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Exodus


S77thArcher
(@s77tharcher)
Petty Officer Registered
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

I have been doing some thinking on exactly what I would like to see out of a space sim lately. Mostly because most games out there have failed to really hold my attention for to long. Anyway, I worked up a rough "feature" list for what I would consider my ultimate space sim game, as well as a short story following a couple of players within said game. Just thought I would see what you guys think of it.

Also, anyone out there who is actually producing a game, please feel free to use any ideas here that you like. the closer your game comes to this, the more likely I am to play it.


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S77thArcher
(@s77tharcher)
Petty Officer Registered
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

The following is a short story written to give you an idea of the atmosphere the game is trying to achieve.

Commander Myn Donos logged on, as he always did, in his officer quarters aboard Akron. Akron was an aging battle cruiser Donos had purchased after his early retirement from the Navy. Unlike most private warships in this area of space, Donos managed to keep his ship in good repair and his crew in military like discipline. The combat readiness of Akron was something Donos worked hard to maintain, and was endlessly proud of. Few ships could match the Akron’s effectiveness in combat, or the efficiency with which it carried out its tasks.

After quickly checking for any important mail, Commander Donos started down the hall towards the CIC where the task force’s operations were coordinated. The door slid open to a mostly empty room. The lone figure standing at the tactical display was the ships XO –Lieutenant commander Bosch.

“What is the situation out there Bosch?”

The Lieutenant-commander turned to face Donos and threw a quick salute.

“Well sir, we are in orbit around Sol three. Twenty of our fighter pilots are currently logged on, and most are running missions near-by. Our pilot is on the bridge, but the rest of the bridge officers are off ship. The ship is fully fueled, in good repair, and we have enough supplies for an extended patrol without having to head back to resupply.”

Although Bosch had the authority to command the ship in the Commander’s absence, he had not been on the job long enough to feel comfortable taking her into danger on his own. He had left Akron in a safe area and had not brought her into even a small NPC engagement without Donos there to observe. Not that Myn could blame him; Akron was a large investment to take chances with. But over time Myn would work on getting Bosch comfortable with operating autonomously.

“Would you like the CON now sir?” Bosch asked.

“No you keep it for awhile, I want to go check on the bridge and the pilots lounge real quick. O, and issue a notice to the taskforce that we will be going out on patrol in thirty minutes.”

Donos headed out of the CIC and swung a left down the corridor that ran the length of the ship. As he headed farther forward he passed the crew quarters and then came to the lift that led to the lower decks of the ship. The pilots lounge was on the lower deck, right next to the entrance to the hanger. The lounge doubled as a ready room, and as the Commander entered most of the pilots inside were occupied with finding missions or tweaking ship load outs.

One of the few pilots who were paying attention to what was going on around him jumped up and called out “Commander on Deck!”

Although Donos demanded a fair amount respect for rank and the chain of command on his ship, calling the room to attention when ever an officer entered had always seemed like a silly waste of time, and as such he had never required it of his crew. The pilot must be one of the new members of his crew, and Donos knew he would get the customary ridicule from the other pilots as soon as he left.

“At ease” Myn said as he walked past the new pilot.

He quickly scanned the room for the man he was looking for. His wing commander Tyco was sitting in a chair in the back corner of the room with his feet up. He seemed to not be paying attention to what was going on in the room, but Donos knew he was carefully observing how the pilots interacted amongst each other. He was a man who kept very good tabs on pilot morale and was constantly rearranging squadron assignments to keep his pilots flying with people they could get along with, but also making sure there was a healthy amount of competition between the pilots to keep them improving as much as possible.

“Tyco, you got a minute?”

“Can it wait Boss; I am a little busy at the moment.” Tyco said, as he closed his eyes and feigned a snore loud enough to get the attention of everyone in the lounge.

“Why are you the wing commander again?”

“You mean despite my good looks and superior whit? Um well on second thought… What do you need Sir?” Tyco jumped up with the second half of his statement, assuming a posse loosely resembling attention.

“We are heading out on patrol, how many of your pilots are going to be available over the next couple of hours?”

“Most of wraith squadron will be on during that time, and I would say a good portion of the remaining pilots will be excited to get out to the fringe. I would say about thirty, give or take a few.”

“Good, I want everyone who is coming on board and ready to head out in fifteen minutes. We are headed to Denb today.”

“Can do.”

“Denb has a gate so anyone who can’t make it in time can join up later. How are you guys looking on supplies down here?”

“We have plenty for this patrol, but we will have to pick some up after this if you want me to keep my fighters in the sky.”

“All right good, I’ll talk to you again when we get on station.”

Donos left the pilot’s lounge and headed for the bridge at the aft of the ship. Along the way he passed a few pilots and crew members leaving their quarters and heading towards the hangers or their various duty stations.

When the lift doors opened onto bridge, Myn was treated to a stunning scene out the front viewport. Out past the Akron’s graceful bow, the systems yellow mid-phase star rose over the planet as it turned above them. The ship was in a low orbit with its top facing the surface of the planet allowing for an astounding view of the planet’s surface which was covered in city lights gleaming in the dark.

It took Myn’s eyes a moment to adjust to the light spilling in to the bridge from the sunrise directly ahead.

“Great view out there isn’t it” said Wes from behind the pilot’s console. “You really ought to get out of the CIC and enjoy the sights from up here more often.”

Donos walked over to the bridge commander’s chair and sat down. “Your aren’t kidding. We are heading out to Denb today. Won’t be there to long, but I figured you would like it.”

Denb was close enough to a particularly stunning nebula that most of the illumination in the outer system came from it rather than the small white star at the systems center. The system was renowned for its breath taking views, and many pilots venture out there just for the sightseeing.

They sat there for a moment enjoying the view in silence before Myn got up again.

“Back to work I guess. But I think I will head back up here when we arrive.”

“See you then sir.” Wes said without turning away from the viewport.

Chapter Two

Akron had been on station for no more than an hour when the alert came through. Up until that point, the patrol in Denb had been mostly uneventful. Coran had spent most of the time running down low level alerts with his group as they were handed out information on them by the CIC on Akron. They had even joined up with the Akron to take out a pair of NPC frigates and their support that were harassing haulers on the local trade routes. Coran had died a few times and endured the friendly jibes from his squadron mates, but all in all he thought he was doing quite well for his first time outside of reg-space.

