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[WIP] Tech Tree Progression

Discussion in 'Released and WIP Mods' started by Geneticus, Jan 13, 2015.

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

    (April 2017) - This mod is discontinued, sort of.
    It is being scratch re-written to get around the steam file size limitation that caused me to have to stop adding stuff.
    In a nutshell, the new version will be based on realistic ore's that all yield multiple ingots types. The result is fewer voxel textures and more elements. It will be vanilla compatible and will change most vanilla ores to the new ones. For progression(Full Mod), higher tier refineries will be able extract a better percentage of ingots per ore as well as each tier allowing more element types to be pulled from the same ore.
    It will also be mod friendly. All other modders will need to do is add the higher tier "classes" to new or existing refineries. Modders can also include this mod and add individual new elements a-la-carte for use in their mods. The new mod will be split up in different ways. there will also be a component bolt on mod that uses materials from the base materials mod that modders can use for their blocks. Finally, I will be re-releasing my blocks mod that makes full use of all of the elements, and components in both the base mod and the component bolt on.

    Some features to expect:
    Almost all ores will produce multiple ingots of varying types and yields.
    All new Textures, and Icons.
    A much more realistic view of mining and refining.
    A production driven progression system. (End game blocks will require the refining capacity to extract the rare elements in any quantity.)
    A guide listing all of the base changes to the game and what ore's yield which ingots.
    A guide for Modders.


    The idea behind this mod is to bring Civ/C&C style tech trees to SE.

    This mod will hit a lot of areas and add variants of vanilla blocks to have a robust technical progression.

    Color Coding for my progress:
    • Complete
    • In process
    • Started, but on hold
    • Not yet started
    • Workshop - Link to published Mod
    • Concept Image- Link to proposed idea
    Workshop Release Schedule:
    • New/Changed Materials (I have added some more to the list for a second pass later on)
    • New/Changed Components
    • New Materials - Round 2
    • New Blocks
    • Consolidated modpack of the above
    • Modpack with Progression Mechanics
    Additional materials will be added to fill out the building needs for all of the existing and new components.
    • Titanium - Heavy Armor Blocks, cockpits, Thruster Assemblies Workshop
    • Carbon - Heavy Armor Blocks, cockpits, Thruster Assemblies Workshop
    • Copper - Electronics, Motors, Antennas, Bullets Workshop
    • Hydrogen - Used in making water for reactor cooling, acid for Chemical Batteries Workshop
    • Oxygen - Used in making water for reactor cooling, acid for Chemical Batteries Workshop
    • Nitrogen - Ammunition/explosives Workshop
    • Helium - Fusion, for making your voice sound funny Workshop
    • Lithium - Power Cells Workshop
    • Sodium - Ammunition/explosives Workshop
    • Potassium - Ammunition/explosives (not from early alpha) Workshop
    • Mercury - Lights, Gyros, Button Panels, blocks with screens, and Sensors Workshop
    • Lead - Reactors, Chemical Batteries Workshop
    • Uranium - Color change to free up black for Carbon. Workshop
    • Chlorine - food storage, med-packs, solar panels, electronics, plastics
    • Phosphorus - explosives, tracer rounds
    • Aluminum - Small ship Light armor, cockpits, engine components
    • Tungsten - grinders, drills
    • Neodymium - motors, gyros, sensors
    • Plutonium - warheads, XL reactors
    • Sulfur - explosives, tracer rounds
    Mod pack with all above Materials (Deprecated now. All materials and future changes are now bundled with Components)+ recolors of Nickel and Uranium

    The additional materials should cover most common chemicals and allow for a new production mechanic:

    Chemical Engineering (This might be an add-on mod. I might do this for ME as well)

    The idea here is to make a new class of assemblers that can take elemental ingots and produce new compounds.
    The new block type would only have 2 input slots.
    So if you wanted to make Saline(saltwater) which is H2O + NaCl, you would create each chemical as a separate process to get the water and salt then combine them in another process.

    Additional Components will be added to better spread the progressability across all blocks.
    All my new components will be here: Workshop since some will use multiple materials.
    What's in Green is done.
    • Copper Tubes Large/Small
    • Copper Plates
    • Wire Spool - Uses copper for the moment.
    • Plastic Parts
    • Cryogenic Pump
    • Titanium Alloy Plates
    • CryoPump
    • Liquid tanks
    • Cooling Units
    • Heating Units
    • Circuit boards (formerly Computer Components)
    • Power Regulators
    • Data Storage
    • Microcontrollers
    • Neodymium Motors
    • Turbines
    • Cutting Bits
    • Bearings
    • Carbon Fiber
    • Atmospheric Scrubbers (CO2)
    • Hardware (more construction components)
    • Seals (Not the kind that eat fish)
    Block Changes:
    Some blocks will be simplified, while others will be a bit more complex to build and use.
    • Small Reactors will change to Nuclear Thermoelectric Generators(like the curiosity Rover has)
    • Large Reactors will consume Uranium and Water. They will also need cooling tanks, pumps, turbines etc.
    • Chemical Batteries will function like reactors and consume lead and acid producing less power than a Battery Block.
    All blocks will be re-balanced component wise to provide an escalated path of performance and capability. Likewise with components and materials.

