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What would you like to see in Colonisation: Moonbase?  

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SJones
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July 4, 2013 11:49 am  

Here you can suggest any feature you would like to see in the game.

 

To start this topic off here are a few existing ideas.

 
Damage due to micro-meteors: over time you will get damaged buildings through ware and tare. Micro meteor showers will speed this up occasionally and you need to keep on your toes to make sure things are repaired – otherwise disaster could strike and all of a sudden your solar power plant goes and your energy rocket falls. - this would incorporate a repair facility with a repair crew, that you will have to manage and control to some degree.

A colonists health system (this is partially implemented under the colonists happy or sadness to determine a bonus to influx of colonists) Due to the low gravity on the moon and solar radiation your colonists need special medical care and facilities.

Distance from your 3 construction buildings, you have 3 main construction buildings, these are your starter buildings that give you a building limit – they have an area of effect that you have to build within, they control it so has to be in its area.

solar panel light coverage â€“ the moon has a long night period of 14 days, each solar panel will only collect light when the sun is actually shining on it (how accurate I will be able to get this I do not know, I would ideally like it to work in craters and with shadows from other buildings – by the minimum I can give a general light income for any given area, so wont be dependent of the exact time of day – but if its built inside a crater then it will have less average income)

some sort of micro management of resources.

There are many ideas for this, some that are just too time consuming and makes the game less fun, like having to direct transport ships every time a building needs resources.

however candidates thus far – some of these are from feedback and suggestions from backers.

“Shipping lanes” you will need to set up shipping lanes to and from buildings, ships go collect the resources and bring them back to a specified storage unit (for game play sake all storage units are linked and share the same pool of resources to distribute) if you do not keep a constant supply of resources that building stops producing.

Pipes and transfer system, for water and energy for example, possibly other materials too in a conveyer style system. linking buildings together allowing transfer of resources to and from buildings – these could be subterranean systems (would be easier for myself to develop) or pipe them over the top of the terrain, making it that more difficult to place buildings and more essential need for building placement planning.

the hard part of the above one, is due to a non gridded placement system connecting pipes could potentially be a nightmare to implement with no issues, especially if you want to have crossover points

 

Leave the current system as it is, If people want to keep the current system of just having a resource pool, not having to concern themselves about further managing them then this is also an option

 

A way to actually lose the game (no fun without risk right)

currently, as it was more of a casual game it has no way of losing really, there are measures so that you may have to reduce your base considerably, but you can’t technically lose.

So I thought about putting the currency to good use here (like most games of this genre do) the original intention of the currency was to have it there for microtransactions on the android version, while still useful to the PC version (all micro transactions are 100% completely removed from the PC version) this can be taken further and used as a lose mechanic, with a few buildings costing money to maintain (still sticking with the principle of a self sufficient colony though) and that if you run out of resources, your cash will be used to maintain enough import of resources from earth for your colonists to survive, run out of cash and its game over.

Further to the currency system and trading, you have to purchase colonists (currently you just get an influx depending on certain factors) in the form of having to pay to get them to the moon, after a certain amount of colonists there could be some colonists breeding mechanic, giving you free colonists occasionally.

And finally, have actually left this one to last as its something I have been working on yesterday!

As a casual game, I needed a way to get water in the game, so I have used the concept of sub-surface water/ice – however I was looking into more realistic system, of high concentrations of ice and water, so have been pouring over the nasa website, scraping all bits of information I can find on the subject (most I already knew) in the hopes they had some sort of data for water/ice distribution on the lunar surface. All information relate to the polar caps that are in constant or near constant shadow.

There has been little information or data about the possibility or evidence of subsurface ice/water

So this has left me with a few options, again peoples feedback and opinions are most welcome as to what they prefer.

1. keep the current system: place water mining outposts down and get a standard income.

