Author Topic: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"  (Read 34618 times)

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Offline Martok

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StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« on: February 01, 2012, 12:59:06 PM »
Link to the game site: 

http://stardrivegame.com/



Anyone else been following this one?  I pledged $10.00 during the developer's KickStarter funding project, which guarantees me a copy of the game once it's out later this year (right now we're probably looking at summer sometime). 


For anyone who's interested, here's a Q&A session with developer Daniel DiCicco: 

http://www.spacegamejunkie.com/1508/stardrive-qa-with-daniel-dicicco


I like a lot of what he's saying.  I do worry that he's being over-ambitious and reaching too far (that was part of what caused the MOO3 debacle), but there's no doubting his enthusiasm for the project. 

In that interview, I was particularly intrigued by his comments on ship design, AI, and colony development will work in the game.  I'm actually starting to get excited. 


Quote


Brian: It looks like ship design in StarDrive is pretty detailed, which space game nuts like me just love. What can you tell us about how ship design works, and how detailed can you get with your ships?

Daniel DiCicco: Ship design takes a module-based approach, where you are placing individual lego-like pieces of ship onto your ship hulls. As you unlock new ship hulls, you have bigger and better ships that can fit bigger and better modules. You can’t just install any module anywhere — there are some simple restrictions. For instance, engines can only be installed in engine slots. Weapons must be installed in a slot that has exposure to the outside of the hull. Some modules must be installed in slots that are inside the hull. So I have “E” slots, “O” slots (for outside), “I” slots for inside, and “IO” for Inside/Outside slots, which are hybrid slots. This system is not super-restrictive but provides some basic rules about what goes where so I can balance the game.

Weapons and turrets all have “facings” and “fields of fire”. For instance, a Flak Turret may have a 90 degree field of fire. When you install it, you need to set its facing so you know which 90 degrees it covers. In game, this translates into where you can shoot. You fire your weapons with a right mouse click where you want to shoot. All of your weapons that fit the range/field of fire requirements will fire. You can also set certain weapons to auto-fire modes like Point Defense, which will automatically attack nearby missiles, torpedoes and fighters.

Many ship modules have other options to select. Fighter Bays let you select which of your fighter class vessels it carries. Weapons can get modifications to affect their costs, like heavy mounts, increased fields of fire, and so on.

Finally, you need to build a power grid on your ship similar to how you would in Sim City. Your ship needs power plants to make energy, and these must be placed in an internal slot. These power plants have a power radius — i.e., every slot with in 4 gets powered by the power plant. So if you have one nice power plant in the middle of your cruiser, that’s fine, but those lasers at the front aren’t going to have any power. So what you’ll need to do is use power conduits. You just drag them from your power plants to where you need power. These take up module slots and they can be disabled in combat, meaning a luck shot might knock out your forward shields and lasers.

That said, I think the best ship designs will have redundancy built into them so that losing a conduit won’t spell your doom.


Quote


Brian: Your site claims that while the AI can use the stock ship designs, it can “also steal some of your ship designs”. This sounds like a fairly sophisticated AI. What can you tell us about the AI, both on your own side and that of your fellow empires? For example, in the mentioned scenario, how would the AI know which ship designs to steal?

Daniel DiCicco: Stealing ship designs is the easy part! When managing your empire, you can assign an espionage budget to a certain race. If you (or an AI) gets lucky, they can steal your technology, including ship hulls. The AI will then be able to build ships using designs that you have saved in addition to the stock ships. The AI will also rate ship designs based on their overall DPS and survivability, so it’s not possible to create a bunch of terrible ship designs to trick the AI into stealing and using.


Quote


Brian: Planetary colonization also looks pretty detailed, which is awesome. Can you take us through some of the steps needed to successfully colonize a planet? Also, can the AI handle planetary colonization if you’re busy with other things, like combat and what not?

Daniel DiCicco: The simplest aspect of colonization is finding the planet. You can send a scout ship out to auto explore or you can visit a system yourself. Double clicking a planet brings up its stats window and you get some lore text along with a rating of its fertility and its mineral richness. Some planets also have specials depending on planet type and so on.

To colonize a planet, you just click “Mark for Colonization”. Doing this will queue a colony ship in the best available shipyard. Colony ships are somewhat expensive so it’s important to protect them. They bring a little bit of food and a small contingent of colonists with them to the new planet. You could also just queue a colony ship manually and right click a planet to colonize.

When your colony is set up, it’s up to you how to develop it. Initially your colonies are not very self-sustaining. Base resource production is keyed to population, and starting colonies have almost no population. To increase population, you must build freighters and assign them the automated task to ferry colonists. You can also assign freighters to do automated goods transport, which will take food and production from worlds where you have excess to your newer worlds. So if you build a transport at Earth and set Earth to “export” its industrial production, and your new colony to import it, then you’ll see your freighters bringing these goods to your new planet.

At the new planet, you can rush your building projects by applying this imported production. The system I am modeling here is realistic and based on how I think space would really be colonized. You send an advance ship to set up the colony, and then you import a ton of pre-fab goods and new colonists as you grow.

So the AI will, optionally, have a lot of control over this process. When you colonize a planet you will be able to select a governor who can manage the planet for you. The freighters will manage your goods and colonists for you, and all you really have to worry about is finding the planet to colonize.


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Offline son_of_montfort

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 02:15:22 PM »
I pledged the $25 and hope to get the beta invite within a month or so.
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Offline spelk

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 03:54:20 PM »
Can you not already get into the alpha through Desura?

http://www.desura.com/games/stardrive

Offline son_of_montfort

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 04:17:45 PM »
Can you not already get into the alpha through Desura?

http://www.desura.com/games/stardrive

There was something about that... but the dev (named something awesome like Danny Diccico) said that this was misleading and that alpha invites would go out later. I expect he will get us all on board soon.
"Now it is no accident all these conservatives are using time travel to teach our kids. It is the best way to fight back against the liberal version of history, or as it is sometimes known... history."

