Ask our designer: Pete Mackay

  • holoKitten

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    Hello Mr. Mackay.
    I wanted to ask yet another question about the Constellation (she's such a diva ship..)

    We know for a fact that the game won't feature in-atmosphere flight at launch, and that landing procedures will be automated; yet, I've noticed that the Constellation features various VTOL ports around it.

    Are these for aesthetic use only, for the landing "cinematics"? Or what else would we use them for?

    Thanks in advance (:

    For now they're just a bit of animation for the takeoff/landing sequences.
  • holoKitten

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    Hello Pete,

    I was directed by Nate Blaisdell to ask you this question. Thanks Pete.

    Nate Blaisdell's response:

    devoinc Posted: 9:29pm Sep 16, 2013
    [127th] T.C. McQueen | TC_McQueen said:
    Hello Nate,

    2 questions:

    1.) What fuel, if any, does the Quantum drive use to power the ship at 0.2c across a system.
    2.) Is it possible to put a quantum drive and a jump drive on the same ship at the same time or do they occupy the same hardpoint
    on the drive line of the ship?

    Nate Blaisdell's response: 'I'm not sure....Pete would be an excellent person to ask though.'

    We don't really have anything called a quantum drive, but it sounds like you're talking about the as-yet-unnamed fast travel/autopilot system. Fast travel wont require any specialized hardware, and will use the standard fuel consumption rates for your ship. So yes, you will be able to have fast travel AND jump point capabilities on your ship! :)
  • holoKitten

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    Hey guys.... kudos on a wonderful journey thus far. I've never had so much fun playing a game that i've not 'actually' played yet... :)

    Design question: will there be an opportunity down the road to have some sort of in-game browser? Matter of fact, i don't really need or want the ability to visit regular pages on the www as long as I can access this site 'in some form or fashion' where i can read and interact with the community on the forums during long trips.

    I believe there is a plan to extend website functionality into the game, but that is all being tackled by our internal web team for now so I don't have too many details for you.
  • holoKitten

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    Hi!

    Quick and to the point. Which ships can dock inside an Idris?

    Thanks for your work and for your reply.

    The only ones that I know fit for certain are the Aurora and the Hornet. I think the 300i might fit as well but don't take that as law :) Whether or not the Gladiator fits depends on its final dimensions after modelling.
    Thanks!. Hopefully a Cutlass will make it in as well or is that one just to long and too wide?
    Its hard to say right now. The Cutlass hasn't been modeled yet but I get the feeling its going to be slightly larger than I was expecting. If you ask Mark he might be able to do a quick and dirty check to see if it will fit. As long as it physically fits in the hangar bay with enough room to walk around it without getting hung up on geometry then we'll allow it from the design side.
  • holoKitten

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    Hello Pete,

    I have a few questions:
    300i, I have noticed that the doors have different opening angles. Is this intentional?

    Constellation, how do you eject from it?


    Thank you for taking the time to answering these questions.

    Best regards, Grolim

    As it stands you cant 'eject' from the constellation, but the bunks double as life pods.
  • holoKitten

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    I don't know if this is your department, but I would like to make a suggestion for the face tracking system. For support of the Occulus rift during face tracking, could there be an option to run an "idle animation" for the eye position / blinking? That could get around Wingman's answer of painting non-blinking eyeballs on the front. Running a pre-recorded animation for eye movement may seem odd, but it is better than non-blinking / t-positioned eyeballs.

    This is a good suggestion to send to Jason Spangler. Peripheral support is firmly in his court. :)
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Hello Pete,

    Besides swapping piloting roles, I wonder if ships with more than one seat in the cockpit could allow for different players managing diferents systems of the ship. Say, we have six players inside a Constellation; two of them are manning both turrets, the third is crewing the P-52 snubfighter, and the fourth is piloting the ship from the captain's seat. This leaves two players sitting in the cockpit doing nothing. Could one of them be managing the secondary weapons (missiles and rockets, maybe even targetting them onto different ships than the pilot has targetted himself), and the last player playing the "engineering role", managing the power distribution system and setting priorities for repairing damaged systems?

