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Reworking Blackspace

Discussion in 'Blackspace' started by DarkUnderlord, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. DarkUnderlord Professional Throne Sitter

    Jun 18, 2002
    I have an ambition to get this up and running again in a couple of weeks as a quick fun project. Also needing to up my coding skills before I tackle the major Codex upgrade that's planned. History tells me that won't happen but hey, goals are nice things to have.

    I basically wanted a place to write up a few key design decisions (and maybe get some feedback depending on who's around).


    An Endless Randomly Generated Universe
    The major thing I've been fiddling with is the random generation of the Universe. All of it will be randomly generated on the fly as people explore, allowing people to find all sorts of weird and wonderful resource spots. Some systems will end up sucking while others will be smorgasbords of resource potential.

    Limited Resources
    All planets / nebula's etc... will "run out" of resources eventually, meaning players can't just camp and mine the same ones forever - you will be able to for quite some time but in the long-run you'll have to find new places to settle.

    Travelling Vast Distances
    A combination of Jump Gates, Wormholes, Worm hole generators and Warp Drives will allow people to travel the vastness of space, most of which is empty (I dislike space games the emptiness isn't a factor).

    Warp Drives
    The basic Warp Drive multiplies your movement. Set it at Warp 3, click once and you'll move 3x squares. Warp 10 means you'll move 10x squares in that direction. This is good for quick travel around unexplored areas. However, large ships will not be able to use Warp Drives for some scientific reason I'll totally make-up some day, possibly something to do with creating a stable warp bubble around ships with high mass. Yeah, that sounds good.

    Natural Wormholes
    Wormholes come in natural and artificial forms. Natural wormholes can be discovered and provide instantaneous travel from one end to the other in just a single click. Their exit point obviously being decided when it's generated randomly by the Universe generator as the area is explored.

    Wormhole Generators
    Artificial wormholes are temporary, lasting only 12 or so hours. These can be created by Wormhole Generators - which are so big they only fit on large ships. To use one, the ship must first "mark" one point in space, travel to another point in space and then "create a wormhole" at that point - this creates a wormhole between the marked point and the current place the ship is at. The length of time the wormhole remains open for depends on the power onboard the ship.

    Once closed, the wormhole has to be "re-marked" to be open again... Meaning the ship has to "mark" then travel back. Take note that any ship that travels through an open wormhole "loses" any pre-marked co-ordinates it may have (it's hard calculating space-time gravity waves and opening holes in the fabric of space). This avoids a number of potential exploits.

    Obviously this sucks ass for that ship because it has to travel there before it can open the wormhole - but the idea is if you have a fleet and want to invade someone else's space... opening a wormhole right into their space is a great way to get troops in. Or it's a great way to move large fleets of mining or trading vessels for players working together.

    Jump Gates
    Jump Gates are the every-man way to travel. It's a simple object in space players will be able to "Activate". The downside is that unlike Wormholes, travel is not instant (IE: A wormhole only costs "1 click"). A Jump gate costs clicks per distance traveled, in the order of about 1/50 - meaning for every 50 squares distance between the two Jump Gates, it'll cost you one click to travel it. If you don't have enough total clicks available, you won't be able to make the jump.

    This creates a natural limit on Jump Gates - meaning pairs will have to be established for those long-haul runs. Jump Gates can be built and deployed by ships though... And of course, can also be attacked and destroyed.

    Jump Drive
    By far the coolest way to travel is the Jump Drive. Usually found only on large ships, the Jump Drive is like a Jump Gate inside your ship. Simply enter the target co-ordinates and if you have enough power and clicks, you'll get to your desired destination instantaneously. Again, clicks are a factor as well as power - so usually you'll find the Jump Drive doesn't have quite the same range as a freestanding Jump Gate (which provides it's own power for your Jump).

    Naming Planets
    Stars, Planets and Systems themselves (collections of planets around Stars) will be able to be named. This is going to be a paid feature (likely requiring potato, which I may convert into "gold credits" or something within Blackspace). The idea is explorers can name things as they find them and make their own mark on the Universe. To avoid trolling there may be an auction-style system, in the sense that the first person to name something gets a cheap price, the second person has to pay 10% more and so on so that if you find a nice place to settle, you don't have to live with it being named "cocks lol", or whatever is popular with the kids these days. Also helps reduce trolling if people conquer someone else's Planet or something.

