Sea Of Stars - development thread (Full Version)

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Drybreeze -> Sea Of Stars - development thread (4/29/2016 11:23:43 PM)

[image]http://i.imgur.com/ITQNn6c.png[/image]

Sea of Stars v1.0
A mod I'm creating for the Distant Worlds Universe platform.

[img]http://imgur.com/87olGsV.jpg[/img]
Sample of some of the new resources and components icons in-game.
From left to right: Advanced Chips, Steel, Computers, Engineered Organims, Solar Panels, Structure, Ion Cannon, Adaptive Kinetic Armour, Monopolar Magnetic Shield, Direct Interception Shields, Ion Propulsion, Gas Collection Unit.


This mod aims to bring the following to the game:
* More realistic and completely new resources to the game, both raw and manufactured goods.
More realistic components, ship, and base designs and technology.
* Scientifically plausible research trees, with race-specific variations that create race-specific demands for resources for a rich strategic depth of resource location control.
* Revised icons and user-interface for a more refined and modern look and feel.
New sound effects and various tweaks (such as weapon-fire sizes, speeds and images) to give a more believable game experience.
* More diverse planet and asteroid images, overlays, and landscape pics.


I have made great progress in the week that I've been working on it so far.

Completed so far:
* Overhaul the resource list completely, including images, demand, value, and distribution (WIP)
* Overhaul the components list mostly, including images, resource costs, and usefulness.
* Overhaul some of the research tree, including completely new component types as well as parents and technology research lines.


So while it looks like a big bold list of stuff to do, I'm already very much plowing into it. The first test-game I did with my original list of resources radically altered the game play to a very heavy trade-based game where all building stopped until resources required were able to be traded for between empires. This was too far one way, so I've revised the resources list to make most of the resources spawn naturally on planets, making empires much more independent in what resources they can supply and therefore what ships and bases they can build. However I think it is still important to have a necessity to trade for some high-end manufactured resources that are used in advanced technologies. This will give the late game a different strategic edge other than pure conquest of enemies... if you don't have for example the manufactured resource of say Engineered Organims on any of your colonies, but another empire does, you can't simply conquest them to get it... you need to get all diplomatic... or you can forget about that advanced technology that uses them (no spoilers yet! :P).

In the below thread I will discuss progress and please provide any feedback, requests, or suggestions that you have.

When I have something that is fairly playable and close to what I'm trying to do, I'll release it as an Alpha to anyone that wishes to test it out. Once it's been tested then I'll release it as version 1.0 and no doubt will continue to refine it after that.

[image]http://imgur.com/IekmWhb.jpg[/image]

[image]http://imgur.com/X3lrScA.jpg[/image]

[image]http://imgur.com/2yEYIPz.jpg[/image]

RELEASE INFORMATION

v0.1 pre-alpha - shared zip file
DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE BY PM ONLY - released 29/05/16
Release includes:
Fully Customised resources plus icons
Fully Customised components plus icons
Partially Customised research tree to make use of new resources and components
Partially Customised ship icons, for freighters, warships, fleets, mining ships and gas mining ships
Faults and Incompletions include:
Development paths remnant are jumbled as a result of moving components and research tree around.
Races are all Borg race clones, favoring balance over diversity. Kinda monotonous.
Some weapons and defenses upgrades are not synced with component upgrades, resulting in some upgrades actually being downgrades.
Some research chains are in jumbled order.
Many features intended for the final release mod have not yet been completed.
Completion level is estimated at about 25% of final release mod v1.0


v0.3 alpha - shared zip file
DOWNLOAD HERE
490mb
Release includes:
Revised research tree to ensure all technology lines are able to be researched in a logical sequence.
Revised component weights and outputs.
Revised resources distributions and balances.
Revised costs for some components.
Cydracitics race characters added.
Faults and incompletions include:
Racese-specific technology will be worked on for next release.
Other Races beyond Cydracitics will be worked on for the next release.
Ship graphics are yet to be worked on.
Planet view graphics are yet to be worked on.
Sound effects are yet to be worked on.
Music is yet to be worked on.


Development Spreadsheet showing current status of works, including upcoming works.




Francoy -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (4/30/2016 4:08:23 AM)

Interesting.

I would suggest to change the border color
between Mineral, Gas, Luxury and Manufactured resources.

It would help to separate them.
[:)]




phi6 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (4/30/2016 9:09:46 AM)

Keeping an eye on this one :)




Hattori Hanzo -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (4/30/2016 2:04:57 PM)

impressive, I will follow you for sure [X(]




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/1/2016 1:30:16 AM)

@Francoy:
Thankyou. Yes that's a good suggestion, I will experiment with it and see if I can make it look okay.

@phi6:
Cool :)

@Hattori Hanzo:
Thanks, that's very kind of you.

Since the last post I have done some major adjustments to the resource distributions and especially the component make-ups (what resources they require), making all of the basic ones require only naturally-spawning resources, and only the very most advanced technologies requiring the colony-manufactured ones. I've tested the game and it is FAR more playable now. I will make a couple of minor modifications to some of the resource distributions, but over-all I'm happy with where it's currently at.

Later on I'll make some completely new technologies, researches and components, which make greater use of colony-manufactured resources. In that way players that wish to can make careful strategic decisions about what manufactured resources are available to them, and therefore what technologies to research to make best use of them. This should help give the game another dimension...

Meanwhile I've also done a few experimental user-interface changes... following through with the iconisation of the game... what do you think? I've gone with subtle red and green, rather than in-your-face shades... keeps it simple but still modernises it a bit.

[image]http://i.imgur.com/jGWQnjL.jpg[/image]

I will also begin to experiment with custom-facilities. I would like to introduce a much greater range of less expensive facilities, ones that boost colony industry, resource yields, ship and base construction speeds, and so on... so that any one colonised planet might have a lot more infrastructure on it.




Rosbjerg -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/1/2016 11:59:08 AM)

Looks great, I'm a big fan of grounding more of the resources and tech in 'harder' science and reality.
One suggestion though would be to make the resources easier to distinguish from each other, they are a little grey on grey right now.




phi6 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/1/2016 12:06:37 PM)

I like your experimental UI a lot. I tried to attempt the same thing a while back, but slow progress as there are a LOT of icons to skin - and also not all graphics are moddable for example the custom new game screens. I'd definitely try out your version though if you are able to update every single icon in the game. Simple interfaces are the best, look at the icons on Endless Space for example.

In regards to your resource icons, they're unfortunately not to my taste as they seem difficult to read at a glance. I prefer Sirian's Resources I think!




ASHBERY76 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/1/2016 12:50:30 PM)

looks great.Be carefull that the A.I does not brake with the new resource system.




Hattori Hanzo -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/1/2016 3:34:43 PM)

really looks great: I like the simplified style of your user interface




Japhet -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/1/2016 7:33:32 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: phi6

Simple interfaces are the best, look at the icons on Endless Space for example.



