Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Discussion and information relevant to creating special missions, new ships, skins etc.

Moderators: another_commander, winston

User avatar
Redspear
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2635
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:22 pm

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

Stormrider wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:47 pm
Redspear wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 4:01 pm
I said a moon far from the main station which would of course mean away from the space lane and your critique is thus valid. I should have suggested the main planet (of another system) when wishing to avoid the main station.
I still think it would be a good risk to help balance rewards, jumping to another system should be more profitable than staying in-system and there is a chance a damaged docking computer could be repaired at the main station. Maybe the player gets a time penalty or even fails the mission, but I think this might actually make such missions even more interesting.
Of course, YMMV but my original point was that considering how it might work (rather than simply ensuring that it does) has its merits... especially if wishing to avoid the main station were desired (as I actually suggested above).

Whether the dockng computer were a requirment or not, at least we'd have considerd the pros and cons relative to the imagined uses.
User avatar
phkb
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Posts: 4573
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:37 pm
Location: Writing more OXPs, because the world needs more OXPs.

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

Looking at landing equipment restrictions.

Current: You can't land if you don't have the "Planetary Landing Capability" equipment item installed and functional.

I'm looking at changing this to be:
You can *always* attempt a landing, even if you don't have the "Planetary Landing Capability" (although I might have to change it's name). You can also attempt to land even if you don't have a docking computer or heat shields. However, with all those 3 things installed and functional, you have a 100% chance of docking without damage. If any of those three things is missing or damaged, then the chance of taking ship damage increases, let's say a 5% increase for docking computers, a 5% increase for heat shield, and a 10% increase for the "Planetary landing capability". Thus a maximum chance of 20%.

Would that be fair/reasonable, do you think?

I want to skip any discussion about the *why*, ie, why you would want to land in the first place. I'm purely looking at the mechanics of it. ie the "how". Let's just assume there is a why.
User avatar
hiran
Theorethicist
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:39 pm
Location: a parallel world I created for myself. Some call it a singularity...

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by hiran »

I like that thought. But there is something to it.

When the player starts off playing Oolite he has no such comfort of a docking computer. That's where it is advisable to exercise docking quite well. And by the time the docking computer is available the player does not need it but it is comfortable.

For planetfall it looks like you cannot compensate a missing docking computer with skill.

That's the only thing I find odd.
Sunshine - Moonlight - Good Times - Oolite
User avatar
Redspear
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2635
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:22 pm

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:03 am
Let's just assume there is a why.
... Unexpectedly invokes several schools of philosophical thought :P
User avatar
Redspear
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2635
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:22 pm

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

hiran wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 5:22 am
For planetfall it looks like you cannot compensate a missing docking computer with skill.

That's the only thing I find odd.
There's been a long held 'fashion' in oxp design that new features should cost.

Superficially at least, it sounds reasonable but as a balancing factor (the usual reason given) it inevitably falls short.

To be clear, this isn't inherently bad but it often ends up being arbitrary.

For example, almost whatever price is put on the large cargo bay it will eventually pay for itself. The price needs to be low enough for it to be an attractive option but after that it's just a matter of how long before the savvy player can make the big bucks. As such, there is no 'balance' in assigning a price to it, only a delay.

As I said earlier, that isn't strictly wrong but it is a different way to think about it. So if...
phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:03 am
with all those 3 things installed and functional, you have a 100% chance of docking without damage. If any of those three things is missing or damaged, then the chance of taking ship damage increases
Then it's not only about cost to aquire the items but also credits saved once you have them (certainly if landing is attempted often enough). Functionally, that's actually quite similar to the large cargo bay: cost to buy but makes each trip more profitable.

Any activity the player chose to perform should in some way be profitable (even if only in terms of fun) so how much delay do we want on that?

Once it's purchased then the relevant equipment can presumably be damaged (unlike the cargo bay). Would it be fun to try to land a damaged ship (like hiran's example of docking without computers) or would it just be costly?
Fun wins almost every time.

Balance can be important but what would we be balancing and for how long?
User avatar
phkb
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Posts: 4573
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:37 pm
Location: Writing more OXPs, because the world needs more OXPs.

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

These are good thoughts. My intention is to make planetary landings possible right from the start of a new game, and hopefully desirable as well (but we’ll see how those plans develop).