2. have a fake distribution map, using this just purely for gameplay sake, would make it interesting and fun, but people may complain that its unrealistic (though it is more than the current system in place)

3. As the ice most likely forms in shadows, have a distribution map to represent this, with more chance of water in craters where the shadows are cast – this brings the issue of being able to build on flat land, generally craters are anything but flat

4. Have ships fly on and off the map, they fly to the poles and harvest water and bring it back.

5. Build polar colony first, this is the most accurate way a colony would be formed, however one large issue wit this is that the polar terrain data I have access to is less accurate – the data I have is in the form of a rectangular image (simplest terms) that when applied to a polar cap has stretching and warping due to a rectangle being mapped onto a sphere – I could fix it so it looks nice but so far, the intention was to have accurate locations, so it would feel like you was actually exploring the moon as you played.


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DarkOne
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July 4, 2013 3:56 pm  

Would be nice to have some colonists have physiological issues that maybe have them sabotage or possibly loose it and kill other colonists because of the stresses of moon living.

 

On the energy aspect, is it feasible to have tethered solar collectors that are several hundred or even a thousand meters above the surface to possibly get the suns rays during the dark period, they would have to be researched or built of course.


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SJones
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July 5, 2013 2:58 am  

The current system in a way already supports psychological issues, it has been grouped into the happiness category, where there are several facilities to improve happiness such as recreational centers, communication centers and colony gardening centers - all to give the feeling of being on earth and to combat the isolation colonists may feel. 

At the current moment it is more of just a mathematical equation, this could be made more obvious by having zoning, each building having an area to service.

 

 

As to regards to tethering solar panels high up, yes it can be placed in the game, however there is little benefit to this on the moon, on earth it would be better due to the atmosphere and local climates, however to use it to try and get out of moons shadow you would need an extremely long cable and still would not give 100% light coverage (it would be dependent on where you built it), you can see the shadows cast by the moon on earth in total/partial eclipses, so if built directly up from the lunar equator, you would never get  100% coverage.

 

As to the falloff to distance ratio I am not entirely sure, but the fact that eclipses can cover entire cities here on earth (being 384,400 km away) you would have to have an extremely long tether to get any benefit (though it would increase as you get nearer the poles) - as such there are more feasible, cheaper and practical solutions, the current being satellite solar panels transmitting microwaves (the satellites can be positioned and angled to be much more effective than a stationary tether + doesnt need the complex tether to maintain) and fuel cells that efficiently store solar panel energy and give it back as needed (  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell  there was an article on wikipedia that was relating to a newer technology but unable to find it at this point)


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sphinxgate
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July 5, 2013 10:22 pm  

Hi Scott - I'm a new backer as of yesterday and wish you lots of luck getting the project funded.    Great to have forum to share ideas as well.

I love the concept of having a moonbase sim game on my PC and your teams ideas so far are great.

Just to take a few of your questions on this is what I'd be happy with.

 

Damage due to micro-meteors: yes great idea, I think it would be good if there was a warning system that showed the likely impact area, might be useful to mitigate any loss of key structures, perhaps building a structure to detect NMO (near moon objects)

A colonists health system yep support this, the psychology of a moon colony is the most likely factor to fail in a real life moon base - are there any plans to create entertainment structures as part of the moon base to assist with the generation of health status ?

Distance from your 3 construction buildings - see my points above on micro-meteors, any significant risk to these buildings shouldn't end the game, perhaps shield generation is an option ?

solar panel light coverage â€“ I'd imagine that the solar energy would need to somehow be stored during the periods of darkside.

some sort of micro management of resources.

I'm not a big fan of lots of micro-management, I like the idea of different play modes, but to me spending time on that will remove other features from the game.  Seems you already have quite a few resources for the player to be thinking about, it's a difficult balance to get right, happy to hear other backers thoughts on this one.

“Shipping lanes” Not a fan of actually creating a travel system, I'd expect to build a docking station and the ships would just go about their business without any user interaction.

