, they do.
2. The ability to trade extra energy for instant shield regeneration.
3. Shields let through a combination of mass damage and energy damage based on a proportion of shields remaining, not just mass damage only after shields are depleted.

Combat:
1. Two-player head to head battle. I don't have even the slightest clue how this would work, but it sounds like it would be cool.
2. Tournament mode - basically CTC, really, just more integrated into the engine itself instead of as a TC.
3. Better AI.
4. No more system wraparound. I actually liked that you hit a wall, helped to avoid simply flying fast around the system to come back to a planet when chased.

Trade:
1. Cargo reputation in addition to combat reputation, gives access to better cargo run missions.
2. Food spoils over time. Yes, I know this could be implemented with current functionality, but I think it could also just be hard-coded. Other resources might have different properties, and certain trade items might cause unwanted interactions. (Ammonia and nitrates blow your ship up, for example.)

Ship Outfitting:
1. Delphi's idea of computer control slots for certain upgrades. Ships have a certain number of hardpoints for weapons, but some weapons take more computer resources than others. Unlike Delphi's idea, I think this should be in addition to mass. A better gun might be lighter, but you might have to upgrade your computer to run it.
2. A spare parts system and breakdown system. Currently doable with present functionality, but it sucks up a LOT of resources to do it. Might simply be avoided by raising resource limits.

Campaign Mode:
1. More options on mission flexibility and mission strings, also, the ability to break up mission text boxes and simply go to a next box, rather than having to advance offer text, accept text, ect. In other words, I'd like to be able to have two or three offer text boxes, and specify within the resource how many screens to have before moving to the accept text.
2. Missions are offered in space better, or can start in space while the player is moving.
3. Already doable, but a more realistic money system. Currently, missions pay too much. It took me under 30 minutes last time to save up enough for a fully loaded Mod. Starbridge. Granted, I knew systems and trade routes. Still, I'd like to feel as though I'm living on the raggedy edge.
3a. Some sort of banking system that generates interest? Maybe I'm just thinking too outside the box here.

General:
1. 3D model integration for sprite generation. Obviously, on many wish lists. Should be able to import standard formats such as .3ds, .blend, or other common free 3D model formats.
2. Higher resource limits and data file limits. Shouldn't be a problem considering that EV4 would have to be Intel native and no longer rely on a resource fork.
3. New sound manager capable of working with .wav/.mp3/.flac sounds.
4. Steak knives and a free parrot with every game purchase, or as an in-app purchase.
5. Android/iOS functionality. Actually, I have no idea how this would realistically work on a tablet interface, and I have racked my brain with it for a while. To make EV work the way I want, you need a keyboard. Perhaps enough sidebar buttons could be added, or even voice functionality? (So, we're talking some incredibly sophisticated programming, but this IS a wish list, so yeah.)
6. The return of the Forklift.
7. More player personalization? I don't know on this one. Nicknames and gender already exist, but are pretty underutilized.

I might have more to add later, but I've got to get to bed.

The ability to adjust the cost of fuel between different planets and times, and between different ship types.

@krugeruwsp, on 18 January 2012 - 11:34 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

3D model integration for sprite generation. Obviously, on many wish lists.

Even Matt Burch has talked about this when, in a moment of weakness, he’s been lured into musing about a new engine.

@krugeruwsp, on 18 January 2012 - 11:34 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

. . . EV4 would have to be Intel native and no longer rely on a resource fork.

The one doesn’t follow from the other — the game is already Intel-native, and that doesn’t stop it from using the resource fork, and even the Windows version uses what is basically a re-implementation of the Resource Manager. But yes, a new game should use a new format, preferably one which doesn’t impose numerical limits and can import external models and sounds.

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 10:13 AM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

The ability to adjust the cost of fuel between different planets and times, and between different ship types.

Seconded. Possibly even different fuel types that can only be found on certain planets.

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 10:13 AM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

The one doesn’t follow from the other — the game is already Intel-native, and that doesn’t stop it from using the resource fork, and even the Windows version uses what is basically a re-implementation of the Resource Manager. But yes, a new game should use a new format, preferably one which doesn’t impose numerical limits and can import external models and sounds.

Sorry, that's what I meant. I didn't explain that particularly well.

This post has been edited by krugeruwsp : 19 January 2012 - 10:27 AM

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 10:13 AM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Even Matt Burch has talked about this when, in a moment of weakness, he’s been lured into musing about a new engine.

This was right before he remembered that his wife promised to cut off all his fingers if he ever started working on an EV4, right?