Honestly, the sterile interface was the reason why I didn't enjoy Endless Space as much I would have liked. It felt so...lifeless. [:(]

@Drybreeze: looks nice so far. A word of warning though: Apparently there is a bug that makes the game crash if you edit/change the gold resource. I never encountered it myself, but it caused some problems for the Warhammer 30k mod.

Also, there have been several attempts at a "realistic" resource mod in the past and a lot of people came to the conclusion that real-life resources made the game a bit bland and characterless.

As far as resource icons go, I would advise you to mark the strategic and luxury resources differently for easier identification. Maybe with a different frame colour.





Jounk33 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/1/2016 10:00:43 PM)

Nice project. I'am working on a similar mod for myself, so I can stop work if you bring out your mod.
One point I don't like in your mod. You name special elements such like copper or diamond. So think about this fact, that some elements have nearly the same attributs and you can bring them in groups like "light metals" or "radioaktiv metals" or "halogen salts", "precious metals" and so on. On this way every chemical element can be impleted to the game.
For example. To make a good Armor you need some basic metals like iron, or cobalt. you need too a little steel refiners, like tungsten, or molybdenum to make the steel heat resist and harder. So there is not one way "iron-Tungsten" there is a way too with "cobalt-molybdenum" alloy the make a good armor fpr ships.
So you need to rename the resource from "iron" to "basic metals" and in the discription you can name all metals in this resourcegruop "iron, cobalt, nickel"




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/2/2016 10:25:10 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rosbjerg

Looks great, I'm a big fan of grounding more of the resources and tech in 'harder' science and reality.
One suggestion though would be to make the resources easier to distinguish from each other, they are a little grey on grey right now.

Thanks!
The commonly found ones are a bit grey on grey, yes. I'm fixing that a little with the next generation of resource icons.
They are displayed in-game very small and there's nothing I can do to alter that... I've given space to the borders for two main reasons, to make them uniform and neater/iconised in the list views, and also more recently (based on Francoy's suggestion) to differentiate the raw from the manufactured/luxury resources.

quote:

ORIGINAL: phi6

I like your experimental UI a lot. I tried to attempt the same thing a while back, but slow progress as there are a LOT of icons to skin - and also not all graphics are moddable for example the custom new game screens. I'd definitely try out your version though if you are able to update every single icon in the game. Simple interfaces are the best, look at the icons on Endless Space for example.

In regards to your resource icons, they're unfortunately not to my taste as they seem difficult to read at a glance. I prefer Sirian's Resources I think!

Well thanks for the feedback! I think it's an improvement on the existing UI. There are a lot of button icons to mod, yes, but considering that I have 52 resources (which I'm modded each an average of 3 times now - still going) and 137 components (all images modded except the last 25 - puffpuff!) the 25 or 30 or whatever it is buttons are a holiday!
I have endless space, I hadn't thought to look there for inspiration, I'll fire it up and have a look. I also prefer simple interfaces - they are easier to recognise at a glance IMO, and distract less from the action.
I'll check out Sirian's Resources but don't give up on mine, they're a work in progress and while the first time I played with them it took a bit, you quickly become accustomed to what you're looking at.


quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76

looks great.Be carefull that the A.I does not brake with the new resource system.

Thank you! Yes I've been very meticulous with my modding, having a back up folder with the last generation of functioning files, which I save to only after I've run the game successfully. When I modded resources I have altered say 5 at a time, test, doesn't break, test the next 5, breaks, go back alter one by one till I find which resource breaks it, go back alter one variable at a time till I find what variable breaks it, and each time launch a game to test. VERY VERY slow going, but it's given me the absolute knowledge of what can and cannot be altered. Still a work in progress, but so far I have 17 raw resources, and another 35 colony-manufactured/luxury (game treats them the same way) resources. I still have to fine-tune the distribution values, but I'm 99% confident that this won't break anything... there's a 1% doubt that perhaps one or two of them are hard-programmed to require particular planets and/or distribution min/max values for the game to launch, but I'll just methodically test that again if it happens... so far I can change them without any sirens or smoking keyboards.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hattori Hanzo

really looks great: I like the simplified style of your user interface

Thank you Hattori Hanzo. I hope to make it have a uniform look throughout the game... simple, clean, and sort of reminiscent of a some sort of control room HUD in a military base somewhere...


quote:

ORIGINAL: Japhet

Honestly, the sterile interface was the reason why I didn't enjoy Endless Space as much I would have liked. It felt so...lifeless. [:(]

@Drybreeze: looks nice so far. A word of warning though: Apparently there is a bug that makes the game crash if you edit/change the gold resource. I never encountered it myself, but it caused some problems for the Warhammer 30k mod.

Also, there have been several attempts at a "realistic" resource mod in the past and a lot of people came to the conclusion that real-life resources made the game a bit bland and characterless.

As far as resource icons go, I would advise you to mark the strategic and luxury resources differently for easier identification. Maybe with a different frame colour.

So, you do like the simple interface, but not too much because you feel it's lifeless. Okay that's good feedback, I'll bare that in mind. I have encountered several "don't touch or I es'plode in yer face" resources in my testing. But the long and the short of it seems to be that anything after resource #19 must be either luxury or colony-manufactured (essentially the same thing, except that the latter is likely to spawn at a colony meeting the set criteria, while they can BOTH appear at planets with no colony.) There are a couple of resources in the first 18 that also must remain Luxury (#2 & #13). I've currently made this one Biomass, but the unfortunate thing seems to be that Luxury resources appear FAR less commonly. I've got a bit more experimentation to do before I get this right. I want Biomass to be somewhat more common than it currently is, but I got tired of launching the game every single variable I changed, so I moved on to other things for awhile... I'll go back and fine-tune resources later.

I appreciate the comment about making it bland and characterless with realistic resources. I'm confident I've over-come this by making the raw resources commonly understood real-world resources, but the colony-manufactured resources, the components, the research tech, and the facilities near-future tech and realistic but still fictional. I don't know about you, but I find that kind of thing FAR more fascinating than absolute fictional sci-fi tech. Considering what may very well be in the future intrigues me and excites me. I aim to bring this to the mod and ultimately to the stand-alone game this mod aims to lead to.

I have experimented with the resource icons to differentiate them, but I'm still not happy with the results. I'll post them once I am.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jounk33

Nice project. I'am working on a similar mod for myself, so I can stop work if you bring out your mod.
One point I don't like in your mod. You name special elements such like copper or diamond. So think about this fact, that some elements have nearly the same attributs and you can bring them in groups like "light metals" or "radioaktiv metals" or "halogen salts", "precious metals" and so on. On this way every chemical element can be impleted to the game.
For example. To make a good Armor you need some basic metals like iron, or cobalt. you need too a little steel refiners, like tungsten, or molybdenum to make the steel heat resist and harder. So there is not one way "iron-Tungsten" there is a way too with "cobalt-molybdenum" alloy the make a good armor fpr ships.
So you need to rename the resource from "iron" to "basic metals" and in the discription you can name all metals in this resourcegruop "iron, cobalt, nickel"


Thank you, I'm enjoying making it.
I will definitely be bringing it out, it's already in a playable state, but I want to make sure that what I release is refined and self-contained.
Your suggestion regarding grouping materials is a great one. In fact I have already done that in several resources. For example Biomass represents living biological matter that can be harvested... everything from microbial life through to forests and even sentient planet-bound civilisations. Another is Hydrocarbons which are used in components to represent plastic, synthetic rubbers, nylons, and all manner of polymers, fuels, and oils collectively. I have done away with Iron and replaced it with Steel, to achieve basically exactly what you're suggesting. I don't want to make it a generic "basic metals" though... i feel like it needs to be a bit more specific than that.




