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Planetfall 2.0 (apparently)

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Planetfall 2.0 (apparently)

Post by phkb »

Soooooo.....

PlanetFall. A lot of players like being able to "land" on planets. However, there's a couple of things about the implementation that I find annoying and immersion-breaking.
1. Where you land is almost complete random. You could land, then launch, immediately turn around and land again, and be somewhere different. I know some players liked the uncertainty of this, but to me it just feels off. You're rolling a dice to find out where you land.
2. The markets are broken. Even with Norby's "Planetfall Markets" fix, all you get is a copy of the main station market.
3. You can't save the game while planetside (this is a big issue to me).
4. As noted by other players, the maintenance costs don't align with the rest of the game.

So, I'm having a go at reworking this to address all the above issues and more. If things go according to plan, the "docking sequence" should even change depending on whether you're on the dark side of the planet or not.

Stranger created an alternate version of this which he called "PlanetLand", that addresses point 1 and at least some of point 2. For anyone who have used that OXP, did the markets feel fixed? If so, I will leverage some of that work when dealing with the markets in PlanetFall.

But before I push my vision of this OXP on the world, are there any strong feelings about keeping the original version as is. Should this be an upgrade, or an alternative to the original? I'm happy to go either way. If we want to keep the original as-is, I could release an update to PlanetFall Markets which restores the original market calcs. Let me know what you think.
Last edited by phkb on Fri Apr 19, 2024 3:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Cholmondely »

phkb wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:33 am
Soooooo.....

PlanetFall. A lot of players like being able to "land" on planets. However, there's a couple of things about the implementation that I find annoying and immersion-breaking.
1. Where you land is almost complete random. You could land, then launch, immediately turn around and land again, and be somewhere different. I know some players liked the uncertainty of this, but to me it just feels off. You'll rolling a dice to find out where you land.
2. The markets are broken. Even with Norby's "Planetfall Markets" fix, all you get is a copy of the main station market.
3. You can't save the game while planetside (this is a big issue to me).
4. As noted by other players, the maintenance costs don't align with the rest of the game.

So, I'm having a go at reworking this to address all the above issues and more. If things go according to plan, the "docking sequence" should even change depending on whether you're on the dark side of the planet or not.

Stranger created a alternate version this which he called "PlanetLand", that addresses point 1 and at least some of point 2. For anyone who have used that OXP, did the markets feel fixed? If so, I will leverage some of that work when dealing with the markets in PlanetFall.

But before I push my vision of this OXP on the world, are there any strong feelings about keeping the original version as is. Should this be an upgrade, or an alternative to the original? I'm happy to go either way. If we want to keep the original as-is, I could release an update to PlanetFall Markets which restores the original market calcs. Let me know what you think.
1) Superb! Totally behind you! More power to your elbows! Agree totally on ridiculous randomness of landings.

2) No idea about Stranger's planetside markets. All I ever did was gaze at the scenery! Sorry. (Ask him?)

3) No strong feelings about replacing PlanetFall. But it should remain available for those wanting to play Oolite v.1.77.1

4) DGill's work on Feudal States involves traveling from the Space Port to the Royal Palace (currently with some dozen or so textual descriptions). He has also generated almost 20 scenes depicting this (including specific ones for Aronar, Tibecea & Digebiti). What you are proposing might affect his plans!

5) Maintenance Costs. I feel that these should be astronomical - as they are. The friction involved in fighting one's way through the planet atmosphere. (They should also be astronomical for flying through the asteroid belts and probably also for sun-skimming). The problem is, that unless you are visiting a feudal (Gentlemen! Curtail your enthusiasm! It is most unbefitting.), there is little point in landing on the planet.

6) Reminder: Beetle Bethlehem introduced Role-Playing stats (Hit points/health/more on reputation etc) in LitF

7) How will you tackle the various different planet textures for the same planet? Vanilla Lave, Povray Lave, FPO Lave, Phkb Lave, Lave is Earth...



References:
1) DGill's Digebiti scene (Lesser Walsingham)
Image


2) One of Roolite's members produced this for Stranger's World PlanetLand. Apparently it does not do anything (merely eye-candy) - but that might be fixable now with Oolite v.1.90!