    Planets, nebulae and asteroids are able to be mined for resources. You will even be able to build Stations and even setup base on Planets.​


    Ship Class
    When designing your ship, the first thing you choose will be its class. Your ship's class determines 3 basic things that are (mostly) unchangeable: Hull strength (how many HP your hull has for its size), Armour Thickness (how thick your armour is, which will determine what weapons can penetrate it) and Mass ^ Factor (a value that affects your overall speed / click generation as well as your maneuverability in battle).

    Armour Thickness & Penetration
    Armour Thickness will be a simple number from 0 - 100. Hull has 0 thickness and so any weapon can penetrate your Hull if your Shields and Armour are gone. Armour however, has a thickness value. Weapons have a corresponding penetration value, which determines what thickness of armour they can penetrate. Put simply, if your Armour thickness is 85 because you're flying a Dreadnought, and someone's shooting at you with a Flak Cannon which only has a penetration value of 25, you're going to be pretty safe. If they open up with a high penetration Rail Gun with a rating of 100 though, then you're in trouble.

    The actual amount of armour you have on your ship is your choice. While it's thickness is determined by your ship's class, you can choose to have lots of armour or none at all. Each 100 points of armour you add of course adds to the cost and overall size of your ship.

    Modules are the things you will be able to easily change about your ship. They can be plugged in and out depending on availability or your desired ship setup - depending on what you're doing. While your class will create some difficulties overall (IE: A Dreadnought may not make the fastest scout ship), there's nothing to stop you from creating weird and wonderful variants should you choose. However, your Ship's Class will also give you limitations on the size of modules you can fit. Modules come in 4 standard sizes of Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large - and you may find that certain sized modules cannot be installed on certain classes of ships.

    The three different types of modules are:

    Power Terminals
    Power Terminals are ports for Power Plants (generate ship's power) or Engines (generate thrust / clicks).

    Equipment Ports
    Equipment Ports allow things like scanners, radios and other devices to be added to your ship - including Cargo Holds or Drone Bays.

    Weapon Hardpoints
    Weapon Hardpoints allow you to fit weapons onto your ship. Pretty important if you intend to engage in combat.​

    Constructing a ship will require you to choose how many and of what size of each module you want (EG: 3x S Power Terminals, 1x M Power Terminal; 2x S Equipment Ports; 3x S Weapon Hardpoints). Each additional module will add to the overall size of your ship and thus affects it's final construction price, the resources required, the time it will take for construction and your ships performance. A larger ship will also require a larger Shipyard to be built and complex designs may require a high level Engineering Bay to be converted into Blueprints.

    Once your desired ship has been designed at a Station's Engineering Bay, you will receive a Blueprint (provided you can afford the design fee). A Blueprint can then be taken to a Station with a Shipyard where you can begin the construction of your ship... or you might want to trade your great ship plans to someone else for the right price.

    When you begin construction of your ship, you will have two choices. Either one, you can save some money by ferrying the required resources for your ship to the Shipyard (be that from you mining them or acquiring them through other means). Or two, you can rely on the resources available at that Station. Having a ship under construction will affect the price of resources at the Station, and your overall ship's construction price. Constructing a ship also takes real physical time too. So depending on how big it is, you may have to wait a few days. And take note, if a Station is destroyed, so are any ships it was building (this is designed to make building super big ships a challenge).

    Once completed, your ship is free for you to command - but you'll need to outfit it with your desired modules first. You could also offer it for sale as a completed vessel. Those who can't be bothered building ships may want to simply buy one off of someone selling (this also creates potential game play where a powerful alliance could control ship construction and limit supply of good ships, while others may offer their services in design / construction). This way, making ships is also a harder challenge and it avoids the "Dock -> complete redesign -> Fly-out" problem of the original game. The only thing you can change now is your module fit-out. The number of weapons will be fixed (no more Full Cargo Holds -> Full Weapons) and the Class limitations mean you would have a less optimal ship if you did swap a Communications ship for full Cargo Holds.​
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  2. Piety Shitpostin'

    May 22, 2009
    Codex 2012 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Torment: Tides of Numenera
    I never played the original for some reason... I'll be interested to check this out.
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