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/2/2016 11:04:06 AM)

[image]http://i.imgur.com/ITQNn6c.png[/image]

Below I've listed some of the things that are next on my radar for this mod. This is as much a "to do list" for me as it is an invitation to add, alter, or remove items with feedback from you. Don't be shy. Tell me what you think! What do you want?

RESOURCES:
To Do:
Alter base icon design
* Apply new design to 52 icons
* Experiment with Biomass being more regularly spawned (ie: make raw, not luxury)
* Fine-tune other resources' distribution values
* Publish full list of icons in development thread and invite feedback


COMPONENTS:
To Do:
* Finish last 30ish icons in component icon list (confirmed: 50x50 works best or scaling fails in Designs menu resulting in only top left of icons showing in list)
* Publish full list of icons in development thread and invite feedback.


RESEARCH TREE:
To Do:
* Alter Disrupter chain to a more expensive-to-research technology, and nurf it.
* Refine remaining Laser, Ion, and Plasma chains.
* Replace existing Graviton chain with new tech, or free up these projects and reserve for future TBA projects.
* Increase cost/tech level of researching command module component and warp core components, to force early-game to remain at newly-introduced basic-level techs rather than having the first 2 tiers pre-researched. NB: This may be reliant on external factors - experimentation will reveal whether this is true or if the game spends a "starting amount" on research that can be directed into other projects instead. Alternatively, move basic to current "normal", and current "normal" up another tech level to counter-act this effect.
* Identify further priorities.
* Work through priorities to alter existing research tree to a functional replacement, and then upgrade it by inserting new technologies (for example new Facilities, fighters, weapon types, etc).
* Experiment with race-dependant tech trees, for example Organic chains that replace mechanic chains, so that entire defense systems can potentially become biological in nature. If this works, create races that utilise this tech tree for unique bases, weapons, sound effects, and ship types. As a result races like this would have different resource desires. Pay attention to balance.


FACILITIES:
To Do:
* Discuss current facility options and wish-lists of readers in development thread.
* Experiment with including facilities in-game, and apply knowledge to include resulting list of desired facilities.
* Produce images for all facilities.
* Experiment with how research tree interacts with facilities, and apply knowledge to research tree.


USER INTERFACE:
To Do:
* Finish altering buttons for top-center menu.
* Finish altering buttons for bottom-left context-specific sub-menu. (ie: "Build at selected colony" etc)
* Alter buttons for bottom-right menu.
* Alter Start Menu buttons to reflect Sea-Of-Stars look and feel.
* Find out if it's possible to replace default splash-screen featuring the Mechanoids and whatsits with Sea-Of-Stars splash screen.


This is not a complete To-Do list, but it's a pretty good idea of what's coming up.


So. Let's talk facilities briefly.

This mod is based on a stand-alone game development that I've been working on for several years in my spare time. While Distant Worlds can't cater for some of the things I want to bring to that game, it does cater for some of the core elements. One of the things that it does NOT cater for is industrial infrastructure. For example if you have a planet that has Iron Ore on it, you can build a mine there. That mine can ship your goods to a smelter, and out comes Steel. Steel can be sent to a factory, and out comes lovely items like Structure and Tanks (containers, not pew-pews) and so on. Same goes for things like Bauxite to Aluminium, Silicon to Electronics, and so on. Distant Worlds doesn't really cater for that, so I've had to alter it a bit for the mod.

What I would like to do however, is have facilities feature a lot more in the game than they currently do. I'm thinking the best way to do this is to "simulate" industry, rather than actually creating supply chains and actual logistics. For example I'd like to have it so that you can build, say an Industrial Complex facility (representing some large processing network focus in your colony) that increases resource output or even simply growth in the colony. So beneficial for the player to build, but sadly doesn't directly impact the production of a particular resource (I just don't think I can do this with Distant Worlds Universe).

I've run out of time tonight - it's my bedtime! :( I'll list my existing Sea-Of-Stars facilities tomorrow, and maybe some suggestions for what they could be used for in the mod. Your input and ideas are very welcome, of course!






Jounk33 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/2/2016 7:03:43 PM)

Your mod seems to be very similar to my project. And so I respect your work and waiting for release.
Here just some suggestions:
- There are some diffrents between fossil and alkane Hydrocarbonates. Alkanes can be find on Gasgiants and clouds (just for prewarp-fuel), but fossiles are on habitable planets (Base of plastic, syntethic material AND Fuel).
- Biomasses I have to diffrent. Luxurious ones (fur, teeth, bones, secretion-salts) and energetic ones (polymeres, microbiotics, woods)
- I don't know which kind of gases you want implete. There are energetic diffrents between Helium and Xenon, and (radioaktiv) Radon can be a used as fuel for a special reaktor. And please don't forget Deuterium (heavy water) for effectiv fuel.
- rare and partially, synthetic radioaktiv elements like americum is even today a theoretical part from nuklear engines. (some theoretical scientist believe element 115 can be a powerful fuel for a superreaktor/engine to warp spaceships). It would be a nice feature to manufacture some of therse synthetic elements.
- Lanthanoide (Cer, Yttrium, Neodym) can be used for powerful Lasers.
- A super luxurious resource can be symbiotic liveforms. (50% dev Bonus) or symbiontic organic minerals (Pearls, organic-salts)

- Do you have organic componets in your mod ? Like organic Armor for example




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/3/2016 10:59:08 AM)

@Jounk33:
Well your ideas are very intriguing, but I want to make sure the mod is enjoyable by as many people as possible, not just Einstein and chemistry geniuses. :)

To that end I have done what you suggested in an earlier post, I've combined a lot of things together under banner resources... steel for example is used in all things requiring a structural metal component (or aluminium in light weight structural items... or often a combination of the two). Copper is used in electrical stuff, sometimes gold for higher-tech electrical components, and so on.


[image]http://i.imgur.com/ITQNn6c.png[/image]

Below is a list of facilities and/or "facility-focus research" planned for the stand-alone game, and some ideas of how they can be incorporated into this mod. (Note: a lot of the stand-alone facilities and upgrades haven't been listed as I don't believe they would be able to be modded effectively).