    To implement this system, and avoid players swapping "crew roles" suddenly, the assignment of which cockpit seat is managing what could be an exclusive prerrogative of the captain, with the captain's seat being the only station equipped with some "master control system" that is employed to assign what systems (piloting, secondary weapons, power distribution, communications, repairs prioritization...) can be managed from each station (and two avoid two players being able to pilot the ship at the same time!).

    Gameplay wise, I think that distributing different systems between different players would require a lot of coordination between them, and all the cockpit funcions being managed by only one player will be faster and more efficient... but the option to be able to have three players inside the same cockpit with each one managing different systems of the ship would add a lot to immersion, and can result in some memorable scenes (and some memorable disputes if the players can't coordinate properly: "All shields to fore! I said all shields to fore!" "¡Don't waste missiles at this distance, damn it!" "Who's the genious who thought it was a good idea putting vital support lowest in the repairs priority list?").

    So, have you thought about implementing something similar to the idea I am exposing? Or the cockpit stations would be limited to only one functional station doing everything from there?

    I think you'll like our multi-crew gameplay when we're ready to show them off!
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Hi Pete!

    I know this has nothing to do with ship systems, or mining, but you seem to enjoy a bit of banter on "fun things" and general design, so I figure you wont chase me off.

    With the advent of the "planetside combat" bit some of my old Freelancer vet chums got around to talking about where things like that would have been fun in that title. Something that occurred was the world of Gaia, an "off limits" planet of incredible alien biodiversity which was frequently subject to poaching, and preventing the same.

    It makes me wonder if there might not be something to the idea of dodging patrols, pulling off a clandestine landing and doing a bit of "big game hunting" for fun and profit and then smuggling your ill achieved gains back to whatever despicable, but loaded, gentleman is paying premium for powdered Ent testicle or some wealthy industrialist on Terra that might pay top dollar for a rare cat thing found in a restricted alien world. That kind of thing.

    Might be a fun way to incorporate another dimension to the planetside bit!

    Haha I like it! Big Game Hunter in spaaaaaaace!
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Hi HoloKitten:

    Would it be possible going forward to try to design ships and vehicles with as few "boarding" animation sequences as possible? I think that it really breaks immersion to "lose control" of my character and have him run on auto pilot when he completes an animation.

    It is OK to animate getting in and out of a "pilot seat" and I understand the need to "plug in" to the controls of a ship.

    But it is REALLY annoying to have to animate just to get on an elevator or to get in a ship like the Connie. All ships should have a ramp or similar "non-animated" access path.

    This will also make it much smoother when you add FPS combat-- it is going to be really really awkward if you have to animate transitions while people are fighting...

    What do you think?

    I'd send this over to Mark Skelton or Chris Olivia. They're the ones best able to address art related feedback :)
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Its hard to say right now. The Cutlass hasn't been modeled yet but I get the feeling its going to be slightly larger than I was expecting. If you ask Mark he might be able to do a quick and dirty check to see if it will fit. As long as it physically fits in the hangar bay with enough room to walk around it without getting hung up on geometry then we'll allow it from the design side.

    Hi Pete. About this statement...

    Is there an estimate right now on its size or dimensions? Either absolute or relative? If there is no L x W x H, something like "a bit bigger than Y" or "a bit smaller than X"?

    (I ask, as I have a disdain for larger crafts)
    Not really sure. Patrick Thomas is modelling the Cutlass as we speak, but he doesn't work in this office and I haven't seen the asset personally (except for WIP screenshots). We should be able to tell you once its finished, but right now I just don't know. Sorry!
  • holoKitten

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    I was wondering if there would be a gyroscopic camera/aiming system while in the cockpit?

    In most first person views the camera view is locked to the cockpit/player, so when they recieve a bump the camera also gets bumped, while in 3rd person view the camera tends to stay steady during shakes and bumps.

