Well, here are some of the features that were on my wish list when I was developing Polycon.
Add a animate while firing flag to the shan resource: This would allow the creation of ships with Gatling gun style spinning weapon barrels or guns that recoil into the surface of the ship when firing. Basically an extra flag could be added to the shan that, when set, would tell the engine to animate the extra frames in the base sequence in succession whenever the ship was firing. A flag would also probably have to be added to the weapon resource to flag a weapon to use the ships weapon animation, similar to the flag that is used to make weapons use a ships weapon glow now. This would also solve the problem of giving weapon glows to a ship like the fed ships in Nova that have deck guns. You could give the guns weapon glows, but it would look somewhat bizarre, because the weapon blasts would alternate between the deck guns, but all of the guns would light up at the same time. With an animate while firing flag, you could make the base frame of the ship the same between frames, but have the weapon glow rotate between the different deck guns so it would not look so odd. For added effect, have the engine use the frame advance set in the shan for the animation speed to be used when the player only has one occurrence of a weapon flagged to use the while firing animation, but have the engine increase the animation speed with each occurrence of the weapon so that the animation would speed up to match the amount of weapons the player had.
Pers OnKill string: Add a ncb field to the pers resource that is evaluated when the player kills the person. This would open up the doors to bounty hunter missions from hell, or allow a government to retaliate against the player if the player killed the governments flagship.
Shipswitch ability: This is probably way to complicated to implement, but would open the doors to quite a bit of interesting possibilities. An extra key would be added to the keyboard setup, a special ability key. A field would be added to the ship resource that would contain the ID of another ship, a ship that the player ship would be swapped with whenever the player pressed the special ability key, similar to the ncb that is in the engine now which gives you a new ship, but retains all of your current outfits. This would allow you to, for example, have a Star Wars style X wing that has the special ability of being able to open and close its s-foils. You would have two X Wings, with different speed and maneuverability, one would have a sprite with the wings closed, and the other with them open, and each of their Shipswitch fields would point to the other. A few other things would have to be added to complete the effect (a flag in the shan to tell the engine that extra frames are used for the shipswitch animation, a sound ID that is played during the change, flags to tell what happens to the weapons that come on the ship when you switch, etc), but all kinds of cool stuff could be made, like a transformer style ship that changes from a ship into a big robot, or a ship that has some massive weapon that has to be powered up before it is used.
A OnBuy/ OnSell field for junks: Add two ncb fields to the junk resource, one that is evaluated when the player has any of the junk, and another that is evaluated when the player has none. This would allow, for example, the pirates to know when the player is carrying opals or bioweapons or some other valuable cargo, and for them to make much more of an attempt to disable the player and steal it.
Projectile groups: Add some fields to the boom that contain the IDs of weaps and roids that are expelled from the boom when it is used. This would allow, for example, a weapon that splits into multiple types of submunitions (say a cluster missile that explodes into separate warheads and drifting fragments of the original missiles casing), or a ship that actually breaks into recognizable pieces of its former self, or ship remains that have metal inside that can be salvaged by the player, or asteroids that explode into ship- damaging shrapnel when they are hit, or , well you get the idea. The roid limit would have to be increased quite a bit for this to really be exploited well.
A Link Resource: A resource that has a fields defining two different resources , say, two goverments, that will swap the first resource for the second whenever an ncb string is true. This would not only give people a way to have a goverment change sides without having to replace all their systems, it would allow for many other interesting possiblities
Retrorockets: An outfit that acts as a retrorocket when the reverse key is pressed. The modval would be the speed of the rocket, similar to the speed value of the ships speed field. For optimum effect, a flag would also have to be added to the shan to tell the engine to use the weapon glow or something as a retrorocket glow. I faked this in Polycon with weapon recoils, but it could be done so much better.
Shans for weapons: Missiles that spin on their axis. EMP torpedoes with blinking lights and engine glows. Rockets that bank. There is a lot of interesting stuff you could do if shans could be used for weapon sprites.
Weapons that bounce and pass through: Add a flag to the weap resource that tells the engine to allow the projectile to pass through targets without detonating. Weapons with this flag would have to be sorted so they always appeared below the ship sprites in the game to complete the effect. One could make, say, a railgun that can hit two targets at once if they are lined up. A flag to allow a weapon to bounce off of a ship would also be interesting, for making bullets that ricochet and such.
The ability to put sprites into the parallax starfield: This is probably pretty far out, but it would be interesting if you could flag a stellar object to actually appear in the parallax starfield instead of on top of it. Such a flagged planet would not be able to be landed on, would not show up in the radar, and would have to have a field to set its scroll speed in relation to the starfield. If this were possible, one could put galaxies or nebulas in a system that would appear in the background, that would scroll very slowly in relation to the starfield, giving the illusion that they were very far away. You could see say, the Obatta nebula in the background of an adjacent system before actually jumping into it.
Textured systems: Add a few fields to the syst resources that allows the definition of tiled textures (from a spin resource) for the various layers of the parallax starfield. You could make systems that are inside nebulas have several layers of cloud textures for example. If combined with the ability to stick sprites into the parallax starfield, I imagine it could be used to create some really jaw dropping effects. One could have an asteroid field system, with the normal roids, several layers of textures with smaller distant asteroids, and a few slow scrolling sprites for large, distant asteroids. I imagine it would also be useful to the people making the ship or airplane conversions, they could have grass, or water textures in their systems.
68K Mac Liberation Army-- 22 Macs Liberated.
(url="http://"http://www.evula.org/anubis/index.html")Polycon EV(/url), a total conversion for EV Nova. (url="http://"http://www.ev-nova.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=20")Polycon EV Fourm(/url)