FACILITIES:
Atmospheric Converter - Alters a planet's atmosphere to bring it into line with our people's colonisation requirements
Suggested usage in mod: allows the colonisation of hostile-environment planets in-line with the player's species' home planet (race-dependant tech).

Biolab - A laboratory that grows artificial tissues and organs.
Suggested usage in mod: Probably simply unlocks a particular type of component (like organic weaponry or similar, for a race that doesn't normally have this tech). It'd be nice to use it as an actual facility, but I can't yet think of a use for it that DWU caters for.

Biological Assembly - A facility that constructs creatures from artificial tissues, organs, and biofilm.
Suggested usage in mod: Similar to Biolab above, but it'd be nice to differentiate it... most likely with more advanced tech being unlocked... things like living space hulks etc.

Commsat - Communications satellite increases communication on this world, which boosts its research contributions greatly by increasing speed and decreasing cost of research. Multiple Commsats have a compound effect, to the world's limit.
Suggested usage in mod: I need to investigate whether you can build more than one instance of a facility on a planet in DWU, otherwise obviously no compound effect is possible. I think that the research boost should be possible to achieve. Otherwise I'm considering making this not a planet facility but a mod-shipped design for a research lab, but using really cheap ultra-basic level components perhaps.

Cluster Space Station - A growing cluster of orbiting infrastructures that allow this world to effectively command its local space.
Basically a very simple first-stage space station. I would like to have this as the first allowed buildable space-station, one which the player starts with. Almost defenseless but that's ok because at the same time other races don't have offensive weapons. The concept is that players in Sea Of Stars can start off pre-warp at an even earlier stage than DWU currently caters for... JUST BARELY space borne.

Dockyard - Makes Light Fighter, Heavy Fighter, Gunship, Corvette
Dockyard II - Makes Frigate, Destroyer, Super Destroyer
Dockyard III - Makes Cruiser, Battleship, Carrier, Dreadnaught, Bohemoth
I'm thinking that these are done in the mod by having a research tech for each, and at the same time increases build sizes of ships. The first one is easy, since the research tree system has a native portion that unlocks particular fighter types. DY II and DY III I think will just simply increase build size of vessels and bases allowed.

Greenhouse Effect
- Heats a planet to bring it into line with our people's colonisation requirements
Similar to the Atmospheric Converter, except perhaps this one is aimed specifically at unlocking ice planets as colonisation targets.
Solar Deflector - Cools a planet to bring it into line with our people's colonisation requirements
This (and a few others) are originally designed because planets in the stand-alone will have a range of factors affecting their habitability for player races, including temperature, acidity, etc, not just whether they're ice, ocean, volcanic, etc. For the sake of this mod, I think this particular one would be able to convert volcanic planets to colonisable, or possibly be used for races whose home planet type is ice... to convert other planets to be colonisable. Therefore potentially a race-dependant research type... rather than a facility.

I would also like to investigate building designs, components, and research that cater for the development of ships of the below types:

(Some of the ships like mine-layers would perhaps not be possible to do in DWU... although perhaps could be simulated with really slow missiles or something. Another method of seeing minelayers happen in the mod might be to make mines actually a type of fighter, slow moving with a very close-range area weapon damage effect with extremely long recharge rate.)

VESSELS:
Light Fighter - A dedicated fighter craft armed with low caliber cannon and a small armament of missiles.

Heavy Fighter - A more heavilly armoured and armed fighter craft.

Gunship - Heavilly armed with low mobility, these craft are designed to take down fighters and other small targets from range and with superior firepower.

Corvette - Equiped with heavy engines, armour, and sophisticated weapons, corvettes are designed to clean the skies of all smaller craft and are the smallest craft capable of independent travel between systems.

Assault Frigate - Guardians of capital ships, and crusher of all smaller vessels, Assault Frigate are bristling with close-quarters weapons, huge main turrets, and rapid tracking systems.

Marine Frigate - While these frigates do have several small caliber close-quarter cannons to help defend against fighters and smaller craft, their primary weapon is their compliment of Marines; highly trained armed boarding parties whose primary task is to quickly capture and bring under our control any vessel or structure that they target. Especially useful against large capital ships, and can often turn the tide of a battle in our favour.

Shield Frigate - These large vessels have no firepower of their own, but instead house a massive shield generator that is able to house many smaller craft or one or two other frigates, greatly increasing their resistance to enemy energy, kinetic, and ballistic weapons.

Ion Frigate - Armed with a devastatingly long-ranged Ion Cannon, this frigate can utterly fry an enemy vessel's on board computers and electrical systems, rendering them completely useless for the duration of the battle. Several Ion Frigates can rapidly bring down even a Cruiser and allow it to be boarded and captured with ease.

Drone Frigate - Especially nasty versus smaller craft such as fighters and gunships, Drone Frigate boast a compliment of robotic drones that target and shred an
enemy craft with astonishing speed and accuracy.


Missile Frigate - This frigate is armed with tactical missiles (small nuclear missiles with complicated targeting and maneuvering systems) that can cause massive damage on impact, but are reasonably easy to stop with both shields and on-board anti-missile defense turrets. For this reason Missile Frigates are best used in large numbers or versus frigates or capital ships that lack these defenses.

Support Frigate - Re-arming and re-supplying a fleet both during combat and afterwards is important to keep a fleet operating efficiently and with maximum strength. Support Frigates ensure that ammunition is maintained at peak levels and that all required spares and supplies are provided rapidly, keeping a fleet operating at 100% at all times. One Support Frigate can support many other ships simultaneously.

Hospital Frigate - These frigates maintain the health of our citizens and keep morale high in a fleet. They ensure that a fleet can return to peak fighting condition rapidly after a battle.

Covert Ops Frigate - These frigates help hide the energy signatures that would otherwise give away a fleet's position quickly, minimising the range at which an enemy can detect our fleet, and aiding in the element of surprise.

Repair Frigate - Quickly repairs damaged vessels and nearby structures after a battle, ensuring we are at peak performance. These frigates negate the need for a fleet to return to a drydock after a battle to repair battle damage.

Minelayer Frigate - These vessels use smaller craft to lay vast mine fields at points of our choosing, inhibiting enemy movement for months while our mines lay dormant. These can be very effective weapons for blockading an enemy world, bringing it under our control much more quickly than it otherwise might.

Silent Runner - A specialised stealth ship designed to sneak past all but the most sophisticated sensors as a reconnoisance craft and for Special Task missions.

Destroyer - Destroyers are the smallest of the capital class ships, and are a fearsome enemy for all smaller craft.

Super Destroyer - Larger, more sophisticated, and armed to the gills, super destroyers are not to be taken lightly by any fleet.

Cruiser - Cruisers serve as a hub for most medium and large assault fleets, and often serve as a system guardian. They can hold their own against almost any target, but are vulnerable to large fleets of fighters, gunships, and corvettes.

Battleship - Battleships are destroyer-killers. They are huge battlestations armed with extremely powerful weapons, but are very vulnerable to smaller crafts in large numbers due to their relative lack of anti-fighter systems.