His confidence quickly faded as he listened to the voice coming over the radio.

“…..just showed up on the alert list a few minutes ago. We don’t have eyes on them right now so we don’t know how large of a force they have. That’s why we need a scout to pop in and see what there up to. You don’t have time to come back in and refit a long range sensor package so you will need to jump in close enough to pick them up on radar. That means they will be able to see you too, so don’t lollygag once we’ve got what we need. Any questions? Good luck.”

Coran pulled up his jump controls, his hand shaking slightly with adrenaline. This would be his first PVP engagement. As if that wasn’t enough, the enemy was assaulting a small outpost. They probably did not know the Akron was out here, but a shiver ran through Coran’s spine as he thought of the fire power they had to have in order to destroy a station like that. Coran pushed that thought out of his mind as he engaged his jump drive and leapt forward towards the engagement zone.

It was a short jump and minutes later Coran popped back into real space 100 klicks above and behind the station that was under attack. He could not believe what he saw arrayed in front of him. The stations sentry guns were smoldering and obviously would never fire another shot again. Sporadic fire from the station itself was still stabbing out toward the enemy fleet, but the shots where poorly coordinated and were doing little damage where ever they did score hits. Arrayed out in front of the station in the middle of the ruins of what used to be defense platforms and factories, was a pair of battle ships with several frigates grouped around them.

The warble of his fighter’s radar lock warning brought Coran’s thoughts back to his own situation. He immediately crammed his throttle forward and checked his tactical display. A group of enemy light fighters were angling in on him from his 10 o-clock high.

Coran turned towards the attack, giving his lateral thrusters a burst to slide out of the sights of his pursuers. The maneuver worked, the group coming down at him had been moving too fast to keep their guns on Coran and they flew right past.

Instead of trying to continue to turn with Coran, the light fighters used their speed to carry them away and set up for another head to head pass. Coran used the opportunity to bring the nose of his fighter back in line with his orbit and start spooling up his jump drive. Flying in a straight line made him extremely vulnerable, but he knew this was his only chance to get out before more enemy fighters caught up to him.

“Good job kid, we got the information we need. Now get the hell out of there.”

Coran felt a sense of elation as he realized he had accomplished his mission, but it was immediately cut short as he saw the trail of a missile streaking towards him. It would be on him before his jump drive finished spooling up. O well, at least he accomplished what he came here for, and thankfully Akron had medical facilities on board.

Chapter Three

Commander Myn Donos watch as the enemy fleet disappeared from the tactical display in the CIC. Since he had received the alert 10 minutes prior he had managed to get in touch with two other groups operating in the area who were willing to work with them. He had picked up three frigates (one flack platform, the Kraken, and two missile boats) as well as ten more fighters. Normally he wouldn’t even consider attacking a pair of battle ships with the forces he had on hand, but he spotted a critical mistake that the opposition had made.

“They only have twelve fighters with them; we can take advantage of that.” Donos said to Bosch.

“You’re going in sir?”

“We have good odds here. They are operating far from any support so their fighters will be out of the fight for good when we take them down. They have a lot more capital fire power to bring to the fight, but I have an idea on how to deal with that.”

Donos flipped on the taskforce wide radio, “All right guys, we are going in. Kraken take position out in front, the other two frigates will hold station above and below Akron. We will jump in out in front of the enemy position so be ready to pivot to bring your broad side to bear on the enemy forces.”

He flipped the radio setting over to intercom. “Wes as soon as the frigates are in position jump the group in as close as you can to the last known position of the frigate that was out in front. Tyco, I want our fighters to focus on defense while we beat down the flack frigates they are using to counter fighter attacks on the battle ships. Once they are down I want Wraith Squadron to begin taking out the battle ships main guns on the side facing our fleet. As the enemy fighters are destroyed I want you to allocate as many fighters as you can to disabling those battleship’s guns.”

“Got it sir.” Both Wes and Tyco said almost in unison.

“All right sir, we are jumping now.”

Everyone in the taskforce held their breath as all four ships jumped out together.

Akron came out of the jump less than a kilometer in front of the flack frigate that had been their target and immediately began pivoting to bring her guns to bear. For anyone standing on the bridge of the unlucky frigate the Akron must have filled most of the viewport.

“As soon as those guns come to bear open up with all you got,” Donos called over the radio. “And get our missile frigates targeting the two remaining flack frigates.”

The enemy fleet began to get over their initial surprise and respond to the threat they now had in front of them. The flack frigate under Akron’s guns slammed on its gravity break and begun to drop away from its pursuer. Wes was quick to respond however and matched the frigates maneuver keeping it between the Akron and the two battle ships that were turning to bring their big guns into the fight.

As the Akron’s guns came to bear on its prey they began to open up. The Akron was just far enough away from its target to allow both the top and bottom rows of 150mm rail guns to depress far enough to line up on target. The first salvo wracked the nearest side of the unfortunate frigate with enough force to start it slowly rotating. It was clear that the majority of the flack cannons on the damaged side of the ship were out of commission after the first round, but the Akron continued to pour shots onto the frigate’s hull hoping to stop the ship in place and prevent it from slipping away.

With out a clear shot on the Akron the two enemy battle ships began firing on the taskforce’s missile frigates. Their rounds were causing plenty of damage when they found their mark, but at the range involved the battleships were having a hard time hitting the small fast moving missile frigates. At the same time the missiles being launched at the flack frigates were not getting through as easily as Donos had hoped.

“They must have updated tracking systems on those flack cannons.” Donos remarked mostly to himself. “Wes, increase the distance between us and that flack frigate. Keep using him a shield but give me just enough room to get the guns on the other two flack frigates.”

“Bosch, as soon as that frigate stops maneuvering, start putting rounds into the other two.”

Coran was absolutely giddy with excitement as he swung his ship out around the bow of the Akron in pursuit of an enemy pilot. Although he had not scored a kill yet, he had managed to stay alive so far. His target dropped sharply as it came over the top of the Akron, trying to avoid the flack cloud that the Kraken was laying down from its safe position behind the group. Although the Kraken was not scoring many kills it was preventing enemy fighters from making approaches from that side of the group. That made it much easier for Wraith Squadron to methodically sweep the bogies from the sky.