Here’s a tweak: you can land without the 3 items, but for every item you’re lacking, the service level of your ship degrades. If you’re missing all three, there will be a significant degradation. If you’re only missing one, not as much. If you have all three, there is no additional degradation aside from what would normally apply (I’m not sure if docking degrades service level by default - note to self, check this... OK, checked: docking doesn't automatically reduce service, but if you scrape the walls while docking, that could).

By utilising the built in service level, we automatically fit in an existing game system, and the penalties that are associated with it.

While I like the idea of some form of skill-based docking, I’m not sure if I can make something like that happen. Cim put in a skill-based witchjump mechanic into SOTL, so I might have a look at that to see how he did it and whether it would be in any way transferable. I’ll report back with findings later. For now, we’ll assume I can’t use it and continue batting around the service level idea.
User avatar
phkb
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Posts: 4573
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:37 pm
Location: Writing more OXPs, because the world needs more OXPs.

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

OK, notes about SotL's witchjump mechanic:

1. It primarily uses HUD elements to communicate alignment to the player. Thus it has a very custom HUD in play. So, if I want to try something funky for planetary landings, I'm going to have to come up with a system that will work with any HUD. Or have a custom HUD that I switch to when the docking "process" starts. I'm not a huge fan of that, mainly because none of the other docking processes requires a different HUD, so it would feel a bit weird.

2. It does what I had thought it might do, in that, when you initiate a jump, it actually cancels the normal jump process. It puts a "jump" fx in front of the player, reveals the custom HUD dials and the player then manipulates the controls to achieve the correct alignment. Once that alignment is achieved, the actual jump is performed, but not by the player ship. If creates a small entity at a specific position and tells it to exit the system for your destination. That creates a wormhole. Then it moves the player ship into the wormhole, which avoids the issue with having a jump countdown start at the end.

There had been some discussion about extracting this custom jump system and turning it into an OXP. To which the answer is... probably. I'm not looking at doing this in the short term, but if someone wants to give it a go, I can give them some pointers. Maybe in another thread, though!

What this means for PlanetFall, however, is that I'm not going to do anything with some sort of skill-based docking process at the present time. It's a bit too much work for what I want to achieve right now.
User avatar
Redspear
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2635
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:22 pm

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:02 am
Here’s a tweak:...
By utilising the built in service level, we automatically fit in an existing game system, and the penalties that are associated with it.
It's still credits though isn't it? It's just changing when you pay.

To be fair, it's quite logical that atmospheric entry might cause unusual wear and tear and so a heat shield might be a good idea but I'm straying very much into why territory.

The adder was granted a heat shield in oolite, as the only ship from the elite manual that referenced a planetary landing capability. Does it need to be any more complicated than that?

The heat shield is already of limited use unless you're in a particularly slow ship (and sun-skimming itself is of limited use), so is this a way to make it more interesting?

Similar could be said for the Docking Computers but then docking is a much more common activity.

Planetary landing capability? What would that represent in terms od a purchase exactly? The ship likely already has landing gear of some sort in order to berth at a station and is by necessity air tight, so...?

Of course, you can make up whatever you want and attach whatever reason but my suggestion here is that if you're tying it to any piece of equipment then I would suggest that heat shielding is the outstanding candidate. Docking computers is slightly confusing in its association (only slightly, granted) and PLC is already so vague that you're considering changing the name.

Heat shielding is a not inconsiderable investment for the starting player, maybe that's plenty when...
phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:02 am
My intention is to make planetary landings possible right from the start of a new game, and hopefully desirable as well (but we’ll see how those plans develop).
Unless particularly enticing then why not save up and reduce the risks?
If particularly enticing then very much likely there goes balance out of that there window...

The suggested damage mechanic is one that I'm liking less the more I think about it. Functionally it makes landing less attractive without investment (more cost).

Docking Computers do make docking safer but its soon just about convenience, not damage. Similarly heat shielding was to make it less likely you'd die when sun-skimming, not less likely to invoke maintenance.

Both of those things also have gameplay attached to them. Landing without the relevant suite of equipment isn't adding risk as such, it's adding financial expense, or if you prefer: the risk of financial expense.
User avatar
phkb
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Impressively Grand Sub-Admiral
Posts: 4573
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:37 pm
Location: Writing more OXPs, because the world needs more OXPs.