    In real life our eyes are basically gyroscopes and they are unaffected by shakes and bumps, so having the camera system shake and move what we are looking at on screen is not realistic and is disorientating. If you bounce in your chair and move around while looking at something your eyes adjust and keep you locked on what youre looking at.

    example:

    If we were sitting in the cockpit and our ship received a bump from enemy fire I think it would look kind of like this
    j00.gif

    What most games would do is this which isnt realistic and makes flying in turbulence a pain (and is the main reason I turn off first person driving in racing games)
    qrh.gif

    Im mainly talking about standard bumps and turbulence, if the ship gets hit hard enough there would only be so much your eyes can absorb.

    As far as aiming goes tanks use a gyroscope system to absorb bumps and keep the aiming on target, is there anything like that for the guns that arent fixed?
    char-blinde-t-80-tir-video.gif


    You make a good point! Camera functionality is all dictated by the engineers and they might be thinking along these lines already but I'll be sure to mention it to them. Something like this might also have ramifications for the Rift implementation so I think its worth looking into. Thanks for providing the animations, they really help illustrate the issue!

    To answer your second question, I believe turrets are stabilized as in short clip you provided (although as we don't currently have a fully functional turret on any of our ships right now I can't test the behavior in the game). I'm definitely in agreement that we need it in any case, otherwise it would be REAAAAAAALLY difficult for a turret gunner to hit anything while the pilot was careening around space!
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Hi Pete,

    I have somes little question about NPC wingmen from character slot.

    If i have 3 characters slots. My main, one with ship and another without. Can i hire the second with this ship as an escort for my first ? If i want play with the third, can my first give a ship to him or play with him as crewmen for an npc or other player in order to buy his first ship ?

    Will other player be able to know my first character and my second are tied to the same account ?


    Cheer,
    Caer.


    Love your username! I can't 100% confirm that this will be in the game but we are definitely discussing it (in fact I just discussed with Rob as I was typing this reply). I'd put this one in 'most likely, but unconfirmed'. :)
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Hi Pete

    Can you tell us a little bit about how many real locations the Sol System will have? I imagine there will be all 8 planets plus Pluto and our moon. But will there be all 130+ moons around Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus? Will we maybe see the other large dwarf planets like Ceres, Eris, Sedena, and the 4 or 5 others?

    Cheers!

    Personally I'd love to see all of this stuff in the game, and maybe one day we can build out many of these locations (I have a particular fondness for Ganymede as it is the location for the opening act of the Sega Genesis game Target Earth). We'll have a good selection of moons but probably not all of them. At least not to begin with.
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Hello Pete,

    I wanted to know what you thought of my idea for having the ability for an Organization (Guild/Squadron) leader to establish an 'Organization Tax' by which all endeavors/transactions that the members of his/her Organization makes UEC Credits from has whatever that % setting value of each transaction goes to the 'Organization Treasury'. Thus, an Organization tax. This would be set at the time of the Organizations creation but before prospective players are able to join. This way when players are invited to join the Organization by the leader the 'Organization Tax' is shown to the prospect so that he/she can determine if they 'agree' to the tax (a requirement to join). This way it cannot be questioned once they join.

    Every multiplayer game that I have played which contains Organizations/Guilds/Squadrons have this this Organization mechanic feature that the leader has the option of instituting at the organizations creation. This way any 'Organization' has the ability to build an income which can be used for the benefit of the squadron. I really hope this is something that will be instituted in Star Citizen as it is a wonderful mechanic. Please let me know your thoughts of this and is it viable to be in Star Citizen.

    Thank You,


    We've discussed having this feature internally a few times. Off hand I don't see any reason why we couldn't do it, but it hasn't been implemented.

    In the system you're imagining when does a player pay the tax? Is it an income tax, or a sales tax (or both)? Would it apply to players who purchased UEC with real money? Would the guild treasurer be the sole executor of the guild bank account? If not, who would have access to guild coffers? Could the guild change the tax rate after it is initiated? Would members have to vote on the change or would their only recourse be to quit the guild if they didn't agree with the new tax rate?

    Let me know your thoughts, would love to hear them!
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Pete,

    I have been waiting with earnest interest to find out more about how you are going to implement organisations within Star Citizen and was very happy to watch the details of them broadcast from the anniversary gathering.