As his target started a tight turn to angle itself back in towards the Akron, Coran inverted and began a wide half loop that would bring him down behind the other pilot if he continued his straight in attack. He did, and as Coran finished the loop he was rewarded with the sound of his missile’s lock tone. The enemy pilot realized too late that his steep dive and sharp course reversal had not shaken his pursuer. Coran’s missile plowed into the canopy of the fighter as it was starting to bank away; it exploded inside the cockpit tearing the front two thirds off the ship. The engines detonated turning the aft of the fighter into dust while the rest of the smoldering remains spun off away from the engagement.

“Hell yeah, got one!” Coran yelled over the squadron radio. He immediately regretted showing so much excitement over one kill, but it was his first real PVP victory, so what if he looked like a noob.

“Bout damn time! We were starting to wonder if you remembered where the trigger was.” Someone yelled back at him. Coran couldn’t tell but it sounded like Tyco.

Commander Donos’ voice crackled through the radio, “Wraith Squadron, time to quit playing around. The flack frigates are pretty close to being out of commission. I need you to start making strafing runs on the Battleships’ big guns. Give priority to the guns on the bow that can depress to a forward firing position.”

For the second time today, Coran felt his new found confidence in his flying skills falter.

Donos switched his radio back over to the ship wide intercom. “Wes, point the bow of the ship up away from the planet, bring us up out from behind what’s left of that flack frigate. As we start taking damage to the main turrets rotate us to give engineering a chance to repair them. Bosch, make sure you keep our shields concentrated on the side facing them.”

The two battle ships had turned toward the taskforce and were closing the distance. At the decreased range they were beginning to put rounds more accurately on the two missile frigates.

“Commander, we are taking too much damage here we have to get out.” The captain of one the missile frigate’s voice was full of regret.

“You’ve done more than enough, jump out and get to the rally point.”

The missile frigates turned and wasted no time spooling up their jump drives. Still taking fire from the battleships they leapt out away from the engagement.

Akron began its climb away from the dying frigate it had been using as a shield. As it did it rotated its belly towards the enemy, allowing both of the massive 250mm side mounted turrets as well as the bottom row of 150mm rail guns to train on the lower battleship. All of the battle cruiser’s guns opened up at once, and the bow of the targeted battle ship lit up with explosions as rounds found a few of the flack turrets scattered across the hull of the ship. The battle ships shields did little to blunt the impact of kinetic type weapons.

Donos watched on the tactical display as both battle ships pivoted to bring more guns to bear on their target.

“This is turning into a slugging match, Tyco we are counting on your fighters out there to disarm those battle ships. What is the hold up?”

Coran followed his wingman through a turn that would take them around for another pass on the massive battle ship they were attacking. Now that there were not so many bogies left out there, it was much easier for Coran to stick with his wingman like he was supposed to. As he lined up on target again, he checked his radar to make sure he wasn’t being pursued.

Both Coran and his wingman angled in on a heavily damaged main turret on the top of the battleship. As soon as Coran got a positive lock on the gun, he let loose his last pair of missiles, then pulled up from his dive in at the top of the ship and followed his wingman around the side. As he past the battleship, Coran twisted his fighter to watch his pair of missiles slam into the top of the turret. The first missile penetrated the damaged outer armor of the turret then exploded inside, twisting the plating out in a bulge with a large spilt down the middle. The second missile passed right through the hole in the top of the turret, impacting a large capacitor deep inside. The capacitor’s side was ripped open and the powerful current stored within arced out towards the hull of the ship. The electrical charge splayed out over the outside of the now crippled battle ship.

Most of the various circuit breakers and fuses onboard the ship blew. What emergency systems did still work came on, but the once proud battleship’s engines were dead, and none of her guns were still firing. Escape pods started launching and heading towards the remaining battle ship.

Donos checked his damage control display. Akron was beginning to suffer under the bombardment she was sustaining. The ship had rotated so her right side now faced the oncoming fire. On the left side, damage control struggled to fix the broken tracking system on Akron’s left 250mm turret, as well as shore up damaged bulk heads and reroute power to some of the sub systems that were no longer working. Several of the ships 150mm turrets were no longer functioning, and the ships engines were taking a beating.

Akron could not take much more of this punishment, but all they had to do was hold out a little longer. Donos was gambling on his fighters being able disarm the two battle ships before his ship could bear no more. He brought up his tactical display and zoomed in on the lower battle ship. How much more could that ship take before its captain lost his nerve?

Donos was answered a moment later when an explosion racked the top side of the battleship, followed by an arc of electricity coursing through the ship. Shit, he thought, that had to have been a million to one shot.

“Redirect all fire power towards that second battleship; give those fighters vectors in on it.”

Even as Donos said those words, he saw that he would not be able to do much to stop the battleship from fleeing. It turned back on orbit and Donos saw the characteristic glow that was its jump drive spooling up. Donos’ attention, however, was already turning back to the disabled battleship. He pulled up his com menu and started looking through it.

“Mal! You still running that heap of space junk you refer to as salvage and repair vessel?”

“As a matter of fact I am. You sound like you got a job for me.”

“As a matter of fact I do. Grab every electrical component you can get your hands on and get down to Denb. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”


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S77thArcher
(@s77tharcher)
Petty Officer Registered
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

Time line:

2029-The first permanent outpost on the moon is established. Unable to secure the funds on their own, NASA and the European Space Agency turn to private corporations in order to make the outpost a reality. Incom, the major investor for the project, sets up a mining operation to take advantage of the vast amounts of titanium available, and begins rapid expansion of the infrastructure at the moon base.

2035-Incom finishes construction of a maglev mass accelerator used to deliver titanium and other resources to low earth orbit. It is able sell these resources at a fraction of the cost of earth based competitors. Incom becomes the first profitable space based enterprise. Companies providing other goods and services to the moon base begin to see profits as the population there starts to expand.

2036-Taking advantage of the drop of prices in goods delivered to low earth orbit, several companies begin to construct commercial space stations. New materials and construction techniques are developed that require a 0g environment.

