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My progression system idea - an insanely long post.

Discussion in 'General' started by Ronin1973, May 3, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    Yep... back to square-one. Any progression system has to be flexible to work in a variety of worlds. Some worlds have planets, some don't. Some have asteroids. Some don't.

    There are no static locations as planets and asteroids can be anywhere on the map. There's no guarantee any particular planet will be on the map. Once you start requiring that certain elements exist in order to use the progression system, you're bottle-necking the sandbox portion of the game.

    IMHO the next big evolution of the game will be more player created scenarios and worlds, like "Escape From Mars." Limiting that creativity in order to use the progression system is a really bad idea.
     
  2. Roxette Senior Engineer

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    fixed that for you
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Cronos988 Junior Engineer

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    Why would a progression system have to account for every single world setting? I can understand keeping non-standard settings playable, like having resources generate differently if you turn off planets or asteroids. But there is really no way to have a progression that works regardless of circumstance unless that progression is purely about constructing ever more advanced machinery. Which would require a major shift in gameplay that is not realistic.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    Grav generators and jump drives... but let's keep it "real."

    It's about balance, getting a progression system into an already developed game-structure, and keeping it as sand-box friendly as possible. I'm not arguing what COULD be or even what's "best." I'm thinking what is practical for the juncture we're at what's the most neutral way to achieve it.
     
  5. Nibs_1983 Trainee Engineer

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    Would make it interesting I personally think it a good idea but that there should be some logic to it. So, for example, most life begins on planets so the first type of engines available would be atmospheric followed closely by hydrogen. Later Ion thrusters would become available, then progressive developments of warp and jump drives.

    Better materials, blocks and tools would become available as new and unknown ores are found on different planets/asteroids and new technology could be researched.

    Research could take the form of a new menu, but could be sped up by having your own dedicated research room on a station/ship and by the amount of usage of available research. So if you wanted to increase ion thruster efficiency you'd have either your tech tab researching it (will take say 14 days) or you could build ships using current available ones along with the research being done and this would take less time.

    Technology would also be able to be traded and shared with your own and other factions. Would make it interesting with users bartering with others to join their factions. (What exactly can you give me? lol)
     
  6. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    Grav generators and jumpdrives were a concession in favor of gameplay. A big one, but one needed indeed...
    A tier system is quite practical, but it alone can not rectify the faults in survival. If all blocks like pistons and rotors were flawless, even then that wouldn´t change that survival, as the concept we have right now in-game, is sorely lacking in challenge.

    SE has plenty of limits as a sandbox, as much as I like it, it does, and it is not good enough at it to drive the game a 100%... That´s were survival and active challenges come in, that´s where the gain in gameplay is.

    Unless you want to re-tool the sandbox experience in-game so that it is much more than it is now, we won´t be making actual progress.
     
  7. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    You're confusing a tier system with a magic bullet to cure all of SE's woes. I don't imagine it fixing any of SE's problems.
     
  8. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    Oh, I see.

    Then I´m arguing a completely different subject, apologies :woot:.
     
  9. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

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    My suggestion already covered their concern. Asteroids would still be useable.

    Course if they make an empty world.. I can't help that lol. At some point someone's going to have to use common sense and say, "yep.. those settings may handicap me."
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Cronos988 Junior Engineer

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    I was talking about "realistic" in terms of development resources spent. So I am also thinking about what is practical.

    The thing is, you haven't really answered any of the questions in this thread. How is your system going to result in new gameplay? How are you going to keep planets viable if you want every world setting to be the same? If you want us to talk about your progression system, give us something to talk about. At this point all you do is deflect.

    Then what the hell is the point?

    Still your suggested system also only works properly with planets on. You can play with just asteriods, but there won't be any progression.
     
  11. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

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    The idea I had in mind is asteroids would still give all materials like they do now. But in quantities that would encourage a nomadic style of play if one doesn't wish to land on planets. So if you play without planets then.. well not much changes.

    Now that I think about it.. I think I would keep asteroids as they are now. But make the veins on planets much larger and maybe more sparse (not as many patches, but ones that are there are huge). So if you get an iron supply on Earth. You're gonna be there a minute. Probably long enough to want to design a base around it.
     
