Progress Report 002 - Stage One, First Phase
Singleplayer - Starfighter Stellar Combat Prototype
The first part of this game will test the functionality of the space combat element, and allow us to gain feedback while the system evolves. An Open Beta version will be available once a 1.0.1 version is reached. The preliminary release will feature simple gameplay, with only two starfighters to choose from, and only one map, at its beginning. As the prototype is refined, it will gain more features, functions, and systems until it is ready for full implementation. The intention is to have near fully destructible starfighters and stellar maps that seem to reach near infinity. The system is designed to have with a short learning curve and will require minimal user interfacing. The first release will be only singleplayer, to test its abilities in more controlled situations, and will later be adapted to support multiplayer, and become an individual facet in the overall game, aside from the campaign; but ultimately it will be a major element in the whole.
A possibility we are tumbling, is to make this system function so that certain user content can be added to the game itself. A hope is that there might be allowances for customization of paint schemes, specifically for Rebel starfighters, and custom Rebel helmet decals that users can create and or import. Also, we would have a mulltitude of color schemes for the astromech droids that users can also customize.
These elements will be the first major features implemented in the prototype. At the moment they are not set in stone, and we are always interested in hearing feedback and suggestions to help improve the game in future updates.
Each starfighter has engines that operate in unison. Each engine can be damaged or destroyed separately. Engines are destroyed in one of two ways, disregarding the existence of shields for now. Steep hits pierce the armor and hull of the engine, resulting in it exploding, which will often destroy the starfighter outright, especially if it is a tight or integrated engine configuration. Shallow hits damage the armor of the engine and if it's hull becomes pierced it will result in a rapid degradation, as the engine struggles and dies, usually exploding. If an engine is lost the starfighter will lose speed drastically, and control will fade. Each starfighter has a different set of engines with different acceleration, deceleration, max speed, heat build, cool-down, and armor values. Most engines are equipped with a boost function that allows a momentary burst of acceleration and increase of speed, but it overheats the engine and can cause it to explode if not monitored, all high speeds create heat, but full throttle will create the most build next to the boost. All engines also have breaks, which cause a rapid decrease in speed to allow for sharper maneuverability. Every starfighter has a different value to their breaking power and minimum speed.
Most fighters have a set of wings, in one form or another, and these wings can be broken by direct laser fire. If any or all wings are broken, it will result in total loss of control of the starfighter. Some wings have integrated engines, if the engine explodes the wing will break off with it. Laser weapons are often fitted on wings and they will be lost along with a broken wing. Wings are generally sturdy and robust, however they are not designed to take stress as the shields dampen any inertial or gravitational factors working against them.
S-foils are unique to only a few starfighters, they are used to allow these starfighters to land, by closing the wings up. They must be locked and unlocked manually by the pilot. Locked s-foils disallow the starfighter to fire wing mounted lasers as they are too close to each other or another key component. Locked s-foils allow the starfighter to travel faster in atmospheres. The system and mechanism are invulnerable to damage.
The undercarriage of the starfighter is manually deployed when the starfighter throttle is set to hover mode and retracted in flight mode. The system and mechanism are invulnerable to damage. Some starfighters are not equipped with an undercarriage and so they rely on a clamp system that is integrated into the hanger.
Stabilizers keep the starfighter from shaking when flying, stabilizers come in pairs one for each side of the ship, or for each wing. Stabilizers are mainly damaged by shrapnel from nearby explosions, or powerful concussion. If a stabilizer is rendered inoperable the starfighter will buck and shake, depending on the stabilizer configuration, making it harder to aim and target enemies, or maneuver. If all stabilizers are rendered inoperable the starfighter will become almost impossible to control, especially at increased speeds.
Starfighters achieve three dimensional axis flight mechanics by use of thrust vectoring with either independently articulating drives or engine mounted fins. Starfighter speed is managed by a throttle system which can shift between a hover and drive setting. The boost can only be achieved at maximum throttle and the engine cannot be overheating.
Starfighters are usually equipped with light shielding which can take only a few direct hits. As shields are drained by impacts, they attempt to recharge themselves, which takes time complete, but if they are stressed beyond their limits, they will shut down before they are destroyed. Angling the starfighter with a laser as it impacts can help the shields to deflect some of the energy, reducing stress to the shield. Most starfighters are have multiple shields angled in two to six directions, and they can be diverted, or doubled, to one angle or another. Proton weapons penetrate shields, Concussion missiles do not. Laser hits that are stopped by the shield explode against it which can cause a momentary loss in stability, similar to a blast from a Concussion missile. Shields are not able to protect the starfighter from high speed collisions, and even lower speed collisions can cause damage to the armor.