2040-The economic boom caused by the production of the expanding infrastructure in space reaches its climax. Demand for the advanced materials produced in space reaches all time highs as large scale building projects on earth outpace the rate at which they can be produced. Construction of an orbital colony begins. In order to acquire more raw materials, the first asteroid cracker, the placeholder, is commissioned. It slowly consumes small asteroids, using a high intensity laser to break down the raw ore into its component elements. An internal factory then processes the elements into various construction materials. Once its hold is full it returns to the construction site for the colony and drops off its cargo.

2045-The colony starts production while construction continues expanding the facility. A large portion of the most highly skilled workers and researchers migrate to the colony in search of better pay. The ship yard at the colony is completed and construction begins on a new, much larger generation of asteroid crackers. The colony ships vast quantities of materials planet side, where they are processed in to finished good. The finished good are shipped back to orbit along with large amounts of food stuffs. The trade becomes extremely profitable and quality of life across the globe begins to rapidly increase.

2047-As the colony nears completion, several of the companies involved move their headquarters there. A large number of CEO’s and other wealthy individuals begin to make the colony their home. At the same time the cost of owning and operating a mining ship drops as production ramps up. A new class of private merchants begins to mine the asteroid belt, independent of the larger corporations. At the same time, several smaller colonies began to pop up out near the asteroid belt. As opposed to the large earth orbit colony, where life is run by the large corporations, these small colonies are formed as a coalition of small business owners.

2050-As the colonies become more and more self-sufficient, earth’s economy begins to decline. Food becomes one of the few exports coming off of earth as the colonies begin to manufacture most of the finished goods they need themselves. In an effort to shore up the building trade deficit, the major governments on earth pass high taxes on food stuffs exported to the colonies.

2052-A new breakthrough in hydroponics and the synthesizing of proteins allows for the colonies to produce enough food to feed themselves for the first time. Most trade between earth and the colonies stops.

2053-The economic system on earth collapses. Governments begin to lose influence over their populations. With no manufacturing going on in the cities most people move out to the countryside and the world economy becomes agriculture based.

2054-With the sudden lack of governmental control from earth, the corporate giants make an unprecedented move. They declare that since the station was owned by Incom, Zeyodrine, and several other companies, that governmental control would pass to the share holders in those companies. All laws would be made by a representative body voted for by the share holders, and weighted by how much share each of them possessed. Political power becomes based on personal wealth. The colony is renamed Incom station.

2065-Incom begins consolidating its power by buying out its competitors. By the end of the year they control a majority stake in Incom station. As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, Incom uses its law making authority to further suppress its citizens. In an effort to escape Incom’s regime, a large portion of what is left of the middle class leaves the station for the outer colonies.

2067-Having complete control of the stations in earth orbit, Incom starts trying to buy out the smaller privately owned colonies that now extend all the way out to Jupiter’s moons. When the smaller stations refused to become publicly traded companies, Incom begins bringing them under control using force. As the stations within the inner solar system begin to fall, the remaining colonies form the UCC, United Colonies Coalition. As Incom’s fleet slowly progresses outwards, the UCC starts construction of a massive shipyard and research facility in orbit around Europa.

2070-When the Incom fleet finally reaches Jupiter; it is opposed by the newly assembled UCC fleet. What ensues is the first major conflict fought in space. Combat revolves around large slow moving ships utilizing long range missiles. As the war drags on, the UCC pushes Incom back to the asteroid belt where the long range missile tactics utilized by both sides quickly become obsolete. A new breed of combat ships roams the asteroid fields, where radar clutter hides enemy approaches, and fast paced maneuvering and quick reflexes become the determining factor for the outcome of an engagement. Both sides begin to field small one man fighters to seek out and destroy the larger capital ships used primarily as bases of operations.

2072-After 2 years of brutal fighting, Incom and the UCC finally broker peace. The colonies outside of the asteroid belt remain independent, and Incom keeps control of the colonies closer to earth. The UCC solidifies its sovereignty by drafting a constitution. The colonies will remain autonomous in all internal matters; however the UCC holds the power to issue laws and regulations regarding inter-station trade, as well as maintain a standing military.

2074-The shareholders of Incom make it illegal to default on debt. Once one does default on a loan, they are considered property of the creditor. Debt is also ruled to be passed down to the next generation when parents pass away. Most of the lower class in Incom station and the colonies it controls are forced into serfdom, and Incom shareholders start referring to themselves as nobility. Despite their lack of freedom, Incom citizens enjoy an increasingly high standard of living. Automated manufacturing and efficient food production keep goods plentiful, however pols, citizens bound by debt, are not allowed to leave the station to which they belong.

2146-After over 70 years of peace, an Incom luxury ship goes missing out near Neptune. Incom blames the UCC, and tensions begin to escalate. Small skirmishes break out between the two factions once again, but all out war is avoided for the time being.

2148-A FTL drive is developed allowing travel times within the solar system to be reduced to fractions of what they once were. A new economic boom begins in both factions, the increased demand for raw material strains relations once again. A UCC processing plant in the asteroid belt is destroyed and the UCC declares war on Incom. As both fleets mobilize, several more facilities on both sides are destroyed. It soon becomes clear that some sort of unknown force is responsible for the attacks.


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S77thArcher
(@s77tharcher)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

Factions:

Incom-

Players start their carriers as a part of the small portion of society who are not indebted to the share holders of Incom, but do not yet have enough personal wealth to purchase shares of their own. This class is mostly comprised of the offspring of share holders who have not yet or did not received their inheritance, along with those lucky few who manage to make more money than Incom charges them for living expenses (highly skilled craftsmen, researchers, and pilots who can demand a premium for their services.)

Players will have the choice of starting as a pilot in training for the military division (name undecided) of Incom, or one of the many industrial divisions specializing in things like mining, manufacturing, or transport. All players will initially go through basic flight training before moving on to specific training in regards to more advanced game features specific to the role they choose to play. (when a player finishes a certain training course he will be issued a license. Certain equipment, weapons, ect will require the appropriate license to use. Missions and commissions may also require a set of licenses in order to accept.) After completing training, players will be given a choice of several commissions to take in their specific fields. The choices given will give the player a range of options from close in to the core areas where all threats will be PvE to out in the border regions where most missions will be PvP.