    However, as a member of an organisation which isn't an organisation I find that we are not included in your top-level organisational categories. We are The Pack. A non-organisation of like minded individuals who want none of the bureaucracy or drama that seems to be part and parcel of normal organisations. At present we are 220-odd members and going strong so it's kinda important for me personally to ask a question or two.

    Please read the first post in our recruitment thread if you have time so that you may understand us in more depth. It's very well written and is a good base for who we are, and more importantly, who we aren't.

    So where are we going to fit in?

    We have no hierarchy. (We have one administrator but thats just for record keeping)
    We have no agenda or affiliation.
    We do what we like when we want and have only one rule.

    We will encompass all of the top-level categories currently shown and obviously we cannot be in all of them at once. Pinning us down to one category, be that Private Military or Religious for example will undoubtedly fracture us irrevocably and will probably lead to our disbanding.

    Is there no room for an all encompassing category? Something along the lines of an free association? Would it be possible to create something that is not so well defined if only in name?

    I know that this may seem a strange idea at first and I grant you it does fly in the face of conventional organisation but it works and is working right now. I would urge you to push the boundaries of 'guild' tools just as far as PC technology! I would hate to see one of the most unique, experimental groups of people here scattered to the four winds, doomed to be compliant to some other persons orders and values like so many other games in the past.

    I'm not asking for special treatment, well, maybe a little, but I only plead consideration for us and everyone who shares our ideals. I would like to make this work for all but we will need your help.

    Help us O-Pete-Mackay, you're our only hope...


    This is a totally reasonable request. I'll run it up the chain and see if we can get a 5th type added.
  • holoKitten

    Developer

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    Pete,

    I was out at sea for the past month doing some sonar work, and haven't dropped a question here in a while.

    I've reviewed all of the designer Ask a Developer threads and the back transcripts of Wingman's Hangar, and there was almost no exploration related information released while I was away.

    Can you toss the Exploration community a cookie? Perhaps an update on how sensor design is coming along, how sensor data might be visualized, or what sort of active control over sensor settings we might have?

    V/R,
    Quintero

    So, we just started implementation of the signature and radar system in the engine a week or two ago. At its most basic level it works something like this: A target emits a signature, that signature is modified by environmental effects and any boosting effects such as an extra sensitive radar unit, or an active ping etc. If that signal is over the threshold of a listening device then it is a certain target, if it is under the threshold but under the maximum range of the listening device then it is an uncertain target. The level of uncertainty scales with the difference between the threshold and the the signal.

    The primary method of sensor control will be whether you are using active or passive listening, and setting your focus width. Narrow bands are more sensitive and can detect targets with greater certainty, but their use comes at the cost of creating large radar blind spots. It will be up to you to select the radar mode you want to use in any given scenario. (a tip of the hat to a commenter in this thread who suggested this functionality, proof that we do incorporate your suggestions into our designs!)

    Positional sensor data will primarily take the form of the radar display which is based on and evolved from the Wing Commander style display. Informational sensor data display relies heavily on the HUD/cockpit UI design which is just in its initial research phase.
  • holoKitten

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    Has any thought been given to the possibility of a self destruct? I could see this being useful as a last resort to keep your ship out of pirate hands, or as revenge when you know you are outclassed, and they board your ship...

    I feel like the insurance company probably wouldn't be inclined to pay out a reimbursement if they knew you blew up your own ship ;)

    Whether or not its something we implement hasn't been decided upon just yet.
  • holoKitten

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    Have you guys gotten to the stage where you have to design the basic missiles and stuff?

    Do you have a rough idea of what kind of missiles you want to have in the final game?

    What about time delay missiles that once released, wait for a moment or a signal before they activate and attack the selected target? Great strategy for ships being perused who can drop the missiles and then activate them once the pursuer has passed them.

    And how tenacious can we expect the missiles to be? Will it vary from missile type to missile type?

    Thanks for everything and hope to blow you up in SC or S42 !

    ooh, almost forgot, can we fire attack drones as well?

    The current standard missile guidance systems are Heat Seeking, Friend / Foe, Image Recognition and dumbfire. The missile system is modular so if we decide to add a new guidance behavior down the road it should be relatively easy to do so.