Super Battleship - Housing a small fleet of fighters, super battleships are a hybrid between a battleship and a carrier, offering some protection against large fleets of smaller craft without sacrificing the awesome firepower of a battleship.

Carrier - Almost defenseless itself, a carrier relies instead on it's large on-board fleet of smaller craft (up to and including corvettes), and serves as a staging ground for these craft, and the only practical way to transport large quantities of these smaller craft the vast distances between stars.

Dreadnaught - A massively powerful capital ship capable of handling itself against any enemy. Dreadnaughts have powerful damage absorbing capacity as well as a powerful arsenal of weapons, but are extremely cumbersome and difficult to manuever.

Bohemoth - Generally useless versus any but the larger capital ships, a Bohemoth is usually a mobile base of operation from which to launch an attacking fleet or commence construction or fortification projects under the protection of the Bohemoth. An excellent weapon to capture and fortify a heavily dug in enemy system, but not a very useful weapon for pursuing a mobile or fragmented enemy.

Dark Moon - This is almost a mobile and entirely artificial world, completely self-contained and with all the facilities to create and maintain any fleet. Empires employing the services of Dark Moons are usually very wealthy and very powerful, and should be treated with extreme diplomacy.

Fleet Core - Consuming massive quantities of resources a Fleet Core is thousands of Kilometers in diameter and while protected by a fleet is basically an invulnerable battle station able to fend off the most determined and powerful attacking fleet. Equipped with sensors and weapons second-to-none, a Fleet Core is for all intents and purposes a heavilly armed mobile planet, complete with its own natural gravity well (though weak). If an enemy Fleet Core is lumbering its way to your empire, you should consider meeting it en route or relocating your empire...


RESEARCH PROJECTS:
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Allows: Global Network Node, Robot Servants, Unmanned Weapons, AI Autopilots, AI Security
Prerequisite: TO BE DECIDED
Description: Processor speed, memory capacity, neural network technology and data libraries have advanced to a point where a true artificially intelligent computer can be created.

ASSAULT PLATFORM
Allows: None
Prerequisite: Attack Satellite
Description: A formidable heavily armed satellite capable of destroying global targets rapidly and with impunity. Assault platforms are built in orbit around a world and have no propulsion of their own. They serve primarilly to target and destroy specific facilities on the world below, or to protect the world from incoming enemy vessels.
I expect this could best be achieved simply with a defensive star base design. Perhaps a research tech that unlocks it... either a build size or key component type or similar. Will investigate what the modding capabilities of DWU allows.

ATMOSPHERIC CONVERTER
Allows: Terraform Atmosphere
Prerequisite: Colonial Drone
Description: This facility allows the conversion of the atmosphere into a more breathable one at a given rate (additional facilities increase this rate), allowing further development once the atmosphere has become closer to that which our race requires.

ATTACK SATELLITE (ATTACK SAT)
Allows: Assault Platform, Planetary Domination, Remote Assault Probe, Nuclear Sentinel
Prerequisite: Satellites
Description: Attack satellites are armed with high capacity lasers and are used to track and destroy ground threats on the world which they orbit.
I don't think I'll implement this in the mod.

CARGO HAULERS
Allows: Massive Cargo Haulers, Dedicated Supply Lines
Prerequisite: Ferry Service
Description: Large towing craft designed to move large amounts of materials between Space Stations.
Either won't be implemented, or it will be one of the first techs that allow for example a standard-size cargo hold. Before this is researched only a really simple cargo hold is possible to fit on a ship, making resource hauling a very slow process. If so, this tech would be bypassed by setting the game to Post-Warp settings.

CIVILIAN POLICE FORCE
Allows: Underground Resistance, Sophisticated Security
Prerequisite: Fighter Craft
Description: Removing the military from police duties enables them to be used elsewhere more effectively, while allowing our space-borne community to grow in relative safety.
I'm thinking that this increases growth rate, while at the same time reducing military maintenance costs. (Fighters only, if possible.)

COLONIAL DRONE
Allows: Spaceport, Open Cut Mine, Subsurface Mine, Atmospheric Converter, Nuclear Reactor, Gas Mine, Fluid Mine, Habitation Outpost, Biomass Harvest
Prerequisite: Dispatched ManfacDrone
Description: Colonial Drones are sent to remote worlds to prepare them for colonisation by our population, or to inexpensively setup robotic mining operations, geo-engineering operations, and planetary defences in preparation for our citizens moving in and further advancing our hold on the new world or simply as outposts. A colonial drone can only carry enough resources to setup one project, and so is spent once that project is completed.
I'm thinking this would be the most basic form of colonisation, taking over a planet with a starting population of saying 1 Million (less, if the game allows it). It represents a tiny little foothold on a world, and the player would want to rapidly upgrade to larger forms of colonisation.

CORVETTES

Allows: Gunship, Frigate, Silent Runner
Prerequisite: Fighter, Plasmic Propulsion
Description: The designs for an armoured hull to house more powerful rockets and more sophisticated weapons and targetting system, to tackle fighters before they are able to come within striking distance. A single Corvette is no easy target for even a squandron of fighters.

DEEP SPACE MONITOR
Allows: None
Prerequisite: Long Range Sensor Sat
Description: The most advanced sensor platform available - complete with on-board defenses to stop small craft posing a threat. This platform can sense even Silent Runners within a small radius, and other craft at far greater distances. An empire with an array of DSMS's at its frontline will always be warned early of any enemy activity.
Unlocks the components and design (if possible) for a long-range scanner platform.

EMPIRICAL DATA NETWORK
Allows: Hive Mind
Prerequisite: System Network Node
Description: Linking all of our System Network Nodes together across the entire Empire gives us an Empirical Data Network, where every single citizen and artificial intelligence entity can contact all others instantly and with almost no cost. The information and communication repurcussions are astonishing - our entire Empire is one massive cohesive data network, a true wonder of technology.
Unlocks advanced research components, and also base research rates on all three tiers.

FRIGATE
Allows: Assault Frigate, Marine Frigate, Shield Frigate, Ion Frigate, Drone Frigate, Missile Frigate, Support Frigate, Hospital Frigate, Covert Ops Frigate, Repair Frigate, Minelayer Frigate
Prerequisite: Corvettes
Description: The designs for a large versatile chassis that allows large format weapons and systems to be mounted for a range of work-horse fleet tasks. Frigates are the backbone of any fleet, and have a range of roles, from offence to defence, special tactics, and sensory roles.

LIGHT FIGHTER
Allows: Heavy Fighters, Corvettes, Civilian Police Force
Prerequisite: Dockyard
Description: A small mobile and lightly armed craft that can be used for offense and defense of intersystem space, these craft are excellent for controlling local civil disturbances and maintaining order, for quickly bolstering a fleet when an incoming attack is detected, or for spreading our Empire's control efficiently throughout a system with minimal expense.