Once a player accepts a commission and travels to the station/ship that the commission is based out of, he will be given a ship to fly appropriate to the level of the commission. As the player acquires new equipment he can customize the ship as he sees fit. If the ship is destroyed, Incom will replace it and all its equipment for a fee depending on several factors, including the contract of your commission and wither or not you were currently on a mission for Incom.

Commissions will pay a set salary based on how high a level the commission is. In addition, the player will earn rewards and extra cash for every mission he completes for Incom. With the money he makes by working for Incom, a player will be able to purchase private property such as additional ships, as well as purchase stock in Incom when it is available. Although some commissions/mission will become available to players based on their reputation with Incom, most will be based on the amount of stock they own (especially positions of leadership.) Therefore player progression becomes tied to the amount of stock they own.

Higher level commissions will allow players the option to use the default ship, or to provide their own which is then “insured” under the same system for the duration of the commission. Commissions may also allow for more than one ship of the same class to be “covered.” The missions available to players will not be limited by the commission that they are on. (Considering having a required # of mission per week to continue getting salary for the commission however) For example, a military pilot on commission as a Capitan in the 181st intercept squadron can either take a combat mission based out of the ship he is stationed on, or he can hop in his privately owned hauler and move goods for a transport mission that has nothing to do with his current commission. The difference is that his hauler will not be replaced by Incom if it gets blown up by enemy fighters. The rewards for missions taken out side of your commission however will be greater.

Players will be able to at anytime resign their active commission, resign from the branch of Incom they currently work for, and (if you want) sell all of your shares. You will then either move on to another division or create/join your own squad/corp/guild/band/fleet (the point is there will be several options on what to call your group based on the type of group you are.) At this point if you are based out of an Incom station you will be charged rent on the offices/personal housing your squad or you needs (based on available slots in the squad,) or your squad (or you if you are obscenely rich) may purchase their own station/capital ship from which to be based out of. Certain missions will still be available to you as long as you remain in good standing with Incom.

UCC-

Players in the UCC will start their carriers as trainees in one of the UCC’s standing military branches (combat, logistics, ect…) They will also be able to chose a home station from several of colonies that make up the UCC. Each colony will have a distinct social organization, history, ect. The way training works will be the same as for Incom. After training, players will be given a choice of commissions the same as in Incom. The major differences will be the way a player progresses within the UCC military and the scope of content covered within the confines of the military.

Instead of commissions being based on the amount of shares (personal wealth) a player has, a player will progress based on his reputation (how well he does on missions.) This will be balanced such that at the lower levels you can steadily progress even with the failure of several missions, but in order to get to and maintain the highest reputation and therefore get to the end game content, you will have to continually perform well. (I know this seems too harsh, but more info on how endgame content will work and include players of all levels will be discussed in the mission/commission section.)

They way content will be divided up between players currently commissioned in the military and those who are accepting missions as freelancers will be much different than they way it is split up for Incom. The UCC will rely heavily on mercenary groups to supplement its military; therefore a lot of content will be available to freelance players acting as “hired guns” for the UCC. Players will also have the option of leaving the UCC standing military and getting a commission with the militia or security force of any colony they are in good enough standing with.

Content therefore will be split just about evenly for military pilots, militia pilots, and those players who chose to freelance. In contrast, Incom’s content will mostly revolve around the military.


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Out side of Factions:

Players who choose to no longer fly for either of the factions will be free to make their own destiny. They will be able to form independent organizations that can own capital ships, stations, mining facilities, ect. These organizations will have a standing with the other factions which determines how those factions respond to them. For example, if your organization has good standing with Incom, it will be able to enter Incom space, use the facilities there, and accept missions from that faction.

Initially, player run organizations will have to set up operations in within the Sol system, in areas not already claimed by one of the factions. As the game progresses, more star systems will become available to players by various means, and it will be up to players to develop the new systems as they see fit.


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Commissions/missions:

Commissions will become available when players meet the given prerequisites for that commission. (Licenses, reputation, stock owned and other criteria for higher up commissions.) There will be several choices of commissions available to players immediately after they leave initial training, but as a player progresses he/she will “unlock” a much deeper variety. Low level commissions will be warrant officer (or equivalent) positions within a specific squadron (This includes squadrons for industrial and logistics pilots.) The next tier of commissions will give the player an increase in rank as well as increased responsibility, such as the ability to accept multi-man missions.

Eventually players will get to the point of being able to get a commission as a squadron commander which will allow them limited control of things such as squadron make up (what types of ships they fly), and what type of and where missions for that squadron will take place (In effect introducing some RTS and management elements to the squadron commander’s role.) Although there will be no limit [May change] to the number of players that can be in a squadron, there will be only one Squadron commander at a time. There possibly may be a squadron XO for each squadron that will have the same abilities when the CO is not on. When one of these positions (or higher ones) becomes available there will be a period of time where players that qualify will be allowed to apply for them. After that period of time, the player with the best qualifications will get the position. (Players coming from within the squadron will be given priority.)

I am considering adding capital ship bridge crew and commander positions to available commissions as well, but may keep player controlled cap ships as squad based content only.

The highest levels of commissions will be fleet commander positions. These will give players a good amount of control over the area of operations and tasks of the squadrons and capital ships within their fleet. These positions will have stringent requirements, and in order to be approved for them applicants will need to submit a “resume” to a GM responsible for that faction as well as possibly interview for the position. Just because the position is open does not mean it will be filled. The GM may decided to leave it open until a more qualified applicant puts in for it. In this case all squadron assignments and tasks will default to the original settings.

Missions will be tiered much the same way as commissions. Low level missions will be somewhat simple single man tasks. However higher level mission will allow players to command groups of various sizes for the mission. Missions will be divided into two categories; the missions related to your current commission, and “freelance missions.” The missions that are related to your commission will correspond to the level of your commission, but you can accept higher level freelance missions provided you meet the criteria. IE: you can take a freelance mission that gives you command of a wing of fighters even if you are just a warrant officer with your squadron.