    For example:
    • Tier 1: Arc Furnace will be slowed down to be proportional to the block size of the Refinery and additional smaller refineries will be added for the other groups of ore.
    • Tier 2: Specialized refineries Like the Big Arc Furnace, Big Solids refinery, Noble Metals, and Gas/Liquids refinery.
    • Tier 3: The normal refinery, sped up, more efficient, and having increased component costs.
    New Blocks:
    • Liquid/Gas Refinery 3x3x2
    • Emergency Refinery 1x1x2
    • Emergency Assembler 1x1x2
    • Chemical Assembler 1x1x3 (1x1x2 model in Blocks mod now)
    • Uranium Enrichment 1x2x3 Concept Image
    • Chemical Batteries 1x1x2 Concept Image
    • Hydrogen Fuel Cells 1x1x1
    • Fusion Reactor 5x5x8
    • Low Mass Synthetic Fiber Armor Blocks (Kevlar/Carbon Fiber type composite) same protection as light armor 1/10th the weight.
    Progression Mechanic:
    Scripting will also be included to block the placement of higher tier blocks, handle the lock/unlock of blocks, and swap G-menu Icon colors. (On Hold till I have some new models built to work with)

    Loss of ownership of a block (damaged/destroyed) will result in the loss of the ability to build blocks that use it as a prerequisite. Blocks that have no ownership (heavy armor) will be unplaceable due to components only coming from higher Tier production blocks.
    Mod blocks will automatically be thrown in to Tier 4 and require 1 or 2 items of the same definition <type> from Tier 3 to produce.

    Initial release will be for Single Player only. Once a good method of passing data between a client script and a server script is worked out, Development will begin on a Dedicated Server version. (Possibly a custom block for message handling)
    Block ownership on DS would be faction based. So, if anyone in the faction owns a prerequisite block, everyone in the faction will use it for their individual prerequisites.

    G-menu Icons will be re-colored to show inactive tech and available higher tier items.
    For example: Initially all Tier 1 blocks will have Green Icons and non Tier 1 blocks will show as greyed out. When a Tier 2 item is unlocked it will have a yellow Icon, Tier 3 will have Orange, etc.

    Progression Modes:
    I'm thinking of setting up a chat command that allows you to pick the progression type the first time the mod is run.
    Selectable types might be:
    • Top Tier lockouts - High end weapons lock you out of high end armor and vice versa.
    • difficulty settings :
    1. Requiring additional block counts before each block's tier is enabled.(i.e Need to build 5 small reactors on the same grid before a large one can be built)
    2. Simple Tiers: block 1 enables block 2, enables block 3 etc.
    3. Complex Tiers: Large reactor requires 2 small reactors and 1 Tier 3 assembler
    Non-Progression Unlockable Tech:
    • Crippled Research Vessels will spawn in Exploration mode
    • They may contain a rare random item.
    • Once the item is retrieved, it can be placed in an Analysis Chamber.
    • Analysis chamber will be a Tier 4 Special Assembler.
    • Items in the Chamber will take a very long time to process.
    • Once processing is complete, the resultant item can be placed in a Processing Core which will unlock a specific additional tech(TBD)
    • Ideas for additional tech are supercharged versions of other blocks (drills, welders, weapons(GDI Ion cannon type), Fusion Reactor, ship auto-repair module)
    The Overall Development Plan:
    1. I'm currently working on proof of concept for the scripting.
    2. Ore/Materials, Components, then Block changes.
    3. Models /Textures will come as needed.
    4. Testing and balancing
    5. Publish to workshop
    6. Bugfixing and start on MP/DS version
    Eventually, I'll be soliciting help from the Community for coding, graphics assets, and inclusions of existing block mods that fit well. Until then I'll be smashing my monkey fists at the keyboard in frustration at the lack of API documentation. :)

    Edit: We got official API docs yay! I also started doing 3D models again(its been about 15 years since I last tinkered with it in C&C Renegade)
    Edit: Scroll down for Recruitment
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Set up basic object structure for handling Block Tiers.
    Set up class methods for getting player ID info.
    Set up class methods for getting grids on maps, blocks on grid, and owner of blocks.