LONG RANGE SENSOR SAT
Allows: Deep Space Monitor
Prerequisite: Sensor Sat
Description: A sophisticated platform bristling with sensors that will detect all but the most sophisticated cloaking devices from a very long distance, forming an effective early-warning system.
As with Deep Space Monitor, but a tier before it.

NUCLEAR SENTINEL

Allows: System Sentinel
Prerequisite: Attack Satellite, Nuclear Barrage, Long Range Sensors
Description: A massive armored station designed to be a stand-alone outpost capable of detecting incoming enemy, and engaging them at extreme range.
Unlocks components and/or design for a deep-space-buildable star base (minus docking and refueling capacity).

SATELLITE NETWORKING
Allows: Global Network Node
Prerequisite: Communications Satellite
Description: By linking our satellites up into a true broadband network we are able to vastly improve communications and data transfer.
Increases research speeds.

SATELLITES
Allows: Communications Satellite, Attack Satellite, Sensor Satellite, Manufacturing Drone
Prerequisite: Basic Rocket
Description: Satellites orbit a planet and allow a range of sensors and other equipment to improve our knowledge and use of space.
A gateway tech that would have a minimal effect itself... maybe a slight increase in growth and/or research speed.

SENSOR SATELLITE (SENSOR SAT)
Allows: Long Range Sensor Platform
Prerequisite: Satellites
Description: A long-range satellite capable of mapping all worlds and belts within a system, and identify long-range incoming enemies that other sensors detect.
Unlocks tech that allows decent sensor range, and designs for deep-space-buildable sensor stations.

SYSTEM NETWORK NODE
Allows: Empirical Data Network
Prerequisite: Global Network Node
Description: As more and more Global Network Nodes come online, we are able to use subspace communication to link them together with undelayed communication, creating a Network Node from every communications satellite in the System, giving us tremendous communication and computational power.
A greatly increased research output.

Others include:
HABITATION OUTPOST
HARBOUR
HEAVY FIGHTERS
HIVE MIND
LINEAGE FOR FREEFALL
LONG RANGE SENSORS
LONG TERM SPACE HABITATION
MASSIVE CARGO HAULERS
MEGANEXUS
NEXUS
NUCLEAR BARRAGE
ORBITAL STOCKPILES
PLANETARY INDEPENDENCE
PLASMIC PROPULSOR
PROBES
QUARANTINE
SILENT RUNNER
SOPHISTICATED SECURITY
SPACEPORT
SPACE SHUTTLE
SUPERNEXUS
SYSTEM SENTINEL
ULTRALIGHT SUBSTANCES


There's a bunch of others but I just don't think they'd be suitable for this mod.




Rosbjerg -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/3/2016 2:15:38 PM)

Ambitious! Is it possible to add modifiers like planet acidity, temperature etc- or is this just something you hope to be able to do?




Sabranan -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/3/2016 7:54:42 PM)

This looks awesome!

I'm definitely interested in trying this out, both from the point of view of playing it and also I'm trying to download as many mods as possible for the purposes of testing my mod tool. I've always thought the resources could stand to be a little more realistic and that trade is underplayed in DW.




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/4/2016 2:52:41 AM)

@Rosbjerg:

Yeah it'll be something that rolls out in versions I think. It's playable now but the research tree is a bit of a jumble due to having only half been edited so far. Tied into it is some tech chains, so that is also half done.

I have done a bit of icon editing but I'm still not happy. I might go away from the full color border and back to gray bit with a pip of color in the top left or something to differentiate between raw and manufactured.

Temperature and acidity is not something DWU can do I don't think. It's something I intend to do in a standalone game I will be building.

@Sabranan:
Thankyou. I will probably end up using your editing tool as editing txt files can be very laborious manually... I haven't used it yet, I'm afraid I'll break the XNA that it wants to update...




Hattori Hanzo -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/4/2016 1:54:01 PM)

quote:

I haven't used it yet, I'm afraid I'll break the XNA that it wants to update...


what do you mean with "XNA" ???




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/4/2016 8:05:35 PM)

The framework .net it runs on.




Sabranan -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/4/2016 9:15:58 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Drybreeze
Thankyou. I will probably end up using your editing tool as editing txt files can be very laborious manually... I haven't used it yet, I'm afraid I'll break the XNA that it wants to update...


You know it does occur to me now that there's really no reason whatsoever to require .NET 4.6.1 when 4.0 would be fine and would make the app compatible with any standard Windows 8 or 10 installation out of the box. I only considered it at all at the very start of the project and it's just human instinct to build it on the latest version lol.

That would get rid of the large download requirement as long as users are at least at Windows 8. Windows 7 compatibility would require using 3.5 and that does create some issues so I won't go that far.

I'll do some testing I think then assuming it works nicely I'll publish a revision to target 4.0 instead.




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/4/2016 11:35:07 PM)

That would be awesome. Updating things like that makes me nervous.




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/5/2016 10:07:48 AM)

[image]http://i.imgur.com/ITQNn6c.png[/image]

Rightyo then.

I've edited resources to differentiate between Raw and Manufactured, as originally suggested by Francoy and Japhet.

Getting away from the old-school bevel-button look, I decided to move to a simple crisp vector border... separating it from the icon's image itself with a black inner border.
In the below image you can see the top "Nuclear Reactor" and 3rd "Monopolic Capsules" is the old bevel-button look, and the ones below that are the new vector border look.

[image]http://imgur.com/GJK4dhX.jpg[/image]

I tried using a green border to tie into the interface changes for raw resources, with a blue border to tie into the game's default text highlight colour for luxury resources... but it looked a bit too in-your-face for my taste... detracting from the colours of the icons themselves. It was clear to me that the borders needed to be nuetral.

I then altered them to a few shades of grey, and had to re-alter them since one of the greys was too close to the background colour in the lists... making the border vanish and the icons themselves simply appear "smaller"... so yeah. ... fail.

Finally I altered them to have raw resources as a dull grey, and luxury/colony manufactured resources as lighter grey... almost white. I feel this works... what do you think?

[image]http://imgur.com/cnHl0yS.jpg[/image]

Icons at full size:
[image]http://imgur.com/yD8av73.jpg[/image]
Icons display at this size when a "newly discovered resource" or a "colony has begun manufacture" dialogue appears.

Icons at actual in-game size:
[image]http://imgur.com/C4PrecG.jpg[/image]

Below is the complete list of resources and icons as they currently stand.
I'm considering adding a few more colony-manufactured resources, but this will pan out as I make edits to the research tech tree...

[image]http://imgur.com/vFRnqKI.jpg[/image] [image]http://imgur.com/NVPih8B.jpg[/image]
(Yes, I've already spotted the typo in "Nano-Encapsulated Fuels" and fixed it.)

I'm also considering replacing "Engineered Biomass" with a different colony-manufactured resources, since it plays little-to-no purpose in this mod... anything that it can achieve can be achieved with "Artificial Tissue", "Artificial Organs", "Engineered Organisms" and "Biomass". Suggestions on any additional colony-manufactured resources and how they could be used in technological advancements or research is very welcome.