    Missile guidance will use the basic signal system for radar, plus a few extra rules for countermeasures etc. What this means in practice is that it will be important to match the missile type to the targets signature. If your target is pumping out a ton of heat, you'll have the best luck using heat seeking missiles, while targets with a massive cross section signature will be easy targets for Image Recognition missiles. On top of that each missile has a maximum flight time, and missiles at the upper end of the max flight time scale get pretty expensive!
  • holoKitten

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    Hi can you make your own shop and sell stuff to other playas and NPC. Also can you sell stolen good and ships in your own shop.

    Player owned shops will be part of the game, but the ratio of player shops to total number of players will be fairly low. You won't see anything like an ad-hoc bazaar of NPCs standing around in every open space in the game. Store ownership will require actual space in the game, and space is at a premium. What players are able to sell in their shop is still being worked out, but at a minimum you'll be able sell any ship parts you might have in inventory. We still need to work out what happens if you try to sell something stolen!
  • holoKitten

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    Hi, I am a veteran backer with a bounty hunter package which gives me an origin 300i. I have also purchased the 315P and 325A upgrades because I mistakenly thought they were just equipment packages you could install and uninstall on the 300i chassis.

    My question is what is the real difference between the 300i/315P/325A other than installable equipment (ie if you take all installable equipment off each are you left with the same ship?

    Currently the hulls are the same other than paint jobs. The core difference is what gear you start the game with. The 350r has a slightly different hardpoint configuration.

    Edit: I should expand on this a little. Although the 300i, 315p and 325a have the same hardpoint configuration we treat them as separate ships. Each has its own set of XML and LUA files for example. So while they are all currently set up with the same configuration the door is left open to make changes to each individually, should it be necessary.

    I'd like to revisit this question. How could it not be necessary to make these variants different in some way beyond starting load-out? If they really are the same otherwise, then the variants become completely meaningless once the player has access to anything but the most basic starting gear. If the progression in SC is really about customizing your, then ship why bother to make these variants in the first place? Wouldn't that make starting with a more expensive variant a universally bad move?
    While quite a few of the variants are mainly starting package loadouts, some have slightly different statistics. The Aurora LN and the military hornet are good example of this, and in fact the 350r has a subtly different wing from the 300i. The reason for having different starting gear is to allow players to have a ship that might be a bit more suited in one way or another to the gameplay style they want to pursue when they first start the game.

    The other thing to remember is that although we are indeed providing a large number of different parts on the variant ships they are generally all at the very bottom of the the gear table, even the nicer gear on the more expensive ships falls in the bottom third. The way we have designed the parts system provides a large degree of lateral choice in parts.

    We aren't starting players on rung 5 of a single 10 rung ladder. There are many ladders for each part category, and the variants essentially pick a different set of starting ladders and place players on rung 1 or 2.
  • holoKitten

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    Hi!
    I have a ships systems question which is in fact an economy question. :) So if you feel I'm addressing wrong person here, please redirect me.

    Fact №1: SC is being made with the aim to create deep immersion - a believable world in space.
    Fact №2: cargo holds in announced flyable ships are laughingly small. Most of them can carry tens of tons of cargo. Which is an equivalent of 1 loaded truck. Even Starfarer (which is marked as a heavy production ship) wheighs as much as 1 loaded box car of a modern day freight train. And that modern day freight train can have 50 such box cars.

    1 train = 50 Starfarers. Just think about it.

    It doesn't feel right at all, don't you think? And mind you, we are not yet talking about sea freight monsters with countless thousands of effective cargo space.
    Trying to justify cargo missions with such small cargo holds can be really tricky. I mean, even nowadays nobody sends 10000 Vespas to bring ore to a factory. They send some trains. Nobody sends 100000 canoes to Brazil to bring back bananas. 1 dry cargo ship can do it easily instead.