Re a new file format for EV, my thought on the matter is to implement a scripting language such as Lua or Python that can be used to create objects, such as ships and outfits, or layout missions and events during said missions. You can use as many scripts as you want (well, assuming the engine implements some type of dynamic memory feature) and scripts can reference external images, 3D models, mission dialog, sounds, etc.

This post has been edited by JacaByte : 19 January 2012 - 11:31 AM

@krugeruwsp, on 18 January 2012 - 11:34 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

By category:

snip

I'd be for alot of that, but I'd want it to be optional for plug-makers (i.e.: food doesn't always expire; rather I can edit the base commodities and add/subtract from the list and give the base whatever properties I want; and shields take power based on how much I say I want a certain shield to take, or how much power they put out, or I can enable/disable their use for my plug).

*Mass slows down your ship proportionally to how much thrust (acceleration) your ship has and how much mass you add
*Visible turrets/weapons/addons on ships
*A system for capturing planets and utilizing them; so if I've captured a planet I can make it build fleets to help take over my enemies, or use it to build completely new ships (obviously pre-drawn; perhaps modifications of ships that are in game or new loadouts); basically a way to create my own government (this is probably doable as-is, but would take up a ton of resources)
*Maybe a way to make certain sets of ships immune to certain types of weapon; right now PD hits anything but fires at flagged ships and planet-type ships don't get hit by any non-planet weapons, but they're not interchangeable

I think that's all I've got for now.

Some of the already mentioned plus:

Programmable system for weapon firing and shield usage etc:
Instead of having to cycle between secondary weapons I can turn on and off a self programmed or bought "submind" which will control usage of some or all weapons.

• Implemented as a simple "submind" scripting language.
• Good scripts for certain weapons can be bough as outfits.

A story creation and intertwining system:
I was thinking a digraph based system where the nodes represent choice points and the edges decisions which set bits and lead to new choices. The mission text and preconditions of course are all reachable from this system.

More interactive minimap and visibility. By making it depend on outfits more severely:
• Only able to show still ships.
• Only able to see very fast moving ships.
• Cloaking that only works if standing still.
• Cloaking from minimap. (for NPCs)
• Cloak detectors, like marathon infravision or something.

This post has been edited by Modesty Blaise : 19 January 2012 - 05:18 PM

@meaker-vi, on 19 January 2012 - 12:04 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

. . . I can edit the base commodities and add/subtract from the list and give the base whatever properties I want . . .

Perhaps all commodities and cargo types should be defined by an extended jünk resource?

@meaker-vi, on 19 January 2012 - 12:04 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Visible turrets/weapons/addons on ships

Using 3D models rather than sprites would probably make this more practical. Presumably the ship design would specify certain points where an add-on of certain dimensions could be displayed.

@modesty-blaise, on 19 January 2012 - 01:02 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

A story creation and intertwining system.

How is that different from the mission bits that we already have? I like the idea of a cloaking device that doesn’t work in motion, though.

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 01:30 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

How is that different from the mission bits that we already have?

whistles "It's a small world after all"

Right now in Nova it's not too difficult to have only one or two variants of a specific mission, e.g. the Cunjo Hunter mission and the Fed/Rebel Storylines. However, it's hard to have missions that branch in more than two directions, and missions currently do not take into account things like your combat rating ("You look like a mighty warrior indeed!" or "What would I need from a pansy like you?") your legal rating ("We don't serve drinks to scum like you.") and things you have done and perks that you've earned through side-strings. ("We chose you for the delivery because you have access to the hypergates.") It might be possible to implement these kinds of complexities in the Nova engine, but you would either run into the misn resource limit, the desc character limit or the NCB cap at full force.

In other words, the NCB mission system that Nova uses shows its age as you try to add more depth and interaction between what would otherwise be side strings, and prevent comical situations where pirates try to mug the most feared person in the entire universe. A more modern approach is needed IMHO.

This post has been edited by JacaByte : 19 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 01:30 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

How is that different from the mission bits that we already have? I like the idea of a cloaking device that doesn’t work in motion, though.

I was more thinking about something that sanitizes it, or could visually give an overview or visually allow story creation.The bits themselves are perfectly fine.

I speak from ignorance though, and such a system might exist already, but having to manually put bits on and off is what put me off writing missions some time ago.

Also from complete ignorance:
Could not any such story be represented as a digraph?

