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  #41  
Old 05-05-2011, 06:48 PM
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FloodSpectre FloodSpectre is offline
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A random thought... I'd like to see hardcore mode make a return, but with a feature not normally available in a fantasy setting: the escape pod/shuttle. You'd need to pay for it and it would be total crap compared to a real ship, but hey, at least you survived (while you've lost your ship and probably most of your crew).

Not sure how well it would work if your "stats" are your crew's abilities though, but it's a thought.
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  #42  
Old 05-05-2011, 08:21 PM
darkpatriot darkpatriot is offline
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I thought I would register and give my thoughts on the direction this new game could take since it is still early enough in the design process that nothing is really set in place yet.

I have always liked the idea of a game where you run a mercenary group. I don't think it has ever really been done that well before though. I think the main reason for that is games that have similar concepts have never really done the business simulation aspect of it well. And a mercenary group is a business.

Most games (ARPGs especially) follow the basic trend that you continually get more powerful and that is the reward and progression in the game. I think this style of game has a real potential to change that basic formula around and still be really interesting and fun.

You could have real expenses and income that you have to balance. Expenses could be things like Ship/component maintenance and repairs and upgrade costs, Fuel costs, Crew Wages/other crew expenses, Administrative fees and bribery, and investments that may or may not have returns (trading being one example). Income could be things like fees for jobs taken, Salvage, and returns from investments income.

The dynamic political situation would of course effect the opportunities and risk/reward available. When their are large kinetic shooting wars going on there would be lots of well paying mercenary/privateer work available and your ship would be configured in high expense/high combat effectiveness to take advantage of the high paying dangerous missions available. During more peaceful times you may have to make due with possible trade escort, trading yourself, exploration, or piracy/raiding and your ship would have to be configured to be cost effective for those types of missions.

If the economy were balanced with income and expenses it wouldn't be just about building up the most badass ship and the fattest bank account but instead adapting and/or controlling the situation to what you wanted it to be and being the most cost effective you can be in unpredictable situations.

Now all that doesn't necessarily go with an ARPG design very well but it does go along with the very dynamic political game that seems to be the thing that will drive the situation in the galaxy in this game. Your main progression in the game wouldn't be your ship progressing (although there would be that aspect somewhat). The main progression would be spreading your influence throughout the galaxy. This would be done through doing missions and favors for people/factions, some role playing mechanics could also feed that game system, and of course outright bribery. With your influence you would try to move the political situation to what you wanted it to be (causing wars and keeping them going if you were running a high expense/high combat power ship for example).

It would also allow for more dynamism in the gameplay where you would have more peaks and valleys instead of the inexorable climb to ultimate power. Sometimes things go well by luck or design and you do well and prosper and sometimes things do not and you are forced to make hard decisions to keep yourself out of bankruptcy.

This also relates to the next thing I would like to see which may already have been thought about based on the comment about crew as stats. Crew should basically be your experience. Or to say more accurately there wouldn't be experience for the ship just the collective experience of the crew involved in certain tasks. More experienced engineers cause your ship to generate more power or do field repairs quicker/better. More experienced gunners makes your guns more accurate/more powerful. Other things such as that.

Crew would die in battle and you would have to replace them. So a battle that doesn't go very well could effectively set you back in experience. What race the crew is should also matter. Race could be a little like classes. Certain races would be better/worse at different things. Perhaps they could also help determine what special abilities your ship had. It would make sense to try and minmax the races of your crew assigned to what components of the ship but their would of course be penalties for that as well. Some races wouldn't like each other that well and could have penalties working together or might get along well. These relationships could be at least partially determined by events in the galaxy.

Your main officers (such as your Weapons officer, Head Engineer, Security officer, Navigator) could also be actual characters with stats and bonuses. They could also be dynamic and level up and also have morale and loyalty ratings. In some situations some may try and turn on you and you could have mutiny situations. You could go so far as making the captain himself just another character and in the case of a mutiny succeeding it just replaces who the captain is and you continue playing and must deal with the residual crew morale effects and political fallout from the mutiny.

