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Homeworld Source Editing Talk
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:20 pm 
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The point of this thread is to throw around ideas for behavioural changes, not so much to implement them, but to provide a sense of the kind of things that our new modding interface (to be written!) should support. Things like:

Targetable ship sections
Per HW2. Things like engines, gun emplacements and sensors.

Offensive damage dependent on health (and working weapons - see above)
If a ship has been heavily damaged, it shouldn't be returning fire as though it just came out of the factory. In a simple scenario, it might just be 100% firepower for health of 50-100% (green bar) and linearly proportional in the range 0-50%. i.e. firepower = min(max_firepower, max_firepower * (current_health / (max_health/2) )). The 50-100% range of the health bar representing hull armour protecting the ship, so there is no change in offensive capability. Similar degradation in performance for things like speed also make sense.

Breakable ships
None of this crappy: heavily damaged ship, bright flash, vanished ship nonsense when a ship explodes. If it's a big ship it should leave big debris. Great hulks of burning resources in fact. (The act of burning could slowly reduce the number of recoverable resources too which could liven things up). Not only that but my group of Ion Cannon Frigates should be able to slice large vessels apart and have the sections slowly drift apart. If you are able to push me back, recover the sections and use repair corvettes to weld them back together, then good for you :)

Segmented construction of ships
In a similar vein to the above I should be able to build large vessels from smaller pieces. I know how to build a resource controller, so why can't my carrier construct one? There is a natural forfeit for building something this way - the finished pieces are floating around outside where anyone can shoot/steal them and are unable to defend/move themselves. Throw in a requirement for small services vessels to piece/weld them together and it's reasonably easy to rebalance.

Air traffic control
Ships shouldn't use collision detection to get from A to B in crowded space, they should be organised. The ATC belonging to the largest vessel in the vicinity calling the shots. The docking ladders in HW2 go some way to doing this but it's still a mess.

If there are no docking bays available for a ship to use it should ask around for the current wait times from the appropriate ATCs, calculate time to destination and choose the optimal one. My ship should be on its way to, or in docking formation when the bay frees up. My salvage certainly shouldn't be parked half way across the map waiting for a docking bay to become available (and then spend ages getting there, thus preventing others from docking in the meantime - grr!).

If it's not jump capable and it's not docked, it gets left behind if you emergency jump
Aunxx (I think) mentioned this in another thread. Sounds goods to me - magically appearing in parade formation is simply not realistic. "No-one gets left behind" is a nice brothers-in-arms mantra but that's not to say they won't be dead by the time you are able to go back for them...

Omnidirectional weaponary
That is, area of effect damage. For example, lingering radiation clouds from a nuclear explosion. The only thing I've come across in Homeworld that has this property is when a ship explodes. A set amount of damage is done to everything within a certain radius of the ship. It's only really noticeable when a Mothership dies though and even then you have to be pretty close.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:00 am 
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Salvage corvettes should accompany their prize inside the hanger
For salvage bigger than a corvette, the salvage corvettes let go of their prize outside of the hanger bay and let it make its own way inside. Presumably there's a tractor beam or something at work because I'm pretty sure that an enemy ship wouldn't willingly go in... It's more natural for the salvage corvettes to have to completely haul the object inside the hanger bay and then exit.

Hanger bays should respect the physical size of docked ships
Parallel build queues are nice but it stretches the imagination a bit to see a destroyer, missile destroyer and heavy cruiser all pop out of the large hanger bay one immediately after the other - there's no room inside to construct all of those! The same thing applies to packing in captured capital ships too. The segmented construction of ships (see above) would allow the preservation of parallel construction queues with this feature.

Similarly, the opening of the hanger bay and the shape/size of the entering ship should be checked. If it doesn't fit, it's not going in. (The Kushan carrier needs an overhaul - some of its own race's vessels don't fit properly!). Our ship editor/creator should do the same checks during design so that people aren't surprised when their brand new ship won't fit inside a particular ship.

Hinged large hanger bay door
What exactly moves the Kushan Mothership's large hanger bay door from side to side? There are a number of options to clean this up:

- render thrusters around the edges of the door
- render tractor beams from the Mothership pulling at the door corners/edges
- hinge the door

All should be possible to implement.

Destroyable large hanger bay door
In a similar vein to breakable ships, I should be able to destroy the large hanger bay door - perhaps only when it's detached from the Mothership.

Arbitrary research tree
Alter and add to the research tree as desired.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:54 pm 
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Subfields for ETG effects
The Homeworld mod community has seen a lot of hackery to get the weapon effects and sounds in. We should have a cleaner implementation! There should be an optional format to specify effect details.

Selectable factions
Each faction should get its own directory. Kushan and Taiidan should be set up by default. A revised Faction object should be able to submit arbitrary ships to match the old Homeworld slots for compatibility with maps, so legacy maps can request StandardFrigate, P1Mothership, etc., but have its own dynamic list of research trees and buildable ships.

Factions that span multiple levels of technology are an obvious win for Trek fans.

Stripped out hard-coded references to hardpoints and MADs in single player
Self explanatory. It would make it possible to do interesting things with the missions.

Turn-based strategy overview
It's a going trend to have a simple turn-based strategy. We don't have to be Master of Orion meets Homeworld, but even a basic start in that direction would be a lot of fun. Battle for Middle Earth 2 has a decent take on this. "Hero" ships with customizations or perhaps even salvaged subsystems from enemy debris would be fascinating.

Asteroid installations
Mining posts, drone stations, fighter bases, these would be interesting things to place.

ECM, silent running, other countermeasures
While Homeworld featured low-level tech, it ramped up into high technology almost unnaturally quickly. There should be the option to have more simple technological solutions to being sneaky.

Custom tactics
The flight tactics should not be specific to a slot. In fact, they should be controlled by the user. Hey, maybe you want your heavy cruiser to do the circling sidestep attack when it's on aggressive mode.

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