Your thoughts?




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/5/2016 1:27:51 PM)

[image]http://i.imgur.com/ITQNn6c.png[/image]

I will publish my notes for upgrade from time to time.
At particular points in editing I decide to "give it a test drive" and play my mod for awhile.

As I play I make note of improvements required, and alt-tab to immediately jot them in a TXT file I have open (along with other TXT's I'm editing at the time, such as resouce.txt, research.txt, components.txt etc.

quote:


30/04/16
- Change name of Disruptors research tree to a different weapon name
- Change weapon-fire graphic of Disruptors to something more realistic but differentiate it from lasers and torpedoes.
- Change weapon icon for Disruptors to something that is reminscent of the weapon-fire graphic.
- Nurf the Disruptor chain of weapons, they're WAY too powerful... make persuing lasers more attractive. Suggest making Disruptors rapid fire but low yield weapons.

05/05/16

- Edit Graviton weapon image to look like waves of distorted background image, stars distorting, something like that... waves, wifi style. Not a visible energy weapon but a sort of ... bending of the game image... can only be done with guess-work images in this version but it'll do, just use a typical star backdrop image.
- Design a few hypothetical base types... mining stations (light through miltary-grade), space ports, sensor platforms, impregnable hotel thingies, etc.
- Make things super expensive to build, so that a player really has to think a lot about where resources are coming from and how they're being spent.
- Make water a more valuable commodity - oxygen seems to be highly desired by bases and colonies which is perfect.
- Consider research technologies which make more efficient use (and therefore less demand for supplies) of oxygen and water in particular - recycling? Other heavily used resources also? Fuels in particular.
- Drastically reduce the fuel consumption costs of fission reactors. They're cheap and reliable for a reason. Fission is cheap for fuel but highly expensive to build, and so on up the food chain of reactors. Typically fuel is cheap cheap... it's the tech that costs.
- Drastically increase the desire for fuel consumption at bases and especially colonies. People need to run small motors, generators, etc. See if there's a way to limit or reduce demand of resources after a colony reaches a certain development level.


I post this to give you an insight into the devepment process, and the opportunity to add to it or remark on it if you wish.

My ultimate aim is to use DWU platform to make a mod that is a good approximation of a game I want to develop.
I intend to crowd-source funding to build it, using the mod itself as a sort of psuedo-demo... alongside a bunch of non-interactive peripheral that I have already made (although it's somewhat dated due to the length of time it has taken me to reach this point).

Below is two sample-image pages of the "manual" of sorts that I have mostly produced for the stand-alone version of Sea Of Stars (which I'm now trying to morph into a DWU mod purely to make elements of SoS interactive and experiment with aspects like balance and elements). It's landscape A4, so each of the images you see (a few of many pages I've built for this thing) are designed to be folded in half, so you're looking at a double-page spread... or a left and right page simultaneously....

[image]http://imgur.com/tgj1e8u.jpg[/image]
The main game interface showing a player's empire stars along with their individual spheres of influence... the idea behind this game is to make it compatible with 3d applications (for example Oculus Rift) so that a player could see their entire galaxy in 3d, giving an incredible sense of depth and scale. Ironically I was fantasizing about making a game capable of that LONG before technology like that actually existed, so now it's especially exciting for me since the technology is readily available and on the cusp of being truly main-stream).

[image]http://imgur.com/EyQE13d.jpg[/image]
This part discusses how the game would show a player a world they've selected and are "editing" in some way, or simply viewing. It talks about what other worlds obit it, what system it's in, what information is available to the player, infrastructure on the planet, resource lode of the planet, and so on. As you can see, it uses the same image for an ocean planet as the "Sea Of Stars" mod banner... a 3d render of a world I created with clouds casting shadows, etc. I intend to produce similar images for the mod as "landscape" images. Every single world in Sea Of Stars has a portrait image like this which gives the player a true sense of what the world is at a glance... giving them the feel of being in orbit around it, seeing it's atmosphere, whether it has rings, green life, clouds, craters, meteoric bombardments, etc.

[image]http://imgur.com/4qMq9FP.jpg[/image]
This double-page spread talks about the messages interface, and how a player interacts with other empires. Empires being selected displays known-information about the empire (including player notes), and a location of homeworld, closest known world, or point of first-contact (in that order of priority) if known. Every contact is a real world player in a perpetual galaxy where thousands can play simultaneously.

[image]http://imgur.com/mEhBOYu.jpg[/image]
These pages talk about the attack system, and how fleets combat and what the different icons mean. Combat is undertaken by calculating attacks and defenses of opposing fleets with randomised fluctuations per attack and defense in a roll-playing simulation down the line until both fleets have had all vessels in their fleet attack the opposite fleet once per turn, alternating turns. In this way, turn by turn, the two fleets are worn down until one either routes according to player-set-conditions, or is destroyed... whether either fleets' owner players are actually online or not.


So this give you an idea of where I'm coming from making this mod.
I hope to bring almost a whole new game to the game, using DWU engine and within the boundaries the natural programing of this game presents. By doing so I aim to move one step closer to releasing what I hope will be a truly amazing game... something I've wanted to build for a very long time now and which has a great deal detail put into it already.





Shark7 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/5/2016 6:17:39 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Drybreeze



I tried using a green border to tie into the interface changes for raw resources, with a blue border to tie into the game's default text highlight colour for luxury resources... but it looked a bit too in-your-face for my taste... detracting from the colours of the icons themselves. It was clear to me that the borders needed to be nuetral.

I then altered them to a few shades of grey, and had to re-alter them since one of the greys was too close to the background colour in the lists... making the border vanish and the icons themselves simply appear "smaller"... so yeah. ... fail.

Finally I altered them to have raw resources as a dull grey, and luxury/colony manufactured resources as lighter grey... almost white. I feel this works... what do you think?




As a person who is challenged in seeing differing shades of colors (not color blind), basically I can see no difference when you use just shades of grey.

Might I suggest the following:

Strategic: Yellow borders
Luxury: Red Borders
Manufactured: Blue borders

By doing them in such obviously differentiated colors, most people should be able to tell the difference between them. The different shades of grey on such a small scale really do tend to all look the same, while using the primary colors makes each type vastly different from the others.




Hattori Hanzo -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/5/2016 7:02:26 PM)

so the manual pages we have seen above will be part of the manual of your new game, right ?




phi6 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/5/2016 7:34:54 PM)

Looks and sounds amazing! And very interesting that you're using DWU as a kind of test bed for your own game mechanics. This makes me think: Are you making a kind of spiritual 3D successor for DWU? If so, that's very exciting.

One request from me, can you upload higher quality images of your manual above? I'd love to see them up close in more detail and be able to read the text as well.

Now this thread is getting more and more interesting!




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/5/2016 11:13:58 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

As a person who is challenged in seeing differing shades of colors (not color blind), basically I can see no difference when you use just shades of grey.

