Previously I talked about using images broken up into squares and rendering each square as needed, however I have been unable to find a reliable image splitting program. This is very tedious work, but I will likely need to do it by hand.
Currently, I am working on adding the first ship to the game, a small frigate called the Sabre. I will be coding the movement AI as well as the attack and run AIs. However, the big task will be splitting image so that you can actually zoom down into the scales we want.
What Kind of Scales?
I have figured out the scales I want for my ships. The ships will range in size from 20m to 20km long depending on their class and role.
- Fighters: Between 20m and 30m long, they make up the support for larger capital ships and will be able to be carried by carriers.
- Frigates: Between 100m and 250m long, they will be the mainstay of your fleet, filling roles such as tackling (keeping the target from getting away) and fending off other frigates.
- Cruisers: Between 300m and 500m long, they will be your direct damage ships. They will have guns tailored to damage ships their size and larger, but still have a wide variety of fitting options.
- Battlecruiser: They are just big cruisers, 550-700m long, designed to carry on the direct damage output role more effectively, but they are nearly incapable of damaging smaller ships.
- Battleship: 800m-1.2km long, they have solid defenses and powerful guns.
- Carrier: 1.5km-5km, they carry large regiments of fighters, and have effective anti-capital weapons. Their primary role will be support, via electronic warfare.
Why build larger ships? Because you need to! I have decided to make it so only battlecruisers and larger can actually warp. The smaller ships need to either move significantly slower or you will be able to attatch them to carriers to jump them into battle.
Smaller ships will fill many important roles simply better than larger ones. They will be effective tacklers, designed to hold down larger ships so they cannot get away. They will also be configured for an anti fighter role, so fighters do not swarm larger ships to death.
Various roles will exist, ranging from electronic warfare (of many types) to remote repair of friendly ships. Smaller ships can be better at this because of their immense mobility and resiliancy through speed.