  12. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    Well the size of ore veins in asteroids is something that has to exist in code. It's not hard coded into the asteroid (shape) definition. If Keen would allow these parameters (ore veins) to be altered by users, we could have more dynamic games. Ore veins on planets are hard coded. The only thing you can alter is what type of ore crops up in those veins. There are quite a few calls for more control over procedural asteroids; including distribution patterns, clustering, etc. Personally, I'd love to see an exponential curve available for asteroid spawning. Being able to make asteroids less and less common the further you progress from the center of the map would create some balance... especially on larger or infinite maps. The further you hide, the fewer resources there are... but the lower the chance of being discovered.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

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    So....really....the key to resource issues is quite simple...but outside of our scope unless someone is able to do some serious coding.

    1) Asteroids generation.
    Needs to have a random element, and be capable of producing clusters, rings, or simply empty spaces. Now all we have is a randomly generated pool of shapes with a modifier to decide how the spacing goes.

    2) Ore generation.
    As well as controlling how the steroids themselves are distributed, we also need a modifier for ore vein sizes. Asteroids should be made up largely of iron and nickel and stone or ice. These are things that we know. Other elements should be there in random deposits....with a control over the amount. Would allow players to vary the resources available to fit desired game-play. Planets have ores hard coded.....so really they are already a controlled environment, just controlled by the modders. Right now..in space, even on low density asteroids, once you have a half decent miner and have located all the ore types...well...you have all the resources you need to keep you going until boredom sets in.

    That's all well and good in terms of making the game more challenging if a player wishes, but it's not progression.

    Progression i about making you WANT to do things for a tangible reward. It's about giving you shiny things in return for your hard work.

    Having a tiered system of items is one way of doing that, but it either needs 'research' to unlock tiers, or to require location and refining of certain key elements that have to be hard to find and present a challenge to the player to get them. No challenge = no value
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Alb Trainee Engineer

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    25
    I have a lot to say about OP's suggestion. I'll try to keep this as short as I can. It may seem like I'm dissecting it and being rude, but believe me I'm just being constructively critical.

    The OP suggests to add tiered ingots and components. What's the point of that? To allow higher tiered or better blocks, that have high resource costs, to exist without causing them to become horribly overweight. OP mentions that this allows modders to adequately balance their new blocks (and higher tiered vanilla blocks) without overloading it and making it so heavy because of the amount of components consumed. - To that I say this; modders can already get around this issue by making new, unique components. The new components can have their cost and weight set as modders see fit. But honestly, I very rarely see modders do a good job of "balancing" their blocks, whether it's their mat costs or stats. Even if they were given the right tools, there's no saying if they'll ever use them well. OP is also suggesting adding new ores. Boo. We already have a plenty diverse distribution of ores. Same with components to an extent. There's no point in adding more, and it won't contribute to any progression system. All in all; No new ores please. No higher tiered ingots please. No higher tiered components. But you can add a few new hyper-expensive components if you want, much like how keen added gold-heavy super conductors. Please don't overload the game with even more components and ores, that won't help you here.

    The OP suggests adding new, higher tiered blocks. Not strictly better, but more like side-grades or more specialized blocks. And, ideally, this would be hidden behind some research or unlock system. There you go! A goal to work towards. I don't think the OP mentions any details on HOW to unlock and progress to those other blocks.

    A progression system in a nutshell is composed of (1)goals or challenges for the player to work towards and (2)meaningful rewards that the player didn't have before.

    And from what I'm gathering here, this progression system should somehow include visiting planets, and traveling to other planets, to progress. And I agree with that as there's not much going on for planets at the moment. Gravity makes building and designing ships a hassle, so naturally space-faring would be a worthwhile goal. But once in space there's little reason to go back.

    I believe that there's an even easier way to introduce a progression system. One that wouldn't require new new higher tiered blocks or anything! Simply make an unlock system with the current blocks we have now. For instance; you start with a ground rover with no access to atmospheric thrusters. You must destroy a nearby, easy to attack pirate outpost, or hack some computer there, or just de-power it or something. Once that is done, they can progress to the next pirate base to unlock hydrogen. And so on and so forth! The game becomes a unique, challenging and rewarding experience at every stage of gameplay. The block restrictions would make otherwise easy things difficult, but would reward the player with new toys. This could also double as a sudo-tutorial, explaining blocks and how they work as they are unlocked, rather than overwhelming new players with a wall of options they know little about. This would also make visiting planets desirable, as you'll need to go there to unlock more blocks. the only real issue with this is that this would most likely need to be a custom scenario, much like one of the easy starts. With special bases placed manually throughout the planets and space. - Oh and by the way I'm working on a mod that does exactly this and it will be released in a few days or so. Watch out for it.