There will be several types of missions such as simple delivery missions, defend this station against attack missions, and destroy this target missions, as well as more complex patrol missions. These patrol missions will give you an area you are responsible for. You will need to remain in that area for the duration of your patrol time. Although you will get the base cash and/or reputation for the patrol, it will not be efficient to progress this way unless you respond to alerts within your area which will give you extra rewards.

Alerts will be random and will occur when ever a friendly AI ship is attacked by an enemy (AI or Player.) If you accept an alert it will function much like a mission. Alerts will be available to any players the meet the requirements for that level of alert in the area, but the ones who are on patrol will get bonus rewards for responding.

Logistics missions will also have an impact on the game. The amount of supplies available at forward stations and ships will be a determining factor in how much the faction will help cover lost ships and equipment for its pilots. This will effectively limit the amount of activity squadrons will be able to perform if their supply lines are cut. When a ship or station begins to run low on materials or specific components it will create a mission to deliver those items. In addition, when faction structures such as stations and defensive platforms are damaged or destroyed a mission will be created to repair/rebuild them. These resupply and rebuilding missions will often take logistics players into harm’s way.


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End Game Missions:

Fleet commanders and players with the right qualifications will be able to start attack missions against PvP or PvE targets. These attacks can range in size from a single squadron to an entire fleet wide assault. Only certain objectives will be subject to such attacks such as enemy PvP stations and NPC stations, battle groups, ECT. There will be a lot of PvE content that revolves around this mechanic (think open world dungeons.) These missions will require a massive amount of planning and coordination to pull off. The commander for the mission will be able to fill the available roles with whomever he wants given that they have the appropriate licenses. Fleet commanders will be able to get these missions as a part of their commission; therefore all the ships in the group will be protected under the same system. However roles will be limited to those players who currently have commission in the units under that fleet commander.


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World design:

The initial game world will consist of an accurate model of our solar system. All planets and moons currently known will be in their respective orbits at the correct distance from the object they are orbiting. Major know asteroids and comets will also have their orbits accurately depicted, however do to extensive asteroid mining (and to reduce server load) the asteroid belt will be reduced to many smaller clusters of asteroids within the approximate zone of the present day asteroid belt.

Incom stations and other faction resources will be located in the inner solar system and inside of their zones of control within the asteroid belt. UCC stations and resources will be located mostly in the outer solar system and within their zones in the asteroid belt. There will also be several uncontrolled areas in the belt and other places such as the Kieper Belt. Uncontrolled areas may have strong enemy NPC presence and/or be a good location for players to set up their own operations.

Although some asteroid and Kieper belt objects will be plotted on player’s charts, some will need to be surveyed before they show up on the player’s charts.

As an ongoing development process, new technology will allow players to travel more efficiently within the solar system and eventually make travel to nearby star systems possible. These new systems will be completely devoid of human life. No info will initially be available to players. They will either have to go survey the objects in these new systems, pay someone to do it, or wait until someone sells the information to the public database. Players will be responsible for developing the infrastructure including stations, factories, and possibly a sort of “gate” to facilitate faster interstellar travel. This new player infrastructure will either be player owned, or potentially developed by players in the logistics branches for the two factions.


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Flight Mechanics:

All ships will function with true Newtonian physics and will orbit objects the same way as space ships do in real life. The will have full control authority to rotate around all three axis, have directional thrusters to move vertically and laterally, have a main engine to accelerate in the direction the ship is pointed, and have a “gravity break” to decelerate in relation to the ships current orbit (the ship will lose energy from its orbit, causing it move slower and its orbit to shift down closer to the body it is orbiting.) Ships will also have several autopilot functions such as heading hold (will keep the nose of the ship pointed the same way it is orbiting), Altitude hold (will keep the same altitude above the body the ship is orbiting), and a NAV mode in which a ship will track an ILS type NAV aid to line it up with the docking bay or landing platform of a ship or station (Pilots can manually fly the approach to landing with a visual display of this NAV aid on the HUD.)

In addition to a true Newtonian flight mode, Small one man ships will also be able to “latch” their gravity break on to a nearby station or capital ship. In this case when the break is engaged, the ship will have a drag component placed on it that will continuously try to return the ship to the same velocity as the object it is latched to. This will also create a max velocity in relation to the object as the drag would increase with an increase in difference in velocity. (Flight will work much the same as you see in games like JGC in this mode.)

Fighters, transport ships, and other types of small craft will land on a platform or in a launch bay in much the same fashion of aircraft landing on a carrier. They will make an approach at a slight down angle to the deck. The approach will be assisted by an indicator on the HUD that will show deviation from the path vertically and laterally with two lines moving top to bottom or left to right across the HUD (you need to keep the lines centered). You will also have a difference in velocity indication at the side of your HUD which will have an empty wedge representing the recommended difference in velocity for your current distance. The empty wedge will be filled up according to your current difference in velocity (yellow for too slow, green for on velocity, red for too fast.) As you pass over the deck and touchdown pilots will hit their down thrusters to hold them on the deck and gravity break to slow down to match speed with the deck (friction will also help you slow down, and the gravity break will help hold you on the deck.)

For smaller ships such as frigates and cruisers that have less room for landing I may be looking to implement some type of capture system. After you stop you will taxi to an elevator that will bring your ship down to a hanger until you want to launch again. I want it kind of feel like a carrier landing.

Smaller capital ships will also be able to dock with stations. This will use much the same system for approach as a one man ship; however small capitals will be lined up with a docking bay (picturing an open truss structure) and will be required to match speed and orbit with the station it is docking with within a certain limit as it enters the bay. After it gets “close enough” the bay will latch on to the ship and hold it in place. This process will be made much simpler with the use of auto pilot; however docking in a hurry (combat situation) will require the pilot to manually fly.

Capital ships will also be able to “soft dock” in open space with each other. For example a cargo hauler could dock with a battleship out on patrol to deliver needed materials. In this case the main ship will extend a docking arm and the ship that is docking with it will maneuver up next to it and will attach when it is in position (using the same approach guidance aid that is now focused on a point in space where the docking ship needs to end up.)

