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games vs. realism, and an argument for a change in the game "thrust and shoot"

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So, I never made any comments on the thrust and shoot steam page, or tried to contact the developer with a suggestion, or anything of the like. I just thought this now, , , but as a result of my imagination,, I want him to change his game. I think it's a great game,, one of the best concepts,, but I have an argument for more thrusters to affect vector, from the 3 axis. The game is aimed at realism, so you can only thrust forward. Reaction control thrusters point the ship, and the main engine rockets forward. You have a nice little screen that shows your selected targets in 360, and it can be useful for managing a new vector despite the challenges of pointing so that your desired bearing is out of view, and here's why it's the "likely fighter" if we make a few assumptions. 

-first, we need to assume that realistic space battles will use bullets. There's no arguing against it,, because all fighter games use bullets, blasters, or some kind of point and shoot "small arms" weapon. Actually, fighters make a lot of sense for ONE discussion,, which is having the most guns that can point anywhere. A bunch of guns with engines on them are hard to hit, and produce a potentially large area of affect, they can point quickly, they can change vector (relatively) quickly, there is a great deal of resilience because damage to one doesn't damage another, it seems like a fair and likely scenario in the case of point and shoot bullets. 

so lets say it's realistic that what fighters do, , is fly in orbit around a planet or other object, while the opponent also flies in orbit. These velocities are really high,, it takes a rocket most of it's weight and minutes of minutes of constant thrust to achieve orbital velocity, so cancelling this velocity is out. The two battlegroups would therefore be in orbits that are basically unpredictable (although likely they will be consistent with some strategy or another, therefore highly predictable),, and the plan is thus:  ---- while the two orbits approach, the battlegroups fire bullets at the "lead reticle". 

and here's my argument: --- well,, but,, the engines only throttle forward. If the two groups are both in orbit,, then what will happen, is they will both fire accurately a ton of bullets and at an opponent moving in a predictable vector, and if they just maintain their orbits without thrust inputs then they will both hit, and the battle will be over with both sides completely obliterated. These battlegroups will need to evade the opponents fire WHILE they are firing. Ideally, for firing, you would get as CLOSE as possible to your opponent, in order to have the most accuracy (as well as the least evasive capability on their part). That means you don't want to need to perform evasive maneuvers at the cost of firing, because the most critical moment of time for both actions is the same. By having even a small amount of thrust in all directions, it is possible to have an unpredictable evasive maneuver pattern without sacrificing the most important time to be firing. 


-- side note,, As I improve at inertial physics "realistic" fighter games, I do find that the best strategy in game is to fly as fast as possible at the opponent in a gradually changing vector, and hit them with everything you can in the last bit of the approach. Then, you unfortunately need to fly away from them quite a ways ,, unless you slow down while approaching you will blow past them anyway,,, but if you slow down while approaching your are a bit of a sitting duck. Slowing down on approach does make it easier to shoot them for longer,, but it's the easiest change in vector to hit, and once you are moving slowly, it takes a while to speed back up, meaning you are easy to hit for a very long time. ,,,, so, rather than try to destroy it with enough firepower on one approach,  , you probably need a formation to focusfire on one target. (even in games where turning around takes just a few or 10 or 20 seconds) ,,, (so "turrets in space" is probably not a concern, I think, if people started to get pretty good at knowing the strategies,, which no one knows because no one plays that game) 


Thrust and shoot is not the only game. Infinity Battlescape has what I'm talking about,, but on the other hand Infinity battlescape is a number of things that are rather unrealistic. There's warp drives, insta-repair, insta-reloading, ,, I will ONLY compliment the game, but thrust-and-shoot has a different goal. Thrust and shoot would be more of a ready-set-go ,, it's over game format. you would die really fast, but it's fine, it would be over so quickly. Compared to Infinity Battlescape,, the learning curve of the two games would not be different. IB is a massive game, it's hard to play, and no one is playing it as a result. In the future, however, if people are able to have some time behind them playing games oriented at inertial physics ONLY,,, (which I predict is going to happen), then skills will start to develop, more people will be on coms during gameplay as well,, 