    Sorry, I kind of hijacked the thread there at the end. A progression system is totally a worthwhile thing that is sorely needed in this game and I support all discussion on it.
     
  15. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    That´d be definitely viable, but only for a scenario and a very specific way of playing. It nevertheless is a good example of a progression system done right.

    I do advocate for a "gameplay" kind of progression where the balance of the game shifts as a whole once you advance enough.
     
  16. captainbladej52 Apprentice Engineer

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    Doing a progression system is something that is extremely tricky, and if not done correctly will just backfire in the face of that system's developer. If not balanced properly it will go in 1 of 2 directions. It will either 1, be so tedious/grindy that it becomes little more than a chore and sucks the fun from the game. If it goes route 2, then it will go so fast there is no point to having it at all. The key is finding that right balance. Supposing a 3 tier system as a hypothetical, you want to give people a reason engage with each of the 3 tiers. In all of the strategy games I played that had a "technology tree" that I actually enjoyed, there was a reason to use each of the tiers. In tier 1 obviously you have the basics. You could do very well with just the basic tier 1 items, ships, tools etc in the game, but you had a much easier time if you tried to progress up the tree. As an example of this, tier 1 may allow you to build the cheapest ships up to a heavy destroyer. The tier 1 items are the cheapest to make, have a fair punch to them in terms of power, but also are easiest to destroy. You can keep rolling with that if you want, or you could try upgrading to tier 2. At tier 2 you may get full on cruisers and support craft. The cruisers give you more power and an above average punch, while also being at an above average durability. At tier 2 you can also process resources a bit better, perhaps by having a slightly increased capacity on your mining craft or they mine slightly faster. This increase isn't enough that you're completely screwed without it, but enough to give you an edge if you have it. At tier 2 you get the ability to upgrade your current tier 1 structures and so on to bring them close to tier 2, but not quite there. A tier 1.5 if you will in terms of durability and punch if that makes sense. You also at this point may be able to research certain gadgets for your various ships of both tiers as well.

    At tier 3 you unlock the best of the best. At this point you unlock the battleships and dreadnoughts and the heaviest hitting units. They are the most durable, strongest hitting, have the most bells and whistles, but also the most expensive. They're costly but not impractical to use more than a few of. At this point you also have the ability to crank out the most resources possible. You can upgrade your tier 2 equipment and ships to tier 2.5 as well. They give slightly more punch and durability than the standard tier 2 unit but not enough to qualify them as a tier 3. Tier 3 is truly end game with all the most powerful gadgets and so on. This also still uses several principles from tier 2 and such. If your tier 2 items are destroyed it can slow down your tier 3 and tier 1 items a bit but not enough to screw you over completely. Obviously that's heavily summarized but I think folks get the picture. You want folks to feel like they're getting something without feeling completely screwed if they don't have it. you want folks to be able to function at all 3 tiers, but with tier 3 being the easiest.

    I personally have never been a fan of the tiered resource system. If you have 3 tiers of ores as I've seen some folks propose, more often than not it's been tedious to acquire the higher tiered materials to the point it sucks the fun out of it. If I move from tier 1 to tier 2, it's more often than not made my tier 1 resource that I gathered a ton of completely useless. I've also seen it so that I can't even mine the tier 2 resource until I've completely gone through tier 1. That to me is not fun as it pigeonholes me into going through the tech tree. Going through the tech tree should be optional and not forced. The reward for doing it is that you get increased functionality and so on, however you are still able to function if you choose to stay at tier 1. In a situation like that with tiered resources this is how I would do it. Suppose you are out mining with a basic tier 1 miner that normally carries 15 ingots of ore just to keep the math simple. If you're mining a tier 1 resource you can get a full 15 units of the tier 1 material. If you're mining a tier 2 resource, you can only carry 10 units at the time. If you go for a tier 3 with a tier 1 miner, you can only get 5 units. You can still gather resources of all 3 tiers, but it's not as efficient unless you build up through the tech tree. You could also convert up the tree in materials as well but not at a 1:1 ratio for obvious reasons. As our hypothetical, if you have 3 tier 1 materials you can make a tier 2, if you have 3 tier 2 you can make a tier 3 material and such. If you convert up some material is lost in the process, vs just mining the stuff outright and getting no material loss. You can also convert down the tree from tier 3 as well. If you have a tier 3 unit you can convert it into 2 of the tier 2 units, and convert those 2 tier 2 units into 4 of the tier 1 units. Again the math is not exact but hopefully you get the idea. Overall though I feel its better to lets the resources just be basic resources and focus the progression on the tech itself.