Crew wages would also have to be paid and in general more experienced crew would have higher costs so in some cases it would be more cost effective to fire older crew and higher cheaper less experienced ones.

I was probably rambling a bit in this post so I'm sorry if it is difficult to read and understand. I also don't know how well any of this fits in with the overall design goals and resources of this game but I know it describes something that I have wanted to see in a game for a while.

Last edited by darkpatriot : 05-05-2011 at 08:24 PM.
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  #43  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:37 AM
Manumitted Manumitted is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkpatriot View Post
I have always liked the idea of a game where you run a mercenary group. I don't think it has ever really been done that well before though. I think the main reason for that is games that have similar concepts have never really done the business simulation aspect of it well. And a mercenary group is a business.
Strike Commander simulated running a mercenary company after its first few missions, but I wasn't good enough at the game to get to that part. Apparently, the management was limited to selecting missions, using the cheapest ordnance that would do the job, and not ejecting from too many airframes.

X-Com had an economy for its pseudo-mercenary gameplay, but it was hopelessly broken, even if the player didn't farm laser cannons.

The Jagged Alliance series has only limited economic elements, being more focused on small-squad combat.

Economics-focused games haven't been seen much since the late 80s. No one seems to miss the Millionaire / Tycoon / Baron line of financial simulations, nor Chris Crawford's efforts in that field (Guns and Butter).

More recently, Recettear has gotten a bunch of sales for an economics-focused game with a painfully consolish interface, but like X-Com, it has an exploit-heavy One True Way to play.

OK, that's enough flossing my knowledge of old games.
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  #44  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:07 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Shadow, other than there being multiple factions fighting each other in the background, how do you envision the game experience differing from the other space games mentioned here? For example, other space games randomly generate missions like "go to sector alpha and destroy the enemy forces" or "go to sector zeta and patrol for bogies".
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  #45  
Old 05-06-2011, 09:06 AM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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I have to throw it out there: BARBARIANS! Like in Civ 3 (I liked 3 better than 4), but space worthy. That way you never know what you'll run into out in the wild black yonder.
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  #46  
Old 05-06-2011, 10:23 AM
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Well for one thing like Delilah said I don't think it's going to be empty space like many games. Right now I plan on most zones starting off with a lot of enemies a little more like fantasy action RPGs.

I don't know about other games but many of our quests when solved will actually impact what is going on in the galaxy. Scouting or colonizing a planet or finding some tech for your race will impact the war.

Also I've never seen a space game have a very interesting loot/item system.
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  #47  
Old 05-06-2011, 10:31 AM
Aganazer Aganazer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manumitted View Post
No one seems to miss the Millionaire / Tycoon / Baron line of financial simulations, nor Chris Crawford's efforts in that field (Guns and Butter).
I miss Railroad Tycoon 3, but mostly for the complex manufacturing and flow of goods. Most of the financial simulations are in the games like Anno/Dawn of Discovery and Tropico types of games.

It wouldn't surprise me if we needed to pay the crew in Steven's Space Game, but I'm not expecting any kind of financial simulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by From Steven's Blog Post
As a mercenary it's NOT your job to manage all of those annoying people, build thousands of buildings, play nice with your enemies, or balance the budget.
Different topic but I wonder if Steven is going for more of a simulated universe with lots of transport and civilian traffic, or more of a military dominated universe (which would make sense given the hack'n'slash roots).
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  #48  
Old 05-06-2011, 10:39 AM
Aganazer Aganazer is offline
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Quote:
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zones
That's news in and of itself. I guess it makes sense to have things divided into zones.
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  #49  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
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That's news in and of itself. I guess it makes sense to have things divided into zones.
Well I'm calling them zones but technically they will be closer to systems.
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  #50  
Old 05-08-2011, 10:38 PM
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What are people's thoughts on having a joystick control option?

As far as I can tell, of all Soldak games so far, this feels like it might be the easiest to have the option of joystick control--which would also make it possible to have on consoles.

I wouldn't want game design to be compromised of course just to accommodate consoles, but it is something to at least consider.
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