Might I suggest the following:

Strategic: Yellow borders
Luxury: Red Borders
Manufactured: Blue borders

By doing them in such obviously differentiated colors, most people should be able to tell the difference between them. The different shades of grey on such a small scale really do tend to all look the same, while using the primary colors makes each type vastly different from the others.



Well that must be a very difficult condition to live with Shark7. Your feedback is valuable and noted.

I don't want to use primaries because I still want to use different colours for components as well, in fact even types of components - for example red for weapons, blue for shields, green for armour (but not gaudy colours). So, yeah... I'll have to come up with another system. 3 of the ideas that come to mind are:

1) Move the dog-ear from the top-left to the top-right, bottom-left, and bottom-right to differentiate, while maintaining nuetral border colours; or

2) Get away from coloured borders altogether and have for example a coloured strip along their top or bottom edges, separated from the main icon image to avoid the colour-distraction issue. It's important to have the main icon image as recognisable as possible due to how small the game makes them, and the main way to do that is with colour differences... big, bold, undiluted colour differences. That means that differentiation has to take a second place seat... it's FAR more important that a player can identify the resource/component at a glance than it is to recognise what type it is. After all any decently experienced player will know exactly what type it is if they know what the resource or component is, so in fact differentiation of type is almost unrequired... certainly not worth upsetting the recognisability of the icon itself over.

3) Releasing more than one set of resource image folders, and a player can CHOOSE their colour scheme. It'd be simple enough to do... either have two different entire mods, or just specific image folders that players can rename/remove to suit themselves.

All of the above options are easy enough to do, and there's enough demand from you guys for different colours between resource types to make it worthwhile to do.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hattori Hanzo

so the manual pages we have seen above will be part of the manual of your new game, right ?


That is correct. I stress that this is a work in progress that I began many years ago and have worked on in my own time. It is now at a point where I want to program a demo and/or an alpha... every part of it is designed... all it needs now is actual coding as well as a swathe of rolled out images to suit templates I've built... for example more planets like the blue ocean planet you see in the sea-of-stars banner in this thread, and in one of the double-page-spreads shown in my last post. I have built a desert planet, a barren moon, an asteroid, and an asteroid field all to levels I'm happy with. But as you can imagine there is a lot left. It is something that I will do as part of the actual game's development.


quote:

ORIGINAL: phi6

Looks and sounds amazing! And very interesting that you're using DWU as a kind of test bed for your own game mechanics. This makes me think: Are you making a kind of spiritual 3D successor for DWU? If so, that's very exciting.

One request from me, can you upload higher quality images of your manual above? I'd love to see them up close in more detail and be able to read the text as well.

Now this thread is getting more and more interesting!

Well thank you again Phi6! I'm not making a spiritual 3D successor for DWU, however there are certain parallels.
Basically what's happened is this:
1) One day I had a brain storm about the type of game I'd love to play.
2) Designed it out, and began building graphics for it.
3) Finished designing it in minute detail (from tech trees to combat resolution), and produced templates and many instances of virtually every aspect of it.
4) Designed and drew up the manual you saw a couple of pages from in the above post... it's about 30% completed and is intended to be a really slick glossy printed A4 landscape manual that ships with the game (as well as PDF of course). In my opinion physical proper manuals are super sexy and worth paying premium for a boxed game to get.
5) Reached a road block due to not being able to program an Alpha myself, nor have the funds to pay a programming team (yet).
6) Crowd-sourcing became a real possibility, but to do that I think it would be a good idea to have some sort of functioning demo.
7) Browsed through every space-simulation game until I found DWU which not only has a resource and tech system similar in detail to what I want to bring to Sea Of Stars, but also allows modding.

It's not a sequel to DWU, I'm simply using the moddability of it to play with aspects such as UI readability, tech trees that are believable and in depth, and as a next "half step" towards building an Alpha. Once I have a successful mod of SoS on the DWU platform I will launch a crowd-sourcing bid, and post everything I have on it, including the mod, the brochure, the entire plan.

I don't want to turn this thread into a focus on the new game... this is a mod development thread. However if you want I will post up one of the above pages in full-size PDF so that you can read through it - pick a page and I'll upload it as an attachment.

Thanks for your interest guys it's really flattering.

Meanwhile let's make a seriously cool mod for DWU.




Drybreeze -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/6/2016 3:56:40 AM)

[image]http://i.imgur.com/ITQNn6c.png[/image]

I have come up with a solution for icons I think works, as far as differentiating between raw resources, luxury/manufactured resources, components, and so on... I've created the below image to compare the old with the new styles of icons for your viewing pleasure. [:D]

Below you can see the new style of icons (both components and resources) in the top group, and the original style in the lower group.

Also I've shown the resources required to manufacture each component as they're currently set up in components.txt
As you can see, many similar techs use identical resources, just in different quantities. I've also tried to make the resource make up of each component seems common sense. Not scientifically perfect, sure, but sensible enough for most players to be able to intuitively get a sense of what's going on and what resources are required for what types of tech.

[image]http://imgur.com/qbJIGzr.jpg[/image]

As you can also see, there are some resources which are very commonly required... in particular steel, hydrocarbons (plastics, rubbers, oils, etc), diamond, and copper (highly conductive metal for wiring). Occasionally I've replaced copper with gold for some items that require especially conductive materials, and are higher tech and therefore more expensive and sensitive. I have also used aluminium a lot (now that I've made it a common raw resource, replacing Bauxite) and it is used in a huge amount of tech, since it is a lightweight, relatively cheap metal... it makes sense that space craft would follow on from aviation in that less mass without compromising too much on structural strength would lead to the use of one of the galaxy's most commonly found lightweight metals.

Basic techs require readily-available resources (and usually in small quantities, making them cheap), intermediate tech requires less readily-available raw resources and in higher quantities (making them more expensive and slower to build), and advanced tech usually requires one or more colony-manufactured resources (which forces a player to either trade or do without the tech, if their own colonies have not begun manufacturing these resources yet). Obviously larger empires with many highly developed colonies will have a much greater chance of spawning these manufactured goods, and therefore be able to build the more advanced tech... which I think is a perfect system.




Shark7 -> RE: Sea Of Stars - development thread (5/6/2016 8:31:00 AM)

The dog ears idea might be good, in that people that really are color blind should be able to see that.

My issue is with shades that are too similar. Understand that I see all the colors and they are all the color they are supposed to be. Where I run into a problem is with shades that are only 2-3 steps apart. For example, if two items are dark green and light green I have no problems, if two items are say medium green and a slightly lighter medium green, then they're going to look the same to me.

And greys are one of the worst, probably because there is so little difference between the shades (especially when you consider the tiny size of the UI icons in game).

When I look at the last group of icons you posted (your last post) I can clearly see that one is a darker dull grey, while the other set has a bright highlight on the upper left corner. Those aren't so bad.

Also, those lower ones with the highlight are actually a bit easier for me to see, probably because of the almost white highlight. It gives the icons an appearance of depth.




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