Pipes and transfer system, As above 'shipping lanes' Doesn't seem that fun creating a pipe infrastructure and as you say you could end up unable to place building because power/water is unable to reach.   I like the way you can place and rotate building placement as you have it in the video's.  Adding a layer of complexity for the infrastructure might be overly complicated.

Water Some good thoughts on this in your update, I'd like to send a science team out into local craters to survey the viability of water and then depending on the random result make a decision about a structure inside the crater.  So a building that actually can only be built in a crater that extracts water.   The idea of ships flying on and off the map is an easy option to emulate the likely scenerio of polar collection in the opening of the game where the tech level is probably low.  I wouldn't worry about spending time mapping the solar regions, there are plenty of areas we could set up a moon base.

 

I have some more thoughts on structures, I'll open a new thread to keep things tidy.


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SJones
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July 6, 2013 1:46 am  

To answer the question you put for the colonists health, yes, there are structures already in the game to mitigate colonists "happiness levels" one of the final structures planned is a theme park! (took the idea from futurama!)

there are others including gardening center - basically giving your colonists allotments to spend their free time in, it also benefits the colony too in a non-critical way (produces some oxygen and food)

 

Others that are included:

Tourist center

Community activity center

sports center

Social facilities

Theme park

Golf Course

 

There are other structures that affect the colonists happiness but these are the non-essential ones that are used for entertainment.

please feel free to add any other ideas for buildings of this kind you think of.


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SJones
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July 10, 2013 12:07 pm  

An interesting idea put forward moments ago.

 

materials at different depths.

Along with just prospecting for materials you would have a depth to reach too. - this may be too hard to implement as the best way I can see of doing this is a 3D texture (99% of game engines only support 2D to my knowledge) these are special textures normally procedurally generated by the application itself (3ds Max has a 3D texture generator for its own use)

however there are other ways that won't be as detailed but might be as fun that I will look into when/if I get to the prospecting of minerals.


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SJones
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July 14, 2013 6:06 pm  

Here is another idea I just thought of - limits the players capability and is more realistic, it also means that you have to plan a head or you could get into serious problems.

 

Each construction yard has a limited number of buildings it can construct at any given time (basic is 1) this stops people just continuously buying stuff super quickly to solve their problems.

 

It means as you build more construction yards you can build more simultaneously.

 

Thoughts?


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TylerL
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July 30, 2013 7:12 pm  

Just got done playing some of the alpha and thought I would post a few things that I would like to see in the future.

 

1.  It would be nice to have page numbers on the construction lists so that you know that there are no more buildings in that section.  Otherwise you may think it is just frozen and won't allow you to go to the next page.  Or you could have the "Next" icon go away when the player reaches the final page.

 

2.  I would like to be able to rotate the camera by using my mouse and not just Q/E.

 

3.  It might be better to have a password to delete a career instead of just clicking "1,2,3."

 

4.  I would like to be able to rotate the buildings so that the colony will be more varied and not facing one way.

 

Overall I had a great first experience with the game's alpha build.


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SJones
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July 30, 2013 7:26 pm  

Thanks for your thoughts!

 

The building rotation is currently disabled as it was controlled using touch input, I am considering the best way to implement this again, it will be in there!.

 

The 1 2 3 click was left over from the android again, I am not a fan of passwords incase you forget it, say you come back a year later and you cant remember what you used. I will have some other system in place though, it was just a measure so you don't accidentally delete your save.

 

The number idea and camera idea have both been suggested too from friends, I will be looking into using the right click to rotate the camera and a home button to reset camera orientation.

 

Though for the page numbers the original plan was to remove the arrows once you got to the beginning or end - this was going to be done once all buildings are set, though page numbers may be a good idea too, the building select UI is a bit poor atm and thinking of ways to re-do it all or improve whats there.


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wolvern
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November 28, 2013 1:58 am  

some sort of C&C style to it where i can control units or setup some transport routes? 

this is seeming to turn out like a sim city / sim moonbase game so i guess the making of transport routes will be somewhat soonish...

other than that, can we set the radius of repair ships so they can be more or less effective....

that way we can make the repair ships cover specific areas or at least give us a working radius to let us know how far they'll cover in items?


