Predestination

Predestination

Ship Designer
I've been thinking about this for some time but I feel I uterly dislike the ship designer.

I mean, yeah, some people love to spend hours cosmetically designing their ships and can do some rather awesome jobs at it... me? I don't care. I don't want to waste time placing weapons or armor or shields or what not in the hull. I'd very much have a more abstract designer where I could quickly outfit my ships in the configurations I feel fit best.

Yeah, I could reduce the parts till their are tiny, but they are still a hassle, maybe having the option of placing invisible parts could be considered? that way we can outfit our ships fastish and have them not looking like something that crawled out of a salvage yard or build by a species that suffers from severe ADD?
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I, too, am an un-fan of the ship designer, but on a more gentle level. I don't think it's bad. I don't even dislike it. It's just that, for my play style, most of the ship designer is irrelevant. I'm much more interested in what ships do than in what they look like.

My solution is to ignore the aesthetic issues and just stick parts on wherever. The end result is, as you say, something that looks like it crawled out of a salvage yard. But I'm okay with this.

For my part, I vote that the devs keep their focus on game balance and game mechanics. For me, these are the things that limit my fun.
Hanekem Jul 22 @ 5:04pm 
Originally posted by Hopefully Humble Tim:
I, too, am an un-fan of the ship designer, but on a more gentle level. I don't think it's bad. I don't even dislike it. It's just that, for my play style, most of the ship designer is irrelevant. I'm much more interested in what ships do than in what they look like.

My solution is to ignore the aesthetic issues and just stick parts on wherever. The end result is, as you say, something that looks like it crawled out of a salvage yard. But I'm okay with this.

For my part, I vote that the devs keep their focus on game balance and game mechanics. For me, these are the things that limit my fun.

Mind you, I don't think it is bad, it is more like it is not good for my playstyle. like you I am more interested in loadout rathe than cosmetic placement, but at the same time I'd like to avoid the ship from looking like salvage or a kludge of sorts.
Maybe I put it in too strong terms, but it does remind me of Galciv2 and how unsatisfying that ship designer was to me.
That is why I suggested the possibility of adding an invisible tag to the parts, that way I could add em as it where without ending up with the kludge (and saving me tons of time)
Fair enough. And as you say, that sounds like it could be a relatively easy solution. We'll have to wait and see what the devs think.
Talmar Aug 28 @ 7:58pm 
I also have some probs with the ship designer. I don't mind spending a bit of time, unlike some others here, but there are a couple issues I have with it.

1: Probably my biggest complaint: Armor. Slapping on a giant slab of armor to a section of your ship, and having it protect your entire ship, is kind of crazy. I would suggest that instead of adding giant slabs of metal, you should select an armor type, and maybe have a color change to your ship. This would indicate that you have Titanium Armor upgraded, and have somewhere on the discription up top that shows that you have that armor. You can add a x2, x3, etc, to show that you have added more than 1 armor upgrade.

2: Shrinking actual modules. Why will your shield genorator work the same if it is the size of your hand, or the size of a car? Either make them a standard size that you cannot change, or make their effect scale with size. You want to make that shield generator tiny, you get a tiny effect. You want to make it huge, you get a huge effect. Power consumption ratio should scale. This will also help in using up those odd points you have left over.

3: Cosmetics. While I like the idea of customizing my ships, I think things can go too far. I would suggest making several more, standard styles of the same module, for those that like to make things look different. This will appease players like those above, that don't want to spend a ton of time creating a ship, yet give those people that like to create their own ships from the ground up the ability to do so. As for the cosmetic blocks, that do absolutely nothing, I say make them add weight, hps, materials, etc. But put a weight limit on each size class, so you can't make a battleship sized destroyer. (I know this will be too much to implement, but I figured I'd throw it in there anyways!)

4: Engines: I can't even see a reason to add engines, except as a cosmetic effect. Put a weight and power consumption to engines, make them actual modules, and let us make ships with our own speed. More engines, the faster it goes. More side facing engines, the faster it turns. But more engines means less weapons! Let us decide if we want a super fast, unarmed scout, or a slow moving defense ship.

5: Mirroring: When I used this, I thought I was placing 2 seperate weapons on each side of my ship. Instead, it placed 2 weapons, but they were the same weapon. Not two. Just 1, that had 2 images. You need to fix this. Make Mirror place a second weapon/module.

this is about all I can think of right now. Please let me know what you think, and what is "Do-able"
Nyphur  [developer] Sep 3 @ 7:35pm 
Hey guys,

Fantastic discussion going on here, I'd like to wade in now that the latest patch is out and let you know my thoughts on different parts of this:

Simple Mode Editor?
I'm one of those people who loves to obsessively design ships, I have literally spent hours sitting in the ship designer trying out stuff and making the default ship designs without realising how much time has passed. But I get that not everyone likes that, and some people would prefer a simpler designer that lets you create a new ship design without modifying the looks. You want to just pick one of the default designs, make a list of modules and weapons, and save.