All ships will be equipped with a FTL drive which will allow them to move quickly between orbits. The pilot will first select the object he wants to orbit, then the position he wants to exit the orbit in. He will also be able to change the elevation above or below the equator and how elliptical vs. how circular the orbit is. Players will also have a quick “warp to” option that will allow them enter the same orbit as the object selected but a set distance behind it. From there players can maneuver as they wish, or request to dock and begin and approach to a docking bay/launch bay. FTL drives will take time to recharge before they can be used again and will require that the ship using it remains aligned with its orbit for a certain amount of time as it spools up.


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Combat Information:

Combat will revolve around threat detection (especially in and around asteroid fields.) Ships will have a variety of different tools for looking for enemies. The first of which will be a Threat Emissions Warning System. The TEWS will be passive and will alert the pilot when ever radar energy is detected. Ships will also have active radar systems which will give more target information about targets in its scan zone. Optical, Thermal, and Gravitational scanners will also be able to be mounted on pylons in place of missiles. Optical scanners will allow you to lock on a target without them getting a warning on their TEWS; effective range will be less than radar and will be determined by size of object and the amount of light being reflected by it. Thermal scanners will do the same but effective range will be determined by the heat signature of the target vs. the background it is against (IE: if the target is coming from out of the sun you are screwed). Gravitational scanners will be adept at finding larger capital ships and stations at long range buy examining the gravity wells in the area.

Pilots will also have Data Link information displayed on their scope when a target is detected by a friendly ship in the area even if they don’t have it on their own scanner. This is most useful when operating with recon ship support as recon ships will have much greater radar range and will be able to scan all directions at once. The radar operator on a recon bird, or cap ship will also be able to function as a TAC (tactical air commander) and give instructions to the fighters in the group. Radar operators will be able to look at a 3d view of the battle field and don’t have to worry about flying the ship, so they will be able to keep better awareness of what’s going on.


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Game experience:

I want this game to give the player a sense of what it would actually be like to be on board a ship in space. This means players will spend a good bit of time walking around ships interacting with other players, sharpening skills in simulators, managing complex and realistic systems, ect. I want a player who is walking around the inside of a capital ship to be able to see and hear the effects that combat is having on it (rumbles as hits land on the ship hull, flickering lighting, and the possibility of a hull breach in areas if the ship takes enough damage.

Game play will revolve around crews of pilots, bridge crew, and others working together to accomplish tasks (Although there will still be enough for players to do solo.)

Pilots in the cockpit should be surrounded with a well laid out and functional 3D cockpit. The way systems work on fighters should be realistic and complex, requiring players to specialize on the ships and equipment that they use. (Track IR compatibility is a must IMHO.)


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DarkOne
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Great opening story S77thArcher, should keep writing and a short story out of it really good stuff. And the break down of the factions and timeline is great. Your story reminds me of a battle in Nexus: TJI 🙂

But I do agree on a lot of your game points. I think moving about your capitol ship and being a part of all the ship systems would be great for the immersion level of a game and show that it isn't all about the fighting. You have some great ideas here, hope you keep writing on the storyline.

What would be even better would be to animate this thing in Blender/3DSMax of Vue 🙂


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Pinback
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Excellent thought out set of ideas there S77thArcher,I take it you preferred game would be a online game.


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S77thArcher
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Thanks for the feed back guys. And yes, It would be a persistent online game. Although if I ever had the opportunity to make it, it might start with a simpler multi player version to prove the combat aspect of game play.

I have been considering writing a short novel set in a world pretty similar to this one actually. I got through writing a little bit, and have a general plot line laid out in my head (of course it has not been written in the guise of a game), but finding time to work on these things has been hard recently. I have too much crap I want to do...


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DarkOne
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I miss the really well done SP games and in-depth stories like the your you are working on is great for immersion into the story and the characters. There is a few devs that visit the website that may get interested in the work you have done.

There is a few games that are being worked on that will have some real good modding tools (ie: Heresy War) that you might be able to get this story built as a mod?


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XenoHelix
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I'm stating opinions here .. 🙂

Darkone wrote:
But I do agree on a lot of your game points. I think moving about your capitol ship and being a part of all the ship systems would be great for the immersion level of a game and show that it isn't all about the fighting.

Not really. Immersion is a term that is used to indicate how much does a game feel real but it's wrongfully associated with fun.

@S77thArcher

Leonardo Da Vinci wrote:
The most praiseworthy form of art is the one that most resembles what it imitates.

Space Trading/Combat/Exploration simulator games are not simulators but games, and games by definition must be fun to play. Entertaining games that are fun to play do not rely in immersion so much as they do in intellectual interactivity. Polishing a game will enhance its fun elements but it won't replace them nor create them if they don't exist. Walking around inside a ship is immerse, i give you that, but is not fun by any standards regardless of the stimulus (hull breaches, sounds, ... etc) because it makes the life of a player difficult since it will delay him or even prohibit him from doing what's important at that time (going for the turrets, the engine, the cockpit, the cargo hall, ... etc).

Quite often, especially when the basic ideas of game design and entertaining aspects are not understood (not insulting anyone), people will bloat a game with features that provide "immersion" but are not fun at all. They try to make the game realistic to maximum extend but forget that people want to have fun and not deal with the trivial aspects of life, in a digital world !!!

Think of it like this .... In many space games, a lot of time is spend in simply going from planet A to planet B, without doing something exciting or challenging.

- Do you really think that it will add to the gameplay if the player has to spend time going from room A to room B as well?

- It would be 100% immerse (regarding time) to wait 3 weeks for a "trade run" to be completed, but would you be willing?

Realistic solar system you say .... Would you notice the difference if someone didn't tell you? 😉

Newtonian physics you say .... Have you ever tried them in realistic space flight? 😮

Just my 10c ...


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Pinback
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micmanos wrote:

Realistic solar system you say .... Would you notice the difference if someone didn't tell you? 😉

Newtonian physics you say .... Have you ever tried them in realistic space flight? 😮

True enough,but as a preference I would always like to have planets that can be flown too as in Frontiers or the

Starflight games,as opposed to them being in the background as they are in the X games or Darkstar 1.It just adds

a layer which is missing from most modern games.

I would agree that an endless list of features do not make for a more immersion in a game,the best immersion so far in a game IMO is Freelancer com chatter,which the player has nothing to do with,it just add so much life to the game universe.