    Next up:
    Looking at blocks owned by player and populating the Tier objects
    applying tier restrictions on block placement. ( found a script from Midspace that confirms my approach is doable)
    reversing restrictions.
    adding other features, testing, optimizing
    working on game assets.

    2-7-2015 to 2-12-2015: Added a crapload of Materials to the workshop.
    2-14-2015 Added some Components to the workshop.
    2-14-2015 Added Wire Spools to the workshop.
    2-16-2015 Added Plastic to the workshop.
    2-21-2015 Added cryo pumps to the workshop.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2015
  3. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Recruiting: ( PM me here or post on my steam profile if you are interested. Please have examples of relevant work: models, textures, scripts)

    I Need someone to make Ingot Models(maybe Ore masks) for new/recolored materials located here.

    Mercury: (the small bottles)


    Dry Chemical Containers (color coded like I did with the gas bottles) with appropriate caution signs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2015
  4. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Reserved for future updates/info.
  5. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Reserved for future updates/info.
  6. Shadow_Flux Apprentice Engineer

    This is already being worked on here: http://forums.keenswh.com/post/second-level-components-7177654?&trail=15

    Not quite as in depth initially, we are getting the basics up and running first.

    All vanilla items have been sorted into Tiers.
    New assemblers / refineries have been made for each tier.
    New component added to lock out higher tiers.
    A couple more models to make, and some more balancing needed.

    Pop in, say hi; may be easier to consolidate into one big fancy mod.
  7. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Hmmm, Interesting...

    Yeah that is pretty similar on the surface. It looks like we are taking two very different approaches to making progression. Your(plural) approach to Tier enforcement looks like its based on complexity of the 2nd level of components since you're not going the API route. The complexity on my end is only enough to make the number of blocks/tier and components/tier equal and robust enough to give some branching options. For instance, the API approach allows me to have two lines of research that are exclusive to one another.

    What that replicates is a tech progression where you have to make a choice. If you pursue FTL capabilities you get locked out of energy weapons and vice versa. On the other hand yours would work on DS/MP out of the box...

    I have yet to see if the API approach is even feasible, but so far it looks like the constructors I need are available. I'll have a better Idea once the proof of concept is done.

    What is really funny is I got the idea by looking at your Used vs. Refurbished Equipment and thought it would be neat if the Used stuff was cheaper and less efficient than the Refurbished blocks.

    I'm not opposed to combining efforts, but I am not sure how we could resolve the different approaches.
  8. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    First of all, I like your approach very much. I have been working with ShadowFlux and Soat on the Tier System mod, and if you look at that thread and read some of my posts, you will see some of my ideas, which aren't too dissimilar from yours. Soat made the decision that we should work on a basic tier system, organizing existing blocks into tiers, and getting that up and going first, and so the mod we are working on is somewhat limited and just a starting point. We would be happy to collaborate with you, and I personally want to be able to add scripts to the mod, which none of us have any experience with, so that it can support a more refined tech tree than simply adding and changing component requirements.

    I myself, have started work on my own ideas that are similar to the tier system mod as well as your mod, which I at the moment I am calling 'Extractive Metallurgy'. I am kind of leaning towards the idea of making my version an advanced module of the core tier system mod. Here is a link to a text document I've posted on dropbox explaining how my mod works and some of the stuff it adds and changes, although it is rather incomplete, as like what you want to do, I want to basically change everything, requiring a lot of effort to plan.


    I would love it if you would look over my document and post some of your own thoughts on how we can combine all of these ideas into something that is game changing, well polished, and meets all of our expectations. I think that if we spend a bit of time discussing it, and work on it together, we could come up with a really incredible mod.
  9. Shadow_Flux Apprentice Engineer

    Not a fan of "if this tech tree it persued; then this one is locked out".
    Never made much sense while gaming; did my scientists all die? Labor strikes? Lab burned down due to an incident with a rocket fuel covered cat?

    Given time and resources, should be able to research / unlock everything.

    Not complaining, just different viewpoints.
  10. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Never underestimate the damage a cat can do. Rocket fuel covered or not...
    It happens in the real world though. Take North Korea, they put all of their research and manufacturing capability into weapons and you have rampant starvation and cannibalism.

    Even so there are lots of ways to implement that kind of system. Maybe it's not a total lockout. You could flag the creation of certain blocks to make unlocking another set harder and require a player to have a certain higher number of a block count in order to continue that line of tech. Lets say you start into the higher tiers of production blocks, from that point on all unlocks on weapons require three owned prerequisite blocks instead of one.