Thrust and shoot is just a single player game,, but that's a critical step for skill development, and thrust and shoot is IMO a critical game for skill development. I wish ASTROKILL would get the update out that is supposed to fix controller and joystick compatibility for custom controllers with up to 8 axis,,, but the game is playable on xbox controller if you do my xbox gamepad config that lets not many buttons but lets 6 axis. Astrokill allows 6dof,, but with max power in all directions,, and it uses bullets that kill fast. I sort of think he should tone down the other 5 thrust directions, so that the main engines are the most powerful (like orbital racer), and then I think that thrust and shoot should add thrusters in order to bring in the other 5 directions of thrust. I don't think it would ruin the games, and I actually think that it's realistic to demand those other 5 thrust vectors. (for evasive maneuvers while firing)> ((granted, the video games will not have the following)) 


-- the real way... the two battlegroups are in orbits that intersect. They approach, fire weapons and evade, hoping to predict or fire on all possible evasive vectors. They evade, then they correct their orbits for stability, then they calculate a plan to change the orbit to intersect desirably on the next orbit. Then, they orbit,, then they approach, fire weapons and evade, etc.

--- the game way,, you approach, you select an appropriate target, (if you are a fighter, you try to select a fighter that is not close to capital ships) , you accelerate for approach, you fire weapons and at this time you either use your various vectors to achieve a more desirable firing angle if they are busy, or you accelerate to evade if they move to intercept, you blow past them if the area is hot, or you try to slow down and fire more if it looks safe enough,, then you get out and assess if you can make another pass. IB is great for this because there are so many ships. I don't know how larger ships should fight but I only have fighter experience so far, and only super-newb level. but fighters need to fringe, find weaknesses, and blow past targets to stay safe. They can't stand and fight, they can't "turret in space", they can't sit and shoot for extended periods, they take one bit of heavy ordinance and they're toast. (IB). 


finally my usual rant

and critically, there needs to be a good way to control 6dof. There are a few solutions on the table, but one of them MUST be a gamepad. I am really convinced that for 6dof, each axis should be on the same kind of thumbstick joystick for gamepads, and I am very convinced (from experience) that the way to approach this,, is to put only one axis on each of the sticks managed by the pointer fingers, so that they can be sloppy. I DO NOT THINK the solution is a stick that can only slide along one axis, I absolutely feel the solution is simply more thumbsticks where the pointer fingers (or any other finger) can reach. (the bottom of the gamepad). That's just an aside, though. But there are unquestionably more gamepad players out there that wish they could better gamepad space games, than there are any other kind of player that wishes they could "their thing" games. keyboard ninjas can do it already, well,, I don't know how good they are but I assume there are plenty that are excellent,, spacemousers are apparently working on it, and there's got to be some joystick players that figured out a good 6dof, but I do seem to think they are mostly playing forward throttle setting and computer controlled stabilization of all vectors (for an airplanes in space style joystick control). I have to argue that realistic space games are under-represented on the market,, there is a much greater demand that the market suggests, it's just that people don't know how to organize the controls for the "average player" on the "average pop-game". Elite Dangerous REMAINS airplanes in space. 

This topic was modified 3 years ago by tsmspace

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Always worth a post on the dev Steam forum for the game as they are looking for feedback on their games, maybe as an option to add more thruster to the game.


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Its been a while since I have played a 6DOF style game in general, but you would think on a controller that left stick would be basic thrusters (forward, reverse, side-to-side) and the right stick would control basic movement/direction on the axis depending on the stick combination used.

They cannot make it too complicated because people won't play the game, because flying should almost be thoughtless response while you are doing another action while flying.... whether its tracking, navigating through debris or combat. I am also guilty of turning off 6DOF sometimes because the implementation just takes away from my fun.... I do like the option when it is done right and you have the controls. But my actual flight stick setup stopped working long ago and I have yet to replace it so its with a controller I play with mainly and it can be painful sometimes to get the accuracy/fine tuning your looking for when playing a 6DOF game.

I think devs need to include a 'AI' component to help with tasks whether its maintaining specific distance or pathing on a target or engaging a target while you fly. Its a lot to keep track of and still maintain a certain fun factor. I know most games have some of these features but none that really work together or hand-in-hand with the player. Or maybe even a learning AI that will observe how you play and make adjustments to your ship as you play. Yeah sure coding this would be hell on earth haha but we are talking the future our ships would have AI or learning capabilities that would compliment the human pilot.