That's something I can do! It'd require me to build an alternative UI for adding modules/weapons, but under the hood I can actually just have the game attach the parts to the base hull and set the invisible flag to true. This is something that will require some development time, but I'd definitely like to do it as part of the iteration process. The question is what the new UI should look like. Perhaps there could be big pre-defined slots that you drag weapons and modules to, and do we limit you to a certain number of weapons/modules? Something like this?

Mockup 1: http://predestinationgame.com/shipuimockup.jpg
Mockup 2: http://predestinationgame.com/shipuimockup2.jpg



Originally posted by Talmar:
1: Probably my biggest complaint: Armor. Slapping on a giant slab of armor to a section of your ship, and having it protect your entire ship, is kind of crazy. I would suggest that instead of adding giant slabs of metal, you should select an armor type, and maybe have a color change to your ship. This would indicate that you have Titanium Armor upgraded, and have somewhere on the discription up top that shows that you have that armor. You can add a x2, x3, etc, to show that you have added more than 1 armor upgrade.
The way armour currently works is that each ship class has a base armour amount that is then multiplied by your best armour type available for free: Bytanium is 2x, Dragonium is 3x, Neutronium is 4x, and Norn Iron (the Revenant armour) I think is 5x. The various armour modules are separate supplementary pieces of armour you can add to your ship that provide additional hitpoints.

We could change this so that you have to pick what type of armour you use and that could affect the metal cost of the ship, so you could cheap out and use Tritanium on a bunch of mining or science ships but use Dragonium on the combat ships. If we did that, I like the idea of having a big x2, x3 etc to show that in the designer and a small colour change might be possible but it'd probably have to be subtle. The question is, is this compelling enough gameplay to add it? And should we remove the supplementary armour plates or replace them with something else?

Originally posted by Talmar:
2: Shrinking actual modules. Why will your shield genorator work the same if it is the size of your hand, or the size of a car? Either make them a standard size that you cannot change, or make their effect scale with size. You want to make that shield generator tiny, you get a tiny effect. You want to make it huge, you get a huge effect. Power consumption ratio should scale. This will also help in using up those odd points you have left over.
This is a real tough one, because I don't want people to feel like they can't create the visual design they want just for gameplay reasons. Regarding the left over power on some designs, we originally toyed with the idea of letting the player scale the power of weapons they applied so they could use up that last 10MW with an underpowered Laser Cannon or something, but it was pretty cumbersome as an idea and then thinking of an intuitive UI for it is difficult. Perhaps this would be better dealt with by adding a number of weak or situational modules that use 5MW or 10MW, like how the Anti-Missile Beam is 15MW.

Originally posted by Talmar:
3: Cosmetics. While I like the idea of customizing my ships, I think things can go too far. I would suggest making several more, standard styles of the same module, for those that like to make things look different. This will appease players like those above, that don't want to spend a ton of time creating a ship, yet give those people that like to create their own ships from the ground up the ability to do so. As for the cosmetic blocks, that do absolutely nothing, I say make them add weight, hps, materials, etc. But put a weight limit on each size class, so you can't make a battleship sized destroyer. (I know this will be too much to implement, but I figured I'd throw it in there anyways!)
Ideally, we would have liked every module or weapon to have its own model, but when you multiply that by every race in the game it's a lot of work for our tiny indie team. We only have 3 races of ship parts complete as it is, with the Sauros and Starforged both currently in progress. Adding more versions of each module just for visual reasons seems like it would complicate things, I'd rather push ahead with the idea for a simple mode editor where you can use one of the standard designs and add weapons and modules that you can't see.

Originally posted by Talmar:
4: Engines: I can't even see a reason to add engines, except as a cosmetic effect. Put a weight and power consumption to engines, make them actual modules, and let us make ships with our own speed. More engines, the faster it goes. More side facing engines, the faster it turns. But more engines means less weapons! Let us decide if we want a super fast, unarmed scout, or a slow moving defense ship.
The engines right now are mostly cosmetic. Each size class of ship has a certain minimum requirement for Crew Quarter and Engine parts (For example, Battleship designs need at least 4 parts from the Crew Quarters section and at least 2 from the Engines section), but that's just for vague realism reasons.