    Trying to satisfy some space colony needs with Freelancers and even Starfarers is pretty much the same: suggested cargo holds for SC ships right now can count as personal cargo/provisions space but in NO WAY can they be worth anything sugnificant in interstellar trading. Blow up 1000 Freelancers - there still will be no impact on economy if even one 400000 ton NPC freighter would get through. And I presume there will be some high tonnage ships - cause it's LOGICAL. Without them game universe wouldn't be that immersive. But with them whole players trading would look dawrfy and silly.

    Kind of a dillema, don't you think?

    So I'd like to know what you guys in CIG are thinking about it.

    You have some very valid points here.

    Our thinking is that the economic sim has more in common with the East India Trading Company or a modern day trucking line than Union Pacific (or any modern supertanker or cargo ship). Something to consider is that a lot of the planetary outposts and space stations have populations measured in the thousands, where even a few missed deliveries of key essentials would cause problems. Larger worlds with populations in the millions and tens of millions likely have well developed infrastructures (just like Earth does now) and probably wouldn't need to import 3 million tons of Iron from space per year.

    Right now we do not have ships spec'd that have higher tonnage than the Starfarer.
  • holoKitten

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    Right now we do not have ships spec'd that have higher tonnage than the Starfarer.

    Idris has 100 ton cargo capacity, Starfarer only has 75 ton capacity. Is that statement wrong or did Starfarer capacity increase?

    You're right! When I wrote it I was only considering the sub-capital ships. Sorry for the confusing reply.
  • holoKitten

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    Greetings,
    I was planning on making a sensor / C&C type ship some time down the road to plug in for a mod. It would be modular and thus configurable for either Science! type research and mapping, or combat tracking applications. My question relates to whether C&C data from sensors and radar will be able to feed down to linked ships. Will this be possible?
    EX: Pilot of fighter switches to the group's C&C data comms channel, initiates a sync, and hands off radar tracking over to group C&C, his displayed info then comes from that ship's data instead of his own.

    We have separated positional data and informational data out into two distinct parts. Positional data comes from the radar and informational data comes from the sensor suite. Different suites provide different sets of data and none of the ships can have all of them. So for instance if combat is your focus you'd want to install a combat oriented sensor package that provides more detail on the shield, weapon and subsystem status of your target ship. Or if you are into a bit of piracy you might want a scanning suite that tells you what kind of cargo your target is carrying. If you want to look for jump points you'll need the jump point suite, and so on.

    Sharing radar and sensor data via command and control is a key component of the system.
  • holoKitten

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    gotryfag:


    Our thinking is that the economic sim has more in common with the East India Trading Company or a modern day trucking line than Union Pacific (or any modern supertanker or cargo ship). Something to consider is that a lot of the planetary outposts and space stations have populations measured in the thousands, where even a few missed deliveries of key essentials would cause problems. Larger worlds with populations in the millions and tens of millions likely have well developed infrastructures (just like Earth does now) and probably wouldn't need to import 3 million tons of Iron from space per year.

    Right now we do not have ships spec'd that have higher tonnage than the Starfarer.

    But in that case, the way you've established your interplanetary economy up makes absolutely no sense in the context of the fiction you've provided in Jump Point, where planetary economies buy raw materials like wheat, metals (in addition to food and other stuff for the planetary citizens) and push out refined goods that are then sold on other planets to other people.

    Personally I'm really fine with some abstraction as to the size of things, but I think SC might compare badly in this respect to the believability of EVE's economy, which doesn't even seek to simulate a galactic economy (NPC worlds demand no goods). EVE after all has humongous transport ships with transport capacities in 750 000 cubic meters to ferry goods around it's simulated economy.

    It also hardly makes any kind of sense to measure transport capacities of ships in metric tons. These are spaceships floating around in space, not oceangoing ships that have to keep their weight above the lifting capacity of water. Why would bulk cargo freighters have to be capable of planetary landing anyway? The worlds where massive freighters would ferry cargo to would be planets with spaceports and orbital elevators, that would be able to reship the goods to the planet.
    My understanding of the cargo system is that there should be 2 metrics, tonnage is the amount of tonnage that can be carried into space, as most ships have to be able to launch from a planetary surface, this will limit the amount of tonnage that ships can carry.
    There also needs to be a second metric regarding the volume a ship can carry.
    Volume is a key component of the current mining mechanics, but before I go any further there I should say that those mechanics are still under development and nothing has final approval yet. Just wanted to give you a heads up that we are aware that mass and volume are two different things and are trying to incorporate them into the system.
  • holoKitten

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    Right now it was stated that we can only join one "guild". However, there are many associations like The Convoy (space trucking union) that the majority of members belong to various guilds. Is it not possible to perhaps 2 tier this? Top tier being guild, 2nd tier being associations, unions, trade organizations etc and then allow folks to be part of 1 guild and 1 association? Without such....places like The Convoy are going to be wrecked before they even start.