    For the tech itself lets suppose you want to make a Reactor. The tier 1 reactor could be the cheapest reactor in terms of cost while providing the least amount of power. Tier 2 is a bit more expensive and provides a bit more power. Tier 3 is the most expensive but provides the most power. If one wish you could also have the Reactors increase or decrease in size with the improved technology tier. Arguments could be made for either one. At the end of the day though there needs to be a purpose to those lower tiered blocks still even after you've gone through the tree.

    I strongly disagree with making progressive resources such as better and better steel being an example I saw. However I would like to hear more elaboration on the technical side of things. When done right this could be a cool survival thing, however I don't have enough information to convince me just yet.
     
  17. halipatsui Senior Engineer

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    I would like to see somethibg like this in world creation menu.

    Also defining which resources spawn to planets while spawning them in creative would be nice
     
  18. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

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    For ore on planets, there would have to be a major re-write to make that happen.

    Ore on planets is hard-coded ( well...rigidly defined by one of the texture maps that make up the world ) so the ores are always the same on a planet. Same place, same type, same depth. All those are set either in teh planets config or in the texture maps. Asteroids are random though, so it ought to be easier to make them more variable.
     
  19. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    What if the texture map was able to be randomized by an external program?
     
  20. Alb Trainee Engineer

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    Custom modded planets can already customize their ore. You can choose which ores spawn on your planet.

    Ore locations are determined at the time of spawning it. Once a planet is pasted in, the ores it has there are set in stone. So changing world settings won't change that. The solar system start and easy starts all have the default planets already pasted on and everything, along with the planetary pirate bases too.
     
  21. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    We´d require a pre-setup of the planets before the world loads then. Makes sense.
     
  22. Nibs_1983 Trainee Engineer

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    I think in ground ore should just be ore, but it varies as to how well the different tiers refined it. So a tier 1 would refine at say 33%, tier 2 66% and tier 3 100%. So taking gold ore for the example: the ratio for ore-ingot refining is 1% for gold ore i.e.
    11700 kg refines to 94 kg in an hour. Tier 1 would have an ore-ingot ratio of 0.3%, tier 2 would be 0.6% and tier 3 the whole 1%. Therefore each tier would produce the following per hr: 1=31kg, 2=62kg and 3=94kg.
    I believe there should also be a 'spoil' material produced which would contain remaining unrefined ore that the lower tiers failed to refine. Once higher up the tech tree, or other players that already are, this could be re-refined to extract the remaining ore.
    This would begin to open up the possibilities of treaties and trade. "You've got that, I want it.....i'll allow you 'air space' (or should that be vacuum space) for your ships to pass through my sector."
     
  23. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

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    The ore is created at time of spawning, and it uses one layer of the material texture map to place the actual ore locations. They are not random in terms of location at all, as every time you spawn a planet, the ores are always in the same place. It uses the RGB value of the colour of each spot and relates that to the definition file on the world. This indicates which 'colour' equates to which ore, and the depth of that ore vein. In theory, you could randomise the type and depth when a planet is spawned, but you would not really be able to vary the location as I can't think of any way you could amend one layer of a texture that does a load of things on the fly.

    The 'choice' of ore spawns on a planet are chosen when the planet is designed, not when it is loaded. If you do not define a unique colour for the ore in the definition textfile, it will not spawn.

    The available data is : RGB vale.....ore name .... depth of ore vein.

    Ore size and location texture is also where the ore-spots come from.

    What that suggests, is that while you may not be able to actually create randomly PLACED ores, it wouldn't be such a problem to randomly generate the .sbc file that controls which colour on the map has which ore. You could even...in actual fact...have random possibilities as to what ore there actually is. I mean....I could do it for offline modded planets quite easily. Just write a program to randomise the ore type based on a probability. This could only be done before world generation, and would absolutely NOT work for multiplayer. It would create a .sbc file to define the planet.

    In fact....I wonder how much variety you could add by randomising the sbc file using the same ore locations and heightmap....... hmmmm.....
     
  24. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    WAIT

    could you alter the "ore spots" to not generate ore but normal stone?

    And make the whole texture map and ore spots encompass the whole planet, but with most of the spots being stone by probability?

    That would give us a similar result to "random ore spot generation", no?
     
  25. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

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    There are ore spots all over the world, and yes...you could make them ice or ( I think ) stone. The ore spots are literally just pixels on a texture map. The whole world can be covered if you fill in the gaps.
     
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