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SJones
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December 7, 2013 12:26 am  

Sorry I have not responded sooner, I have been busy and also been giving those two ideas a lot of thought.

 

With regards to the repair vehicles having a limited range I have not thought of a way to do this within the current system, all the repair ships are currently doing is searching a database for the building with the lowest health and then making sure its under the player set minimum health limit, adding distance to this would mean storing each buildings distance relative to each and ever repair station, meaning if you have 25 repair stations that would equate to 25 extra lists in the database, complexity, database loading and access and save file sizes would increase dramatically per repair station.

 

 

as to the transport routes, this was something I wanted, however currently this is not implemented - nor was I planning too, mainly due to the fact for the funding for this game came from kickstarter, which only met the minimum goal, this was goal number 6 ( can check the goals out here 

 , half way down the page) - that said I have gone above and beyond those goals thus far, this has put extreme pressure onmyself and my budget as I have incorporated stretch goals 1, 2, 3 & 5 without meeting any of those goals funding levels... (noting that the funds raised only covered the final development of the game, not what the game had cost till that point, which in total will probably be twice as much as the kickstarter goal was.)

With all that said, and with the fact that I wanted it in there myself I have been giving this a lot of thought too, into how easy it would be to get in and how long it would take, there is a version/idea of this that I have in mind, however this will only be implemented if the gameplay feels lacking and there is a high demand for it from the beta testers, currently I am hoping that the current state of gameplay features will be enough to keep people occupied and fairly busy.

 

unfortunately as a team of 1 I am not always able to add everything I would like, but as a gamer myself I understand the importance of having a full feature and complete game and is why I am not directly ruling the transport routes out at this point.

 


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wolvern
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December 8, 2013 11:59 am  

You really need my friend Sai.....

 


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SJones
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April 10, 2014 3:02 pm  

I just thought I would update here, I cant remember where the post was but there was a suggestion to be able to place multiple buildings without going through all the menus again, this has now been added and from the initial tests working great.


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wolvern
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April 11, 2014 2:27 am  

I said that a while ago jones, a recently built tab that allowed instant access to what you last used in a lineup of like 5 or so items.

 

helps a tonne when you're trying to sort the distribution of a few buildings so you can instantly up one resource to keep the rest stable. Helps us balance the resources easier on the fly.


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sphinxgate
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April 15, 2014 1:39 pm  

Good news, installation of the solar panels early on will be sped up with multiple building placement mechanic.

Seems like you have a big update on the way based on your kickstarter news update, any eta - I'm bursting to try the new version 🙂


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SJones
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April 15, 2014 2:58 pm  

I am working hard to get the new version done, I am finding a fair few new bugs that are being fixed asap, I want to add 1 more building too, a lower level colonists home in the civi menu as the current cheapest one is a bit expensive and instead requires you to build a construction yard when you may not need it and this somewhat defeats the point of that structure, possibly also lower the cost of the small storage, increase the mission requirements and rewards (they are far too low atm, shouldn't take long to do this at all) and possibly get the health bars to hide after a certain distance as they clutter the screen with a fairly small base zoomed out, but this last one may wait till the next release as you can turn them off with space bar.

 

As to ETA for 0.2 beta I would like to get it out by this weekend coming!


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sphinxgate
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April 15, 2014 3:19 pm  

Any new skins to look our for, I appreciate this is probably the last area you polish off but it would be good to see one or two of the early buildings graphically complete.

Of course getting the bugs ironed out is probably your top priority.


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SJones
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April 15, 2014 3:48 pm  

yeh, the skins have been pushed aside for now, with the last few updates being problematic at the best of times I wanted to get the game play fixed, so fixing what I can and adding content that will add additional game play elements.

 

My plan at the moment is to get as much of the game play down as possible, get people playing and testing it while I do the graphical work, then come back and fix all the broken stuff and balance the game out.


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