Image
Image
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?
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Cholmondely »

Sorry - forgot to link in this:
Eric Walch wrote: Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:53 am
Thargoid wrote:
.... would suffer from the same issue as Eric's thoughts on a landing strip, in scale terms if you could see it on the planet, it would be hoooooooooooooooooooooooooge!
I disagree. A landing strip can me made quite small at a realistic size.

Just to show a landing strip can be made and need not to be huge I added it to thargoid's planetfall.oxp.

- Below every mainstation it adds a landingstrip. Just launch and head towards the surface (don't hit the buoy please!).
- Halfway the surface your radar will pick up the tower near the strip.
- The strip itself will be hidden by clouds. At a height of a few hundreds meter you will break through the clouds and see the tower with strip.
- Landing speed must be below 30% of maximum speed and landing angle should be less than 45 degree.
- I didn't add a distance check so you still can ignore the strip and land everywhere. Just watch your speed and angle.

Planetfall.oxp with landingstrip

EDIT:
I forgot. My added code only works with 1.72. (It could even can crash 1.71)
Somebody might have a copy of it stashed away somewhere.
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?
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:12 am
I feel that these should be astronomical - as they are. The friction involved in fighting one's way through the planet atmosphere. (They should also be astronomical for flying through the asteroid belts and probably also for sun-skimming).
The problem is that normal gameplay changes one maintenance value (ie your entire ship), and this OXP is just damaging the planetfall equipment. I think it would make more sense to remove the custom maintenance value, and apply the change to your ship's maintenance value. That keeps the game more consistent.

Plus, if someone wants to come along later and make things harder by making various activities have more of a negative impact on your maintenance level, they then don't have to worry about a separate value from this OXP.
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:12 am
3) No strong feelings about replacing PlanetFall. But it should remain available for those wanting to play Oolite v.1.77.1
The old version will always remain available on the wiki.
Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:12 am
4) DGill's work on Feudal States involves traveling from the Space Port to the Royal Palace (currently with some dozen or so textual descriptions). He has also generated almost 20 scenes depicting this (including specific ones for Aronar, Tibecea & Digebiti). What you are proposing might affect his plans!
This shouldn't impact that work at all. From the look, he's using a mission screen, presumably *after* you've docked. That's perfect - nothing needs to be changed.
Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:12 am
7) How will you tackle the various different planet textures for the same planet? Vanilla Lave, Povray Lave, FPO Lave, Phkb Lave, Lave is Earth...
At the moment, the landing points are randomly positioned at various points around the planet or moon, so the underlying texture is irrelevant. I'm using the External Docking System to create the docking point, so there's a blue flasher in low orbit, which you approach and when you're close enough you are docked.

I'm not planning to go down the "let's give the docking point a geostationary orbit", at least not in the first version of this rework. My handwavium is "The flasher represents the entry point to the automated planetary docking control, which is kept in a fixed position to ease traffic complexity in the upper atmosphere. When engaged, you are guided through the lower atmosphere and into your docking berth."
Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:12 am
The problem is, that unless you are visiting a feudal (Gentlemen! Curtail your enthusiasm! It is most unbefitting.), there is little point in landing on the planet.
Yeah, I was thinking about that. If what I have planned comes together, the landing points will be consistent every time you visit the system. So, for instance, someone could possibly arrange to meet you at a dump site, or in some fields, or wherever. They could even say, "I'll be on the moon", requiring you to dock at each point on the moon to find them. Essentially, this opens up more mission possibilities. At least in my mind it does.

And if the markets were tempting enough, that might also create a reason to visit.
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Nite Owl »

Great ideas. My version uses a Market Script that is very similar to the one available in Stations for Extra Planets. It is based on distance from the Main Station as opposed to being a duplicate of the Main Station. Planetfall Markets caused a bit of a conflict with this and so was removed from the mix. The shipdata.plist also has a few Tweaks. The Maintenance and Equipment Costs multipliers have been removed so that prices are the same as the rest of the system.

Agree that the randomness of the Landing Sites is not an ideal situation. Fixed sites, possibly based on the circumference of the Planet or Moon, would be a very good thing. Provided that the many different types of Landing Sites from the original could be kept. How many Landing sites per Planet or Moon are you thinking of?