The original design for engines actually worked kind of like you suggested. The Augmented Engines was a repeatable module that just added +1 speed in exchange for 25MW, which was fine for small ships like frigates but absolutely unbalanced on larger ships. We limited the Augmented Engines module to one per ship to prevent stacking and solve that issue, and gave the Inertial Nullifier +2 speed. We could instead make the Augmented Engines each add +1 speed add a limit to the number of engines you can add to a design to maybe 4. That'd give a lot more freedom when designing ships. I'd still like to keep the cosmetic engines though, just for design purposes.

Originally posted by Talmar:
5: Mirroring: When I used this, I thought I was placing 2 seperate weapons on each side of my ship. Instead, it placed 2 weapons, but they were the same weapon. Not two. Just 1, that had 2 images. You need to fix this. Make Mirror place a second weapon/module.
I've heard this from a few people, and it's a fair criticism! We could do this by making mirrored modules and weapons count double for metal and money cost and modify the code that works out the list of modules and weapons attached to a ship to count them twice. That's definitely possible.


Cheers for the ideas and suggestions guys, and please keep the discussion going if you have any more to say! Now is exactly the time we want to start gathering this kind of feedback, as these features are all done and we'll be iterating on them soon.

Cheers,
-- Brendan, Lead Developer
Hanekem Sep 6 @ 5:30am 
Gotta sasy mock up 1 looks better... though seems more limited in terms of how many modules can be fitted, I pressume we won't be getting techs that enhances older hulls or miniaturization? (the latter was one of thje most interesting concepts from MOO2, not that it got used too much, but as a concept, I liked it, and made sense)

I know this is a tangent, but... will you guys be using some mode to avoid hull size creep?
Mockup 2 makes more sense with your game design. Additionally, make the icons down there smaller so more can fit in bigger designs. That would make it more like civilisations style ship designer, but that ain't a bad thing.

For people that dont want to customise ships themselves, just stick in basic "ship designs" for each race and let people simply slap modules on it to make it work. Or have that by default and have a special button "custom design" that enters the detailed ship editor. Both parties will be happy.

OH and, allow for "creative mirroring" button when you dont want actually to make 2 guns, but one gun that looks like two. Both parties will be happy.
Last edited by ProcDrone; Sep 7 @ 8:18pm
Talmar Oct 1 @ 2:24pm 
Thank you, Nypher, for taking the time to actually read and respond to our issues here in this thread! (and sorry for my super late response! Been kind of busy with RL crap)

Under 2, you said that "This is a real tough one, because I don't want people to feel like they can't create the visual design they want just for gameplay reasons"

Well, if hey want a corvette, they can't make it a tank. You can put all the lipstick you want on that tank, but you will never make it look like a nice, sleek, '69 Vette. You need to be somewhat realisitic in things, even games. You have a Cruiser hull. While you might make it look sleek and all that, it's NOT going to look like a Destroyer, or a Battleship. It is what it is. Scalling things too far can be a bad thing. Maybe a comprimise: You can scale +/- the size of the device, but can't make it tiny nor gigantic. Maybe have a standard size for your modules, and then you can modify this size by +/- 50% (?) This will give some flexibility, but won't make you have that device disappear altogether.

Under 4: Engines. If you create each hull type with a certain weight and power restriction, then this would be pretty easy. Each engine Mod would have a weight and power consumption. Just like each weapon, and every other device. Once you reach the weight or power cap, then you cannot add any more of stuff. I can see you ignoring these #'s for pure cosmetic parts, so people can make thier ships look how they want, but I have always felt that things like engines and weapons and other critical modules should have both of these stats. This allows you to customize your ship, but still keep you under the restriction of hull size. So if you adopt this model, then it lets the player play with the #'s to make their ship how they want it. Augemented Engines? they would just be an upgrade to your starter engines. They might weigh the same, but might give you an extra +10% thrust. You can actually have several engine upgrades this way, with maybe just having the same engine in your build screen with a slightly different color to tell them apart, if you don't have the time to create an upgraded module. Does the same thing, but saves you guys time on the real work, instead of just making things look different.

Again, thanks for the time and effort you guys have put into the game! And thanks again for the time to read my ideas and comment on them! I hope I have given you something that you can use.
Drages Nov 4 @ 3:49pm 
I am following many nearly all 4xspace games and so i see so many UI's and styles for ship designers.

Even i like to design ships, i don't like to give hours for it.. Most of us are already busy people with limited time, so even we want to do it, we got limits sadly..

So over so many designers i like the Sword of the Stars one the best. SOTS 2 is the best one even the game sadly fails over SOTS 1.. you name your armor/engine and add additions to it just with checks and modules and weapons are hardpoints to fill.
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