All starfighters have armor plating to protect their hulls, armor is generally thin and, unlike the shield, not able to withstand direct hits, as it is more suited to protect the hull from debris and shrapnel. The armor of the starfighter is broken into individual panels which fit together to protect different areas all across the hull. As these panels are damaged and destroyed, they will need to be replaced, otherwise the hull remains vulnerable.
The hull of the starfighter is very thin, and cannot repel any kind of impact. Shrapnel and debris can rupture an exposed hull, even without destroying the craft, but laser hits to an exposed hull will destroy the starfighter.
A starfighter's power plant supplies energy to all of the starfighter's components. The shields, engines, and lasers draw the majority of power and as the systems are used they drain more power from the plant and can effect the overall efficiency of other systems. Astromech droids can are capable of maximizing efficiency of the components by reducing shield regeneration time, and increasing laser damage. The user can manually divert power to one of the major components of the starfighter at a time, but this adversely effects the efficiency of the others.
Each starfighter has an armament of lasers. Most lasers are linked to targeting computers, which help to correct the manual targeting. All lasers generate heat, which can cause the weapon to destroy itself, if not properly regulated. Each laser has a different heat build, cool-down rates. Some starfighters can cycle through different linked fire modes, which in turn generate different heat and cool rates. Laser weapons can also be destroyed by direct hits from other lasers.
Some starfighters are equipped with ion cannons which are designed to overload shield components and fry computer systems, disabling whatever relies on them. They are best suited against starcruisers and largely shielded structures. Ion cannons can be charged to fire a more energized blast, but this creates an extreme heat build up and will quickly destroy them, it also increases the power drain. Their extreme heat generation and massive power usage dictates that they be fired sparingly, therefore they are ill suited for engaging other starfighters. Like the standard laser weapon, ion cannons can be individually destroyed by laser fire. Some ion cannons are mounted on an independently tracking turret, controlled by an astromech droid. These turrets are prone to laser fire and can be destroyed by direct hits.
Some starfighters are capable of launching concussion missiles from integrated launch tubes and an internal rack that houses the ordinance. There are a variety of Concussion missiles, each one has different, speed, damage, and fragmentation factors. They all are capable of locking onto targets through a starfighter's modular targeting computer, therefore they are best suited for use against slow moving targets. Concussion missiles are not very agile and can be intercepted by lasers. Their explosive blast is capable of causing concussive damage and the shrapnel can also pass through shields and do damage to armor or pierce an exposed hull. Concussion missiles detonate once their fuel supply is depleted. The mechanism is a vulnerable part of the starfighter and if the tubes or rack itself are hit the whole starfighter will be destroyed, unless the ordinance is depleted.
A few starfighters are capable of launching proton torpedoes from integrated launch tubes and an internal magazine that houses the ordinance. Proton torpedoes are standardized and very powerful; capable of passing through all shields to directly impact armor. They all are capable of locking onto targets through a starfighter's modular targeting computer, therefore they are best suited for use against slow moving targets. Proton torpedoes move at high speeds and only detonate on impact. The mechanism is a vulnerable part of the starfighter and if the tubes or magazine are hit the whole starfighter will be destroyed, unless the ordinance is depleted.
Only heavier starfighters are equipped with bomb launching chutes, fitted to it's underside. The chute makes use of a cavity within the starfighter, containing the ordinance. This system can be added to certain stafighters with an ordinance cavity. Proton bombs are standardized and very powerful; capable of passing through all shields to directly impact armor. Proton bombs rely on the starfighter for speed and accuracy as they do not require a targeting computer of any kind and are generally slow moving when launched. The mechanism is a vulnerable part of the starfighter and if the chute or cavity itself are hit the whole starfighter will be destroyed, unless the ordinance is depleted.
Several starfighters can house an astromech droid. It is fitted into a socket which allows it access to many of the starfighter's systems, specifically allowing them to repair damaged stabilizers. Astromech droids are an independent part of the starfighter, they can be destroyed very easily. As a tactical advantage, Astromech droids can automatically spot enemies and mark them in the navigation system, and will also relay the information to other allied starships. They are also able to control turreted ion cannon systems. There are three astromech droid types that fit into a starfighter's socket, R2, R3, and R5, each one has slightly different effects on the starfighter.