- Stephen Colbert

"The purpose of religion is to answer the ultimate question, are we in control or is there some greater force pulling the strings? And if the courts rule that corporations have the same religious rights that we humans do, I think we’ll have our answer."

- Stephen Colbert

Offline TheCommandTent

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 04:23:11 PM »
Very interesting game, something to definitely keep an eye on.

I keep missing out on all these great Kickstarter projects
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 05:15:56 AM »
Can you not already get into the alpha through Desura?

http://www.desura.com/games/stardrive

There was something about that... but the dev (named something awesome like Danny Diccico) said that this was misleading and that alpha invites would go out later. I expect he will get us all on board soon.

I think what happened is Desura released the alpha build to buyers earlier than the dev wanted.  As a result, he had no choice but to open the alpha program early.  I just paid and got the alpha build. There is lots of potential here.  No options yet though so I can't reconfigure my controls.  This will keep me from enjoying the game for awhile.
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Offline Martok

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 05:43:01 AM »
You can tell Dan is a complete newbie to game development (which, to be fair, he freely admits to), as I do have to wonder at a couple of his design decisions: 


It apparently took me whining about it in the forums to convince Dan to add a pause function to the game (it's real-time like Distant Worlds).  It's almost like he wasn't aware that most RTS games have had the pause function by default for the last couple decades! 

As it is, it sounds like we won't be able to issue/change orders while the game is paused...unless maybe you guys want to help me nag him about it?  ;D 

« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 08:59:51 AM by Martok »
"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 06:08:36 AM »
You can tell Dan is a complete newbie to game development (which, to be fair, he freely admits to), as I do have to wonder at a couple of his design decisions: 


It apparently took me whining about it in the forums to convince Dan to add a pause function to the game (it's real-time like Distant Worlds).  It's almost like he wasn't aware that most RTS games haven't had a pause function by default for the last couple decades! 

As it is, it sounds like we won't be able to issue/change orders while the game is paused...unless maybe you guys want to help me nag him about it?  ;D

In truth, I don't think I have EVER used pause in Distant Worlds.  Having the option is nice, but I find typically the pacing of the game is slow enough to permit me to manage things in real time.  Stardrive may be different though because you have direct control of your flagship, in addition to strategic control of your other forces...
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Offline son_of_montfort

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 07:41:14 AM »
Can you not already get into the alpha through Desura?

http://www.desura.com/games/stardrive

There was something about that... but the dev (named something awesome like Danny Diccico) said that this was misleading and that alpha invites would go out later. I expect he will get us all on board soon.

I think what happened is Desura released the alpha build to buyers earlier than the dev wanted.  As a result, he had no choice but to open the alpha program early.  I just paid and got the alpha build. There is lots of potential here.  No options yet though so I can't reconfigure my controls.  This will keep me from enjoying the game for awhile.

Hmm... I wonder when/if the Kickstarter people will get invited. Sort of sucks, I actually plugged him more money, so it would be nice to get a little bit better treatment!
"Now it is no accident all these conservatives are using time travel to teach our kids. It is the best way to fight back against the liberal version of history, or as it is sometimes known... history."

- Stephen Colbert

"The purpose of religion is to answer the ultimate question, are we in control or is there some greater force pulling the strings? And if the courts rule that corporations have the same religious rights that we humans do, I think we’ll have our answer."

- Stephen Colbert

Offline Martok

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 09:05:35 AM »

In truth, I don't think I have EVER used pause in Distant Worlds.  Having the option is nice, but I find typically the pacing of the game is slow enough to permit me to manage things in real time.  Stardrive may be different though because you have direct control of your flagship, in addition to strategic control of your other forces...

I actually don't use pause in DW very often myself, but I do occasionally (most often if I get a phone call or have to use the bathroom). 

I think the most important thing, though, is (as you said) that the option is there if we want it.  It sounds like the pacing shouldn't be too bad -- Dan has said he's aiming for pacing similar to the Total War titles, and he's recently reduced the game speed by a hefty margin -- but there are always those like myself who will want to be able to pause things, even if it's not that necessary. 





Hmm... I wonder when/if the Kickstarter people will get invited. Sort of sucks, I actually plugged him more money, so it would be nice to get a little bit better treatment!

A fair point.  I'd suggest you just post in the game's forum and ask him.  He's been straightforward with his answers so far. 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline Tpek

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 02:21:06 PM »
I've pre-ordered through Desura.
Unfortunately, this Desura client really sucks.

Anyone knows of a way to download from Desuria without using their silly Steam-wannabe client?
Or at least be able to choose where to download and install the games???

Offline Gusington

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 02:57:09 PM »
I really like the descriptions of Stardrive. Are there any screen shots available anywhere?
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Offline Martok

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 02:02:11 AM »
Adam Solo from Space Sector has some screenies here: 

http://www.spacesector.com/blog/2012/01/stardrive-screens-new/


 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces

Offline Gusington

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 08:19:13 AM »
^Thanks...looking good! Except for Smokey the Bear. Hopefully that's just a concept image or a placeholder or something.
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Offline Martok

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Re: StarDrive -- 4x "action strategy"
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 08:40:48 AM »
LOL.  That's actually an image of the Kilrathi, one of the playable races in the game.   They're inspired by the Bulrathi, one of the races from the Master of Orion series. 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

"As long as there's bacon, everything will be all right." - Toonces