This post has been edited by Modesty Blaise : 19 January 2012 - 04:29 PM

It would be nice to have a graphical mission editor, I do confess. More so than Mission Computer (which is quite nice!) I mean something that would be a dedicated mission editor, showing the missions as a flowchart (much like the walkthroughs do, actually.) It could take care of setting NCBs and give the opportunity to see the descs as a flowchart.

Though, like I said above, I'd like a slightly more robust mission scripting, one that allows for a greater input of variables (cargo reputation, combat reputation, legal status, ect.) and one that allows multiple text boxes before moving from offer to accept to briefing, ect.

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 01:30 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Perhaps all commodities and cargo types should be defined by an extended jünk resource?

Exactly.

Just thought of a few more:

  • A useful gravity system (one that can be adjusted as I see fit to the planet/s)

  • Planets that can be made to orbit, and/or an easier way to 'move' systems (rather than the wacko workaround that's currently in place) - possibly so systems can orbit

  • Allow us to choose the size of a system's boundary, whether it wraps or is a box; or whether it is possible to fly to another system and how far it is to do so

  • More planets/ships/stations/asteroids/everything per system
    (basically, with that whole set, imagine making the entire game the Sol System, with all the planets, the sun, and the asteroids; either to-scale or accessible only via hyper jump)

  • One-way hyper jumps

  • A way to require ships to either be capable of landing/docking on a planet or have a shuttle/transporter that is capable of doing so

  • A way to leave your mother ship in a smaller ship to keep it safe/to join the battle in person/for giggles

  • A way to store player-ships without using missions and workarounds

  • Options to enable more resources for outfits to use(like the data thing, only customizable; maybe a part heats up and you've got to dump the heat, or produces radiation and you've got to deal with that, or uses energy when on but not when off, or uses data, or sucks up the atmosphere; or all of those). For example, a laser could require 1mb of processing power permanently, mass 5 tons, take a constant 5kw and drain 20mw per shot, produce 1,000 btu of heat when fired, and cost 50,000 cr.

Or, in the same universe, make a reactor that drains fuel at a rate of 1 ton/min; masses 15 tons, and produces a constant 10gw and 10,000 btu of heat, and costs 1 million cr. And that reactor uses different fuel than another reactor.

This post has been edited by Meaker VI : 19 January 2012 - 04:44 PM

I'll probably think of more later, but for now:

-Distance-based cloaking system (its been done in other games). Cloaking reduces your chance of being detected by nearby ships, some ships have stronger sensors than others, and doing things like lighting your afterburner, firing/arming weapons, raising shields, giving orders to escorts, recalling/relaunching fighters, and anything else interesting you can think of increases your chance of being detected.
---Cloaking wouldn't just be about hitting cloak and flying - you would need to choose to fly stealthily, not aggressively (no weapons/shields) and there would be pilot skill involved in staying undetected (distance from other ships).

-Option for intercept, not just chase missiles. This would add some challenge to the player just outrunning missile spam from the AI.

-Manual and dynamic zooming (Ares).

-Option in addition to PD type turrets, for a type of turret that just fires at everything around as the AI sees fit.

I have another one: elegant support for ships without hyperdrives, for scenarios where interstellar travel is by hypergate or wormhole, or where some ships are simply limited in that respect. And, in the latter case, allow a hyperdrive to be bought separately from the outfitter. (Perhaps some hyperdrives could even be faster or more efficient than others.)

Sure, you can already leave out the hyperlinks or give your ships zero fuel, but the game doesn’t adjust its interface accordingly, and a ship with no fuel can’t use an afterburner.

And a jump-plotting system for hypergates, and the option to control how much the calendar advances when going through a hypergate.

@modesty-blaise, on 19 January 2012 - 04:15 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

I was more thinking about something that sanitizes it, or could visually give an overview or visually allow story creation.The bits themselves are perfectly fine.

I see, it’s the editor side that you’re interested in, rather than new engine features. Theoretically it should be possible for an editor to parse a set of missions and display them as a branching storyline flowchart (and it would be easier if you had access to the original NCB parser code rather than needing to re-implement it). It’s not something I’m about to try adding into MissionComputer, but for a new game it might be worth the trouble.

Given current customs, however, I suspect that a new game wouldn’t bother modernising the mission bit system, but rather replace it with a set of Lua scripts. But even having global variables with actual names, instead of numbered bits, would probably make the process much more user-friendly.

@meaker-vi, on 19 January 2012 - 04:39 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Planets that can be made to orbit . . .

Would this really be all that useful? Most planets don’t actually orbit all that fast, so in practice this would simply mean the planets were placed differently in the system according to your calendar, and I’m not sure what that would add.