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

Redspear wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:57 am
If particularly enticing then very much likely there goes balance out of that there window...
There might be a bit of enticing involved. I was more thinking along the lines of "as a regular part of normal play", rather than the Oolite equivalent of a K-Mart red light special.

You make a good point about the need for any equipment other than a heat shield. Why complicate the equipment equation more than what we already have?
User avatar
hiran
Theorethicist
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:39 pm
Location: a parallel world I created for myself. Some call it a singularity...

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by hiran »

phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:02 am
While I like the idea of some form of skill-based docking, I’m not sure if I can make something like that happen. Cim put in a skill-based witchjump mechanic into SOTL, so I might have a look at that to see how he did it and whether it would be in any way transferable. I’ll report back with findings later. For now, we’ll assume I can’t use it and continue batting around the service level idea.
Thanks. I'm already happy you are considering it. :-)
Sunshine - Moonlight - Good Times - Oolite
User avatar
hiran
Theorethicist
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:39 pm
Location: a parallel world I created for myself. Some call it a singularity...

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by hiran »

phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:54 am
What this means for PlanetFall, however, is that I'm not going to do anything with some sort of skill-based docking process at the present time. It's a bit too much work for what I want to achieve right now.
Ack!
Sunshine - Moonlight - Good Times - Oolite
User avatar
hiran
Theorethicist
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:39 pm
Location: a parallel world I created for myself. Some call it a singularity...

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by hiran »

Redspear wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:57 am
phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:02 am
Here’s a tweak:...
By utilising the built in service level, we automatically fit in an existing game system, and the penalties that are associated with it.
It's still credits though isn't it? It's just changing when you pay.

To be fair, it's quite logical that atmospheric entry might cause unusual wear and tear and so a heat shield might be a good idea but I'm straying very much into why territory.

The adder was granted a heat shield in oolite, as the only ship from the elite manual that referenced a planetary landing capability. Does it need to be any more complicated than that?

The heat shield is already of limited use unless you're in a particularly slow ship (and sun-skimming itself is of limited use), so is this a way to make it more interesting?
With this reasoning you justify where a docking computer comes in handy. It keeps the ship at the optimum descent path so wear and damage are at minimum. But the same would be true if a skilled pilot would follow that same descent path.
Redspear wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:57 am
Planetary landing capability? What would that represent in terms od a purchase exactly? The ship likely already has landing gear of some sort in order to berth at a station and is by necessity air tight, so...?
While the landing gear is required in the end, going through the atmosphere requires an aerodynamic shape and a heat shield.
Redspear wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:57 am
Both of those things also have gameplay attached to them. Landing without the relevant suite of equipment isn't adding risk as such, it's adding financial expense, or if you prefer: the risk of financial expense.
I believe landing without heat shield will heat up the ship too much - it will take serious damage, maybe even beyond repair.
Such chance of damage would be considerably less if you have a docking computer. And here my thoughts go parallel with phkb's.
Sunshine - Moonlight - Good Times - Oolite
User avatar
Redspear
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2635
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:22 pm

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:32 am
There might be a bit of enticing involved. I was more thinking along the lines of "as a regular part of normal play", rather than the Oolite equivalent of a K-Mart red light special.
Right, that's what I'm wary of. But if an additional cost is involved then that would need to be compensated in the player's calculations (or enticement if you prefer). Once the player has the equipment (and therefore removed the additional associated costs) then the level of enticement has gone up.

It needn't be a problem, I don't think but it easilly could be.

phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:32 am
You make a good point about the need for any equipment other than a heat shield. Why complicate the equipment equation more than what we already have?
I must also confess to being partially averse to adding more equipment items to the game but if we don't need them then...

hiran wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:46 am
With this reasoning you justify where a docking computer comes in handy. It keeps the ship at the optimum descent path so wear and damage are at minimum. But the same would be true if a skilled pilot would follow that same descent path.
My point was that you might NEED the heat shielding in order to facilitate planetary landing, not just that it might be 'handy', or if so then only in the sense that it might be 'handy' if you survuved the descent :D

There's an argument for lots of things to be useful: shield boosters ('bird' strikes), landing permits (fine suppressants), auto-translaters (for alien planets), camouflage integument adapter (to avoid hostility in the open) etc. etc. but how complicated do we want this to be? Some of that might sound cool but how does any of it help? I tend to see complexity as the cost of implementation, not the reward - it often comes at the cost of imagination too...

hiran wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:46 am
While the landing gear is required in the end, going through the atmosphere requires an aerodynamic shape and a heat shield.
So it reshapes the hull? I'm guessing that I'm not following you here :?

hiran wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:46 am
I believe landing without heat shield will heat up the ship too much - it will take serious damage, maybe even beyond repair.
Such chance of damage would be considerably less if you have a docking computer. And here my thoughts go parallel with phkb's.
The first sentence has a good argument associated with it in terms of gameplay I think (an easily understandable unlock to planetary landing), the second much less so (if we already have an enabling device then...)