    The point I was trying to make is that scripting adds a lot of dimensions that a non-API can't do.
  11. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    My goal isn't as much to change everything as much as it is to get a progression mechanic working. The changes to the block and production balance are more incidental. Having said that, I am looking at making changes to the whole system, but they are mostly small changes and tweaks. I've always found the production model to be a bit simplistic in SE. So, for me, its more a matter of rounding things out without getting overcomplicated. I don't want this mod to be a different game so, I'm trying to keep it as close to the original look as possibile.

    I do like some of your block Ideas. I was thinking of going with Uranium for the thermo generator and using Enriched Uranium for Advanced Reactors and weapons.
    Most of it seems to be terrestrial tech that requires open air to produce. For instance combustion and concrete related blocks.

    I am wondering if there is a way to get refineries to function more like assemblers in that you put Stone in and can pick what gets extracted in a queue, allowing you to get more than one kind of Ingot out of a single Ore type. I think it's just a matter of doing away with the stone refinery concept for stone (or Gravel with Ingot schematics) and making them assembler "types". That would make the stone extractors line squeeze into one (3x3x6?) physical model. With a low conversion rate, that makes extracting rare materials from stone a monumental task requiring huge bases for stone processing to get ingots to make higher tier stuff.

    I've made some progress on the API and it looks like the basic system is going to work in SP mode just fine. It also looks like some of the "like to do" items will be relatively easy to implement. I edited the main post and added progression modes(difficulty) toward the bottom. Right now it's just a matter of having enough time to work on it. I have been giving it about 2-3 hours per evening. I should have the basic script feature complete, if not functional over this weekend. :comp:
  12. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Yeah, my approach is more akin to a complete overhaul, kind of an extreme survival version of tiered mechanics. I'd like to extend the game play a lot, and things like motors for example will require base components to produce in my mod, like copper wire, iron shaft, etc. so there will be a load of new components to add and blueprints to change. I also want tiered production machines, with vanilla machines like the refinery and assembler being a sort of middle tier.

    As for combustion, i plan on getting the atmosphere, oxygen, hydrogen, natural gas, methane, etc. from several different types of ice that are not rare spawning ores, so they spawn dispersed amongst the stone layer, and a series of processing machines, to take the ice and basically extract water and gasses.

    There is a way to get refineries to output multiple ingots from one ore, which is what I am doing as well, I will be using stone, along with 10 other natural stone types, to be processed for different trace elements, and then the overburden (waste stone) to be used for gravel and concrete purposes.

    Glad to see your progress so far, hope to see your mod in the future, if you are interested in working together on anything, just let me know, maybe at least we as modders can talk about mod compatibility at some point, so that something like my mod could be an extension of more basic tiered mod systems like yours.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2015
  13. JBloodthorn Trainee Engineer

    I had an idea for a progression mod that would rely on the ability to randomly insert items into the cargo of exploration/cargo ships. Basically, have a second tier of assembler that required a rare part to build. That part would have no recipe, but only be randomly found as loot. The Assembler T2 would produce components that the T1 couldn't, allowing access to T2 blocks.
    Another idea for this crazy plan was to go the Starbound route, and summon a 'boss' when a certain block is built and activated. That boss would have the rare item. I was waiting to build this mod until the boss thing could fight back with even limited AI.
    I am curious, @Geneticus, is it possible at this point for me to make a mod that requires (for example) your copper? Like, could my components reference that material in the recipe?
  14. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Yes, that's why I put them on the workshop separately.
  15. Suicide-Jack Trainee Engineer

    i love your ideas.

    SE is getting a bit boring after about 1500 hours of survival gameplay with friends or alone. so your conzept would bring a new difficulty into the game and that is what i´m eagerly waiting for.

    is there any estimate on a timeline until a release of your mod and will there be a complete package with all the ores and what not?
  16. exor Trainee Engineer

    I am also interested to see some Tier Tech en SE...
    Also like new materials and aswell a overhault of the existing vanilla blocks..
  17. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    I'll be releasing things incrementally and in packs when it makes sense to do so. The tiers won't come in to play until all of the rest is done. I still have to plan out the block and component extensions and changes...
  18. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Due to a lot of people asking how to use my materials and components, I published my Block Test Mod Here. Be warned, it is very experimental and running off of incomplete component mods. Nothing there is final. If you are looking for a harder more complex survival game, this is a good start.