    Part of the issue is that guild affiliation affects your reputation. So if you're a member of a guild that is on the UEE's piracy watch list in some scenarios your guilds reputation will supersede your own. Allowing players to join more than one guild makes the reputation system much more complex. This isn't an insolvable problem (complexity is usually where the fun comes from!), but it takes time and resources that might be earmarked for development on some other part of the game. We don't want to ruin anyone's good time and it sounds like its worth revisiting the subject to see if there is a simple solution we can utilize within the framework of the current system. I'll bring it up in our next meeting. :)
  • holoKitten

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    Hi there,

    Love all your guys work!

    Quick question about multi-person ships. Connie and Retaliator Bomber for example.

    I'm seeing a lot of talk about these ships NEEDING to be crewed by real people - and before I pull the pin on the Retaliator - is this the case?

    If we plan to make our way out their and either are on at times without friends, or ... just don't have friends - will we be shooting ourselves in the foot flying a bigger ship by ourselves - or will everything still function (obviously without the capabilities of a human mind) to an acceptable level? Be that Auto - Turrets, NPC crew whatever?

    Much obliged.

    You'll absolutely be able to fly these ships solo. The ships were all designed originally as single player craft and the extended multi-crew functionality came later as fans requested it. In the case of ships like the Retaliator, you will have AI systems that man the extra guns. Better AI systems mean more effective defense!
    Hey Pete,

    I would like to revisit the above question from a different standpoint;
    Are there any mechanics planned to make crewing large ships with actual players viable and competitive?

    If the Constellation, Retaliator (and possibly Idris?) can be flown solo, it seems much more effective if your friends would tag along in their own ships, rather than "just" crew one of your turrets. Even when AI turrets are vaguely less effective than humans, the raw "firepower per player" would still be much higher for a solo ship. Are there any ideas to counter this dilemma?

    Flying a ship together with my friends has been a dream of mine since I first came into contact with the space genre and it would be sad if it would put us at a disadvantage in a fight.

    I can also see it being problematic in balancing the "true" single seaters. Why fly a Hornet when you can have an automated Constellation?

    Cheers & thanks for listening
    All of these things we have concerns about too! The key is to make sure we identify the problem areas during playtesting and then address them.

    A fully kitted out Constellation is going to have more armor, shields and firepower than a fully kitted out Hornet. Its also going to be slower, much more difficult to turn and have higher signatures across the board. Automation comes at a cost too: AI targeting systems use up a lot of avionic cpu cycles.



    The max crew value refers to the number of seats/stations that can be used by players. Some ships (like the Constellation) have physical space for a lot more. How many more we allow hasn't been determined and we probably won't know for sure until after testing. We could prevent your ship from leaving the hangar if you were over-crewed, but its a bit premature to speculate as to how we're going to enforce a rule we don't even know we'll have just yet :)

    I would have thought it a real shame for a pirate ship not to be filled to the brim with pirate scum.
    You sir win best comment of the day.
  • Shadow-Knight

    Posts: 229

    Posted:
    Posted:
    On the topic of associations why not just have the ability in game to let a player create and if they want too import a list of friends from another player? I could see such a thing being just as handy in many situations. I.e. a friend just joined the game. A few quick clicks, they confirm, and now they have a list of mutual friends now added.

    Associations would just be a named friend's list (I as a player could have lots of said groups...my guild mates, one for personal RL friends, other pilots I've met and have done good work with, etc.) that because of common goals (outside of guilds) are interested in the same things or what have you. How the list gets updated could be tricky though.
  • holoKitten

    Developer

    Posted:
    Posted:


    You have some very valid points here.