Why land on Planets or Moons? With the Station for Extra Planets suite of OXZs in place there is a random element as to how many Planets are generated in a specific system. If this number is low then the number of Stations in orbit above them will be low. Combine this with Market Quantity randomness and The Player may not be able to fill their Cargo Hold in that specific system. Never liked the idea of having to jump to multiple systems to fill my Cargo Hold. So in a system with these conditions Planetary and Lunar Landings become a viable alternative. The possibility of Mission Specific landing reasons would be an even greater incentive. Saving the game at Planetfall locations would be a great addition to this OXZ if a way can be found to make the many possible landing sites Deterministic.

Looking forward to this with much anticipation.
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

phkb wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:33 am
Soooooo.....

PlanetFall. A lot of players like being able to "land" on planets. However, there's a couple of things about the implementation that I find annoying and immersion-breaking.
1. Where you land is almost complete random. You could land, then launch, immediately turn around and land again, and be somewhere different. I know some players liked the uncertainty of this, but to me it just feels off. You're rolling a dice to find out where you land.
2. The markets are broken. Even with Norby's "Planetfall Markets" fix, all you get is a copy of the main station market.
3. You can't save the game while planetside (this is a big issue to me).
4. As noted by other players, the maintenance costs don't align with the rest of the game.
By far the biggest one for me is none of these but rather why would the player want to go there in the first place?
There's a fairly obvious answer: 'to earn credits' but the problem is that it's very low risk.

There's no spacelane to travel down, very low chance of piracy and the when you get there you find another market to exploit.
Problem #4 of your summary exists partly because of this I think - it was otherwise too easy to make money.

There was another oxp that interacted with it by offering simple taxi missions to a nearby planet or moon. Quite nice but fares need to be kept relatively low or else why leave the system to make money?

One way of looking at that example is as a mission destination and that's fine, there's lots of potential to use planetfall for missions but for markets I'd be very wary. Personally, having thought about it for quite a while, I think I'd have passenger missions be only available from the planet surface. I mean, if they've already made it to the station then they've already employed some transport to get there, right? So maybe that was the taxi to the airport but if players are going to be landing on planets then the plane is already headed to the planet.

Then the player would have both a why and a when to head to the planet. The why being a particular (inter-system) mission/contract type and the when being whenever they felt like doing that particular mission type

phkb wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:33 am
But before I push my vision of this OXP on the world, are there any strong feelings about keeping the original version as is. Should this be an upgrade, or an alternative to the original? I'm happy to go either way. If we want to keep the original as-is, I could release an update to PlanetFall Markets which restores the original market calcs. Let me know what you think.
If you're going to have a reason to go there other than a special mission, I'd advise care re risk:reward. If you balance it without risk changing then it's hardly worth going. If you make the reward interesting without increasing risk then it's hardly worth leaving the first high tech system the player finds themself in. Thus my suggestions above - IMHO planetfall doesn't suit a conventional market. Happy to be persuaded otherwise but that's yet to happen.
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

Redspear wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:11 pm
IMHO planetfall doesn't suit a conventional market. Happy to be persuaded otherwise but that's yet to happen.
Unless, of course, some systems didn't have a station...
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Cholmondely »

Proposed Eschatology


Backdrop:

GalCop's general loss of control as Thargoid & Pirate attacks increase and funding cut as trade lessens and systems stop paying them so much dosh.



Future History:

1) Current Anarchy Coriolis

2) Redspear's "Solo" ProtoCoriolis with burgeoning maintenance issues as GalCop starts to run out of dosh

3) Phkb's captured Coriolis controlled by pirates (pretty picture)

4) Coriolis destroyed by GalCop police and there is now no dosh to rebuild (the Rock Hermit replacement is a laughable travesty - limited markets with profit-destroying prices, crummy shipyard).

5) Then relatively wealthy but defenceless RH also destroyed by pirates/Thargoids.

Thus one ends with Redspear's jaunts down to the planet surface instead. And with pirates wandering over to say "Hello" and make life more interesting!

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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?
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Redspear »

Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:23 pm
Thus one ends with Redspear's jaunts down to the planet surface instead. And with pirates wandering over to say "Hello" and make life more interesting!
If the station were gone then you don't need to add any extra pirates (unless they were launching from there) rather you'd meet them travelling from the witchpoint as per usual.