@meaker-vi, on 19 January 2012 - 04:39 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

One-way hyper jumps

Yes, this was one of the losses of the EV Nova engine. I can only think of one plug-in that used one-way links seriously, but it would be nice to have them back, and mark their direction on the map (I was able to do this easily enough in MissionComputer, so the game itself should be able to manage it).

@meaker-vi, on 19 January 2012 - 04:39 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

A way to store player-ships without using missions and workarounds

This has got to be the most requested serious feature (as opposed to knee-jerk ones like multiplayer) missing from the game. And in a re-write on the scale we’ve been talking about, it really shouldn’t be that hard to implement.

@meaker-vi, on 19 January 2012 - 04:39 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Options to enable more resources for outfits to use(like the data thing, only customizable . . .

I’m not so sure; the more separate parameters there are for determining what fits together, the more playing the game starts to sound like work to me. And the idea of computing power as a limitation also seems a bit facile, since not only does every umpteenth-century spaceship presumably have more inbuilt computing power than any of us can imagine, but the add-on weapons should be also be able to fit in whatever resources they require.

@lnsu, on 19 January 2012 - 05:08 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Manual and dynamic zooming (Ares).

Yes, this is one Ares feature I’d like to see imported (I don’t think the strategy aspects really belong in EV). And again, using 3D models instead of sprites would allow it to be done at full graphical quality.

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 05:24 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Would this really be all that useful? Most planets don’t actually orbit all that fast, so in practice this would simply mean the planets were placed differently in the system according to your calendar, and I’m not sure what that would add.

If it was coupled with a way to make time pass in-system (at varying rates, depending on our needs) it could be very useful. The earth makes a full rotation around the sun at about a degree a day; the moon rotates around the earth at around 12 degrees a day; mecury goes around the sun at something like 4.5 degrees a day. If I could make days pass while you were just flying around, you'd see the planets orbiting, and if it was in a full-sized system, you'd have to catch them.

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 05:24 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

(font="Helvetica")I’m not so sure; the more separate parameters there are for determining what fits together, the more playing the game starts to sound like work to me. And the idea of computing power as a limitation also seems a bit facile, since not only does every umpteenth-century spaceship presumably have more inbuilt computing power than any of us can imagine, but the add-on weapons should be also be able to fit in whatever resources they require.

@david-arthur, on 19 January 2012 - 05:24 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

I see, it’s the editor side that you’re interested in, rather than new engine features. Theoretically it should be possible for an editor to parse a set of missions and display them as a branching storyline flowchart (and it would be easier if you had access to the original NCB parser code rather than needing to re-implement it). It’s not something I’m about to try adding into MissionComputer, but for a new game it might be worth the trouble.

Given current customs, however, I suspect that a new game wouldn’t bother modernising the mission bit system, but rather replace it with a set of Lua scripts. But even having global variables with actual names, instead of numbered bits, would probably make the process much more user-friendly.

Well, I initially thought of it as an editor thing, but it could possibly be something the player could look at as well, though in a limited form.
It would show the path they have taken so far and allow rereading of previous missions. I sometimes miss to be able to reread certain parts I earlier just clicked through. Or one could have some sort of psychohistory allowing you to see certain future choices or happenings.

Other small stuff.
• Point and click abilities. On screen hyperjump ability(Think SC2 Blink). AOE like SC psi storm.
• Special maneuvers on some ships or by some outfits. Controlled much like tricks in a fighting game or secondary weapons. Barrel roll, decreasing chance to get hit. Barrel roll and loop to allow super quick complete direction change. In general one shot special moves.

I really like the idea of limiting hyperdrive capability. That would allow for some very interesting development, where certain parts of the game are completely off limits before you can afford the hyperdrive.

This post has been edited by Modesty Blaise : 20 January 2012 - 05:37 PM

@modesty-blaise, on 19 January 2012 - 06:46 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

• Special maneuvers on some ships or by some outfits. Controlled much like tricks in a fighting game or secondary weapons. Barrel roll, decreasing chance to get hit. Barrel roll and loop to allow super quick complete direction change. In general one shot special moves.

I get the idea, but an immelmann turn (what I think you mean by roll and loop) doesn't make any sense in space. The fastest way to turn would be to just fire your maneuvering thrusters to spin around and then fire the main engines. Like EVN already does, but you could also flip on the other axis if you wanted.

It would work for inertialess ships though!

That said, I'd like to see visible maneuvering thrusters when you turn. This is probably already possible with banking animations, but I'd also like to see them fire the other way to counteract the turn.