    Our thinking is that the economic sim has more in common with the East India Trading Company or a modern day trucking line than Union Pacific (or any modern supertanker or cargo ship). Something to consider is that a lot of the planetary outposts and space stations have populations measured in the thousands, where even a few missed deliveries of key essentials would cause problems. Larger worlds with populations in the millions and tens of millions likely have well developed infrastructures (just like Earth does now) and probably wouldn't need to import 3 million tons of Iron from space per year.

    Right now we do not have ships spec'd that have higher tonnage than the Starfarer.

    Looking as how we on earth already today are seriously starting to look into mining metals and whatnot from space, I think you're looking at a bad analogy in terms of what multimillion/multibillion populated planets need. So I think huge transports make sense in and of itself, Whether they fit into the Star Citizen fiction, is a different question. Or even technology. The insane amount of detailing in your ships suggest that making humongous ships like those in EVE may not be a realistic idea.

    I agree with you here on all points. The point I was attempting to make (badly) is that our economic sim is based on the gameplay of Privateer which took the romanticized notion of pirates and free traders in the 1600/1700s and moved it to a space setting. We have heavily extended the Privateer concepts to make them more alive and we think the scale that we have selected is fun and engaging for players, even if its not a 100% realistic projection of the real world into the game space.

    I probably should have just said that the first time and left out the analogy. :/
  • Fuzzer

    Posts: 948

    Posted:
    Posted:
    about the organization systems:
    will there be a setting for the guild creator to toggle if multiple guild members are accepted or not?

    sort of:
    organisation is only joinable if no other organisation is joined at that time.
    if player joins this organisation he won't be able to join other organisations. (gets a popup message with an info)
    if he wants to join another or multiple organisations he must leave the one with single organisation only setting.
    http://the-shadow-legion.enjin.com/html
  • Matope

    Posts: 251

    Posted:
    Posted:

    Right now it was stated that we can only join one "guild". However, there are many associations like The Convoy (space trucking union) that the majority of members belong to various guilds. Is it not possible to perhaps 2 tier this? Top tier being guild, 2nd tier being associations, unions, trade organizations etc and then allow folks to be part of 1 guild and 1 association? Without such....places like The Convoy are going to be wrecked before they even start.

    Part of the issue is that guild affiliation affects your reputation. So if you're a member of a guild that is on the UEE's piracy watch list in some scenarios your guilds reputation will supersede your own. Allowing players to join more than one guild makes the reputation system much more complex. This isn't an insolvable problem (complexity is usually where the fun comes from!), but it takes time and resources that might be earmarked for development on some other part of the game. We don't want to ruin anyone's good time and it sounds like its worth revisiting the subject to see if there is a simple solution we can utilize within the framework of the current system. I'll bring it up in our next meeting. :)
    With the option to create/join a religion, it would be very strange to not allow membership in at least one of each type of group. Otherwise everybody that's part of a military organization, business, or criminal syndicate has to be an atheist (or agnostic, I suppose). Also, wouldn't membership in some (actually most) groups be non-public knowledge? I don't think a syndicate would publish lists of their members, and really a business wouldn't do that either, though you might be flying a ship that's recognizable as belonging to a certain group. Really it's always the ship getting recognized, rather than you personally (unless you're planetside). So if my ship is legal and registered to me, my own reputation should take precedence unless I'm publicly known to be associated with certain groups. Setting that all aside, I don't see the problem, really. If I'm a member of a syndicate and a more straight-laced military group... the latter would probably kick me out, but I'd still be on the watch-list either way. I don't think there are many (if any) groups the UEE would give extra leniency to, just those they watch closely and those under normal, casual scrutiny.

    I've digressed a bit, but here's my solution to the original question with a simple, real-life example: If I share a religion with somebody and we're unaware of any other groups we belong to, we will be more friendly to one another than the average stranger. If I find out this other person also belongs to a terrorist organization I'm not cutting him any extra slack. With multiple groups, negative association takes precedence.
This discussion has been closed.