Post news RSS Loadouts and Fittings

The entire point of playing these kinds of games is to buy cool stuff to pimp out your ships. This is an area I have recently begun to approach. I've learned the good and bad ways to handle ship fittings from previous projects, so here's the system I've opted for.

Posted by on

Intro
The entire point of playing these kinds of games is to buy cool stuff to pimp out your ships. This is an area I have recently begun to approach. I've learned the good and bad ways to handle ship fittings from previous projects, so here's the system I've opted for.


Volume == Fitting Capacity
Many games have predetermined slots for various types of modules, and my previous project followed this approach. I don't like it because while it's cool from a game balancing standpoints (only certain modules fit in certain slots is really easy to balance) it's quite lame from a creativity standpoint.

Instead of using slots, your ship's cargo hold will hold your modules and the fitting limit is based on the volume of your cargo bay. If you're asking "What about fitting a XXXL Shield Generator on a Freighter" don't worry; Everything the module does drains your antimatter pool! So if you manage to fit your XXXL god generator into a freighter, the shield recharge once you take some damage will quickly drain your antimatter. No antimatter means you can't even steer.

In addition, since the modules occupy the same space as your wares, you'll have to watch how much crap you put on your ship depending on the role. You don't want a fighter that can't carry any ammunition, or a freighter with no space for cargo (but really strong shields and big engines).

I'm effectively giving you matches to burn yourselves with, so have fun with your freedom!

Random Loadouts
In addition to hard-coded loadouts for a faction's fit, you can leave some slots up to chance. By adding a random flag to a module definition in the loadout you're allowing the game to randomly choose a module for that spot.

#Falcon Loadouts
<Loadout=emptyFalcon>
    ship=Falcon
</Loadout>

<Loadout=randomFalcon>
    ship=Falcon
    module=#RAND
    module=#RAND
    module=#RAND
    module=#RAND
    module=#RAND
    module=#RAND
</Loadout>

<Loadout=lightFalcon>
    ship=Falcon
    module=Shield Extender I
    module=Shield Extender I
    module=Shield Recharger I
    module=Shield Recharger I
</Loadout>

The above code is from the loadout file. You can see 3 different ways of specifying a loadout for a ship. You can potentially mix random modules into fits with hard-coded ones to add an element of chance to an otherwise predictable fitting. The possibilities are immense.

Module File
For the future modders of Astral Clause, here's a preview of the module file.

<Module=Lorentz Field Generator III>
	description='Improves top cruise speed.'
        #item properties
	volume=780
	mass=1
	hp=10
	minPrice=4716124
	maxPrice=82121125
        #modifiers
        cruiseSpeedBonus=10000
</Module>

#Heat Mods
<Module=Heat Sink I>
	description='Improves heat dissipation rates.'
        #item properties
	volume=1
	mass=1
	hp=10
	minPrice=1200
	maxPrice=4500
        #modifiers
        heatDissipationBonus=0.25
</Module>

I've tried to make it self explanatory. Mass doesn't do anything yet, although it will eventually affect ship handling. Modules that aren't weapons use various bonuses to change the ship they're fitted in. You can potentially define negative bonuses and multiple bonuses, allowing for a wide variety of modules.

Module Ideas
I'm writing the game, so pretty much any kind of module you can imagine can be implemented. Send me ideas for modules you'd like to see in-game. Please don't send ideas for weapons at the moment, because the framework has only been laid for non-weapon modules. Once I have something in that area, I'll gladly take your requests for really cool missiles.

I already have...

  • Modules that make you go faster (Combat Engine Array, Inertial Engine Array, Lorentz Field Generator).
  • Modules that improve shield recharge rate (Shield Recharger) and capacity (Shield Extender).
  • Modules that improve heat dissipation (Heat Sink) and heat management (Thermal Capacitor)
  • Modules that improve antimatter capacity (Mono/Duel/Quad Antimatter Cells)

I am looking forward to your buds of creativity.

Property
I've been working on the whole owning multiple ships aspect and have added the management tools needed to do so. Since the interaction with ships when not flying manually is console driven, this consisted of implementing the console commands.

You can get a list of your property and even rename ships now. This builds upon the old ability to chroot into the ship you want to control. I've learned from the X Series that you don't want a GUI driven interface to commanding ships. A console is far more efficient.

Questions? Comments?
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to leave them here, send them in a PM, or email them at masternerdguy@yahoo.com .

Comments
Elementalist
Elementalist

I like your idea with having no preset module fitting, will certainly make things interesting and anxiety inducing. That's made me track it.

Though, kind of hesitant about the use of jMonkey. Java hates me.

I'm also not sure about the GUI vs console. Will it be possible to have a GUI as an option? I've never gotten far enough in X3 to know about ship management, but I can't see having to memorize a lot of commands or constantly having to type as being easier. I can see how it would make it easier to have lots more commands though.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
masternerdguy Author
masternerdguy

Once you get 10+ ships to simultaneously manage in X3, it becomes a nightmare. Menus buried in menus buried in menus.

I'll probably implement a light GUI, but the real power will be in the command line. Maybe I've just used too much Linux :P

Oh, my concern with random fittings is that it will generate some....lolfits. However, having played EVE, I know that lots of humans make and perform acceptably with lolfits.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
dirtbag007
dirtbag007

- Cargo Bay Extenders.
- Jumpdrive.
- Sensor boosters/sensor improvement modules.
- ECM & ECCM (does this fall under weapons?).
- Tractor beam.

I'll come up with more later :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.