This post has been edited by Jalisurr : 19 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

@modesty-blaise, on 19 January 2012 - 06:46 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

Other small stuff.
• Point and click abilities. On screen hyperjump ability(Think SC2 Blink). AOE like SC psi storm.
• Special maneuvers on some ships or by some outfits. Controlled much like tricks in a fighting game or secondary weapons. Barrel roll, decreasing chance to get hit. Barrel roll and loop to allow super quick complete direction change. In general one shot special moves.

Oh No. Seriously, I already have my hands full with all the current controls, the last thing I need is to take my hands off the controls to use an ability. While I don't think abilities are bad, no requiring the mouse.

Also as for special moves, I really liked them in Wingnuts 2, but when I started writing Star Devastation (which uses a combat system very similar to EV) I tried adding in special moves and they just felt off. Like they didn't belong.

  • I would also like to see it playable online (not multiplayer mind you), but as a web application that I can just login to and play.

  • I'd like to see a proper hardpoint system for ships and stations, as opposed to the current system.

  • Background music according to system, or for a battle sequence, or just general background music would be nice.

  • Be able to customize the background much more.

  • I would also like to see the map auto-make a route to the destination, instead of having to click each system along the way.

  • I would also like outfits that not only can have their cost and mass go up for the size of the ship, but allow those to go up for other reasons, like crew size etc, and also allow the value(ie the effect of the item, so an armor mod gives more armor for a bigger ship) to increase as well.

  • A system for selecting where the escape pod puts the player when they eject depending on different conditions would be nice.

  • Make asteroids spawn correctly.

  • Allow changing number of escorts, not just initially, but by mission too. (so a mission is secret and can't afford to have escorts who might be spies)

  • Allow mutinies aboard captured escorts where you have to re-subdue them. (makes them less attractive)

  • Multiple damage types and allow each ship to have their shields and armor have adjustable damage percentages for each damage type. (ie, energy, mass, and biological damage, a normal ship takes like 100% energy damage to the shields and 100% mass damage to armor, but a bio ship takes 100% energy damage to shields, and 25% mass and 100% bio damage to armor)

  • Combat rating to effect capturing percentages

  • More GUI customization

  • Improve turret accuracy

  • Keep in 2D plane (even if graphics themselves are 3d)

  • Do NOT make 3D (you know, 3d glasses, gimmick stuff)

  • Do NOT include time compression, and by this I mean like 10x speed so people can place planets retardedly far apart for no reason (seriously, why do people have to come up with a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist?)

  • Do NOT require the mouse to play

  • Do NOT sacrifice gameplay to make it work on mobile devices (seriously, it MIGHT work on like a PSP or something, but not a phone)

That's all for now.

@jalisurr, on 19 January 2012 - 07:39 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

I get the idea, but an immelmann turn (what I think you mean by roll and loop) doesn't make any sense in space. The fastest way to turn would be to just fire your maneuvering thrusters to spin around and then fire the main engines. Like EVN already does, but you could also flip on the other axis if you wanted.

It would work for inertialess ships though!

That said, I'd like to see visible maneuvering thrusters when you turn. This is probably already possible with banking animations, but I'd also like to see them fire the other way to counteract the turn.

The general idea was that you could execute a special faster move , whether only on inertialess ships or not, or how the exact move looks is kind of irrelevant.
It could also be something like a one time direct sideways displacement.

@evweb, on 19 January 2012 - 07:44 PM, said in Your game functionality wishlist:

  • I would also like to see the map auto-make a route to the destination, instead of having to click each system along the way.

I, too, would like to see this, but with some elaborations. Namely, I want the game to take into account the player's legal status in various systems that may or may not be on the route to the destination. This way, if the player has totally pissed off one or more systems between their location and their destination, the game can automatically set the shortest route that doesn't go through those systems.

At the same time, I'd like the game to look at how prevalent pirates and other factions hostile to the player are in systems in order to come up with a 'Safety Level'. Basically something to represent how safe the player may or may not be in any particular system. This Safety Level could also be taken into account when auto-creating hyperspace routes. It should also show the player which factions are prevalent so the player knows how to improve their Safety Level in a system and also what not to do in order to not damage their Safety Level.

Edit: This feature should also be optional in-game. Basically so players can set safe routes when they want and then set absolute-shortest routes with the flip of a switch. Something like radio buttons within the Map window for 'Safe Routes', 'Semi-safe Routes', and 'Shortest Route' would be good enough.

This post has been edited by DarthKev : 20 January 2012 - 12:15 AM

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