    Most of the changes are as follows:

    • Addition of 14 materials drastically reduces the the spawn size of ores, making detection more challenging and resulting in lower yields per ore, per asteroid.
    • Wire spools are required on all blocks using power, just before motors or other electronic blocks.
    • Heavy Armor needs Titanium Alloy Plates as the initial component.
    • All Keen blocks are unhidden, they are not all added in the G-Menu however.
    • Keen Big Gas refinery renamed to Volatile Fuel Refinery to better describe its function.
    • Fixed some Keen oversights on blocks where computer components were used and not the critical component.
    • Added New Block: Big Gas Compressor for refining ice into pure gases.
    • Added new Block: Chemical Assembler for components requiring H2, O2, N2, He.
    • Added New block: Emergency Assembler.
    Emergency Assembler:
    • Lower cost to build
    • Uses a lot more power
    • Only allows hand tools and components to be built that are required to stay alive. (no detectors, no gravity, no medical, no weapons, no ammo.)
    • Components built with this assembler take a really long time because it wasn't designed to be used for full ship/base production.
    • Would be good for an escape pod assembler for a harder survival start.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2015
  19. Belthize Apprentice Engineer

    Collaborating can be hard but as a consumer here's a +1 to this idea.

    Your two mods are slightly different but there's a lot of overlap as well. Given the limited resources there seems to be some merit in sharing effort, for instance models for new equipment or ores.

    Hopefully any future universe that doesn't include compatibility is due to a conscious decision based on the merits or difficulty and not simply because it was never seriously considered.
  20. JBloodthorn Trainee Engineer

    If you two had a collaborative mod that loaded first with all of the materials and components, it would be a lot easier to start planning mods that require your machines.
    Example, for my mod I want to make composite armours using the extra materials that you guys add. In theory, if you had a common start point my mod could be compatible with both. Which would be awesome. Making 2 mods with the only difference being the blueprints for stuff would be sad.
  21. Geneticus Senior Engineer

  22. jb_aero Trainee Engineer

    On that subject, did you just remove that mod from the workshop?

    Edit: NVM, I see the base mod now contains the materials.
  23. Geneticus Senior Engineer

  24. cpy Trainee Engineer

    So is this mod completed where can i get it?
  25. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Not completed, but it's in my workshop(3 mods in total).
    The reason it's not done, is because creating models is time consuming and I don't have all that much to spare. Although, If someone wants to create a 3x3x7 Refinery for me with lots of conveyor and Upgrade Module ports and a 4x4x6 Assembler it'd get done faster.
  26. cpy Trainee Engineer

    I don't know how to do that, also i'm more of a guy that balance gameplay elements than make art. :D
    Progression, tech tiers, upgrade balancing, that's my stuff. :D
  27. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    I think balance is good. I've been balancing it as I go to keep things from getting easy/hard. The only thing that I've had issues with is the gasses.
    Converting Ice to liquid then to gas seems to be generating way too much liquid and then requiring way too much liquid to convert to gas. Plus the Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Fusion reactors have to be balanced so that fueling them isn't too easy. I think the math is getting complex enough to have to build an Excel sheet to model it.
  28. cpy Trainee Engineer

    Helium should be extracted from rock because there is no such thing as solid helium.

    Solid helium requires a temperature of 1–1.5 K (about −272 °C or −457 °F) and about 25 bar (2.5 MPa) of pressure.

    Yeah, in space? Not happening. On planet? You'd die on one with 2.5MPa pressure, unless you had some breathing equipment. Divers don't have problem with 10MPa but things would get pretty messy if you want to keep 1K and 2.5MPa there would be no atmosphere at that temperature so helium would escape again. Unless it was inside rock.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  29. Geneticus Senior Engineer

    Helium is Rock and Regolith currently if you use my planet mod in conjunction with the others. There is also a collaborative community mod coming that will replace my materials mod with a "more" realistic portrayal of mineral deposits rather than pure metals, but that's toward the end of my project list.
    I'm negotiating a contract with another space corporation to have custom epic sized factory units produced for sale. Preliminary designs have been drawn up and I'm now waiting for the partner to retool their factory to start producing the new units. This will add a 4th tier Refinery and 2 additional tiers of Assemblers. The footprint of the new Refining units will be 3x2x5 or 3x2x7. The 3rd tier assembler will be the size of the current refinery and a larger one is also planned. The new equipment will be too power hungry for early use and investment in Fusion power will likely be the only effective way to utilize them. I have also been investing in "cavern finds" and chopping them for parts. I will be adding some inventory soon of obsolete and hard to find parts for older ship restoration projects.
  30. cpy Trainee Engineer

    Nice, next game i play i will definitely use your mods.
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