Consider docking at a station itself: the docking computers actually control your speed, roll, pitch and communication with the station. Do we need four seperate items for that? How might it help if we had them? Rename or consider heat shielding as 'Atmospheric Approach Suite' if you like but otherwise it's an exercise in logistics rather than gameplay I think.
User avatar
cbr
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1374
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:24 pm

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by cbr »

phkb wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:54 am
1. It primarily uses HUD elements to communicate alignment to the player. Thus it has a very custom HUD in play. So, if I want to try something funky for planetary landings, I'm going to have to come up with a system that will work with any HUD. Or have a custom HUD that I switch to when the docking "process" starts. I'm not a huge fan of that, mainly because none of the other docking processes requires a different HUD, so it would feel a bit weird.

2. It does what I had thought it might do, in that, when you initiate a jump, it actually cancels the normal jump process. It puts a "jump" fx in front of the player, reveals the custom HUD dials and the player then manipulates the controls to achieve the correct alignment. Once that alignment is achieved, the actual jump is performed, but not by the player ship. If creates a small entity at a specific position and tells it to exit the system for your destination. That creates a wormhole. Then it moves the player ship into the wormhole, which avoids the issue with having a jump countdown start at the end.

There had been some discussion about extracting this custom jump system and turning it into an OXP. To which the answer is... probably. I'm not looking at doing this in the short term, but if someone wants to give it a go, I can give them some pointers. Maybe in another thread, though!
Aw, beyond the scope of 2.0 then ;)

Without skill what controls the damages? random , installed protective equipment etc.
Mechanics a la https://www.spronck.net/spacetrader/STScreenshots.html

If skilled landing is currently not on the radar then just drop penalties and thelike and focus on smooth visual transitions and interesting contracts...
User avatar
Cholmondely
Archivist
Archivist
Posts: 4933
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:00 am
Location: The Delightful Domains of His Most Britannic Majesty (industrial? agricultural? mainly anything?)
Contact:

Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Cholmondely »

Redspear wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:57 am
To be fair, it's quite logical that atmospheric entry might cause unusual wear and tear and so a heat shield might be a good idea but I'm straying very much into why territory.
I understood phkb's avoidance of "why" as being focused on our discussion of "why" would one want to land on a planet.

I feel that that "why" discussion is important. I also do not think it relevant to what Phkb is currently doing with this OXP.



BUT.

Landing on planets involves coping with atmosphere and with gravity. Flying in space from station to station does not.

Most ships will not be equipped to land on planets. It is much cheaper not to include this while building a spaceship.

For planet landing one needs:
*Engines capable of overcoming the gravity well (Oolite "magics" this away and Planet Fall v1.0 includes a booster)
*Atmospheric friction resistance
*Heat resistance
*Design (Engine, life support systems, packing of cargo holds, etc.) to cope with substantial levels of Gravity (safely ignorable in space)

Wheels designed for use in a space station would be much cheaper than those designed for planetary landing. Windows (if such really exist) designed for use in space would be much cheaper than those designed for planetary landing. The doors of the cargo bay. Et cetera.

A ship designed purely for flying in space can have all sorts of things attached outside which are not atmosphere-friction resistant. And some atmospheres may well contain acidic gasses or other damaging agents which lobsters and lizards might just ignore, but spaceship materials might not be able to (Larais?).

And then there is the landing itself, where the skills involved might well differ from those for docking at a station. Effects of gravity. Effects of weather. Effects of friction/heat. Et cetera.

(Presumably landing on SW Economy "Mining Economy" planets don't involve atmosphere issues - and ditto for moons)
Comments wanted:
Missing OXPs? What do you think is missing?
Lore: The economics of ship building How many built for Aronar?
Lore: The Space Traders Flight Training Manual: Cowell & MgRath Do you agree with Redspear?
Post Reply