With or without the advanced space compass the player near enough traverses the space lane anyway. The compass would however have a potential issue identifying a landing spot on the far side of a planet.

When following the compass but getting closer to the surface, it's easy to intuit that the station must be on the other side of the planet. With a surface site however, this isn't very easy to intuit at all.
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Cholmondely »

Redspear wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 4:16 pm
Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:23 pm
Thus one ends with Redspear's jaunts down to the planet surface instead. And with pirates wandering over to say "Hello" and make life more interesting!
If the station were gone then you don't need to add any extra pirates (unless they were launching from there) rather you'd meet them travelling from the witchpoint as per usual.

With or without the advanced space compass the player near enough traverses the space lane anyway. The compass would however have a potential issue identifying a landing spot on the far side of a planet.

When following the compass but getting closer to the surface, it's easy to intuit that the station must be on the other side of the planet. With a surface site however, this isn't very easy to intuit at all.
I'd presumed that pirates were mostly based in anarchies. Some on the planet surface, many on Rock Hermits and with just a handful masquerading as innocents at the GalCop Main Orbitals. Where do your pirates operate out of, Redspear?

Reference: Carver's Anarchy
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?
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:23 pm
Coriolis destroyed by GalCop police and there is now no dosh to rebuild (the Rock Hermit replacement is a laughable travesty - limited markets with profit-destroying prices, crummy shipyard).
If we were to head down this route, the "Planetary Landing Capability" equipment item would have to go - otherwise some pilots wouldn't be able to land. Which I'm OK with, but just thought I'd mention it. I mean, our default ships, without even heat shielding, can get up close and personal *with the sun*. A slow, controlled re-entry to a planet's atmosphere would hardly seem problematic.

Confusingly, PlanetFall forces you to have the equipment item even when landing on moons *that don't have an atmosphere*!
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by Cholmondely »

phkb wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 10:20 pm
Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:23 pm
Coriolis destroyed by GalCop police and there is now no dosh to rebuild (the Rock Hermit replacement is a laughable travesty - limited markets with profit-destroying prices, crummy shipyard).
If we were to head down this route, the "Planetary Landing Capability" equipment item would have to go - otherwise some pilots wouldn't be able to land. Which I'm OK with, but just thought I'd mention it. I mean, our default ships, without even heat shielding, can get up close and personal *with the sun*. A slow, controlled re-entry to a planet's atmosphere would hardly seem problematic.

Confusingly, PlanetFall forces you to have the equipment item even when landing on moons *that don't have an atmosphere*!
I beg, Sir, to disagree.

So some ships cannot land. Then they cannot land. Real Life does not try to be fair. Nor should Oolite (Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Dizzy/Disembodied). And it would lead to even greater profits for the handful of ships who can evade the pirates (no GalCop any longer unless there is a sentinel station) and have landing gear as the planet's markets reacted to the loss of trade.

As regards Moons, PlanetFall's strictures seem fair enough as the cost involves landing equipment (wheels?) as well as legal permissions. But what happens in a more vanilla flavoured Oolite if one lands on a moon without PlanetFall loaded?
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?
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by cbr »

phkb wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 10:20 pm
If we were to head down this route, the "Planetary Landing Capability" equipment item would have to go - otherwise some pilots wouldn't be able to land. Which I'm OK with, but just thought I'd mention it. I mean, our default ships, without even heat shielding, can get up close and personal *with the sun*. A slow, controlled re-entry to a planet's atmosphere would hardly seem problematic.
Yes
Confusingly, PlanetFall forces you to have the equipment item even when landing on moons *that don't have an atmosphere*!
No

What will be the overall purpose? more attractive contracts?

Perhaps a landing simulation aka project spacestation, all ships can land but requires some skill...

better prices because of the risks of atmospheric entry

New equipment --> landing winglets ;)


Pursue your own route and call it/this 'Planetlandings' or 'PHKB's Planetlandings and Economic Enhancements'

Personally looking forward to land again :)
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Re: Planetfall 2.0 (maybe)

Post by phkb »

Cholmondely wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 10:42 pm
But what happens in a more vanilla flavoured Oolite if one lands on a moon without PlanetFall loaded?
Assuming you have the extra planets/moons...

Crater.
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