Play an hour of Freelancer then go play an hour of X3 and see how dead the X universe feels without any

coms chatter.I alway feel this could be expanded upon by seeing more activities outside of the stations,like ship being refuelled,unloading/loading cargo,being built or repaired,again as the coms chatter in Freelancer the play would have no input it would be just be in the background to give the impression of a busy station.


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XenoHelix
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My point exactly Pinback,

Immersion is the fine details that don't interfere with the actual game. Com chatter (along with the hissing noise and distortion which is my personal favorite in SFX engineering 😀 ), is one beautiful finishing touch to the entire game but it doesn't belong to the actual "Game". X3 (although never played it) from what i hear is a very good game which "survives" without the same level of immersion Freelancer provides.

I never said that planets to fly to was too much. I like the idea of unrestricted "go anywhere i want" environments but it's one thing a game to satisfy your "want to" from dictating that you "have to", and that's the difference. "Want to" is immersion but "Have to" is playing.

I Want to have com chatter and my wing mates to make random remarks on chatter ... Immersion / Good 😀 .

I Want to have unrestricted flying inside and outside a planet ... Immersion / Good 😀 .

I Have to watch a cut-scene every time i dock to a station or a planet ring, talk to someone, visit the trader/bar ... Gaming / Bad 👿 .

I Want to get out of the ship, talk to people, people talk to me, meet my future wife, get married, have kids, have a mortgage on my house, get my pension, become a millionaire .... Psychosis / Seek help 😆

Just, stating my opinion ... 😉


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S77thArcher
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micmanos wrote:

Space Trading/Combat/Exploration simulator games are not simulators but games, and games by definition must be fun to play. Entertaining games that are fun to play do not rely in immersion so much as they do in intellectual interactivity. Polishing a game will enhance its fun elements but it won't replace them nor create them if they don't exist. Walking around inside a ship is immerse, i give you that, but is not fun by any standards regardless of the stimulus (hull breaches, sounds, ... etc) because it makes the life of a player difficult since it will delay him or even prohibit him from doing what's important at that time (going for the turrets, the engine, the cockpit, the cargo hall, ... etc).

Quite often, especially when the basic ideas of game design and entertaining aspects are not understood (not insulting anyone), people will bloat a game with features that provide "immersion" but are not fun at all. They try to make the game realistic to maximum extend but forget that people want to have fun and not deal with the trivial aspects of life, in a digital world !!!

Think of it like this .... In many space games, a lot of time is spend in simply going from planet A to planet B, without doing something exciting or challenging.

- Do you really think that it will add to the gameplay if the player has to spend time going from room A to room B as well?

- It would be 100% immerse (regarding time) to wait 3 weeks for a "trade run" to be completed, but would you be willing?

Realistic solar system you say .... Would you notice the difference if someone didn't tell you? 😉

Newtonian physics you say .... Have you ever tried them in realistic space flight? 😮

Just my 10c ...

Actually, I have tried Newtonian physics in JGC (also had drag) and a heavily modded Orbiter, which is much closer to what I am looking for in this case. It is very challenging, but thats what I look for in a game. I don't want a game in which everyone is an ace pilot because thats just not how it works in real life either. I want to see people specialize in certain skill sets (flying, command, ship systems, ect) and then work together in order to get a ship to function. I want to see people able to make money flying traders and manufacturers while they sit in the back of a shuttle at a com station managing their assets. In the end it comes down to the fact that I do want a SIM in so much as you can make a sim set in the future. I realize that this is not what most people want to see in a game, but there are a few of us out there.

As far as walking around in ships go, you are assuming that it will interfere with your ability to operate the ship. Every ship function should be accessible from any station. This would allow one crew member to take on a couple of roles if the ship is short staffed. You are not going to have to run around from one side of a ship to the other manually hopping into each turret, or run around with a wrench "fixing" things. And once again, whether you find a system like this fun or not is a matter of taste.

I am one of those people who modded X-plane to have more accurate cockpit models and actually sit down with the procedures manual that Delta uses on its 737's and run through each flight step by step exactly the way it happens in real life. These kind of things are fun to me. I know that I am defiantly in the minority, but that doesn't mean that no one out there likes sims (they do keep making them.)


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DarkOne
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I like the attention to detail and the passion behind the vision. But this would have to be a open source still game, because the audience for that type of game is very small and your development time would be way to long to be profitable. And if it is open source it would be a great effort and something a lot of people would checkout. But going open source usually means long development times and people usually loose the passion over that period of time and games die out unless the core developers are dedicated to the game itself.

Some of the player created stories/content that I read here and on other sites would be great if maybe they went a different direction and created a CGI movie or something like that.

But the engines being developed and available for the user like UDK and Unity are quality engines and can help someone start to create something of their own is improving and even I want to learn how to use the UDK. Because there are some really good modelers in the community and you can build your content fairly quickly with donated work.


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The basis of my argument was "how FUN is interpreted in the Game Industry Area" (I'm not in the Game Industry though, and not intent to be). Your arguments reflect your personal taste which is equally understandable, since you're a potential customer and you're stating your preference as to what you feel is entertaining for you and what game you would definitely buy (you do buy them, right? 😛 ).

Your best chance of getting what you want, which unfortunately is not under your control, is for some hobby attempt of a person with the same preference as you and of course some decent development skills. And before someone slaps me on the face, by 'Hobby' i mean that such a project will hardly find the market base to convince any development studio/team to commit resources to it. I know, believe me ..... I'm still waiting for my needs to be serviced .. 😆


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DarkOne
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micmanos wrote:
Your arguments reflect your personal taste which is equally understandable, since you're a potential customer and you're stating your preference as to what you feel is entertaining for you and what game you would definitely buy (you do buy them, right? 😛 ).

Of course I still buy them but not too recently though. There really hasn't been a game that wow'd me recently there is some in the works that I cannot wait to get my hands on. Last two games I bought were Space Force and X3TC. Everything else I play now are either WIP or old games. It might be my preference a little bit but also more observations since I visit lots of sites in my travels for info for SSC.

I know you cannot make space game interfaces to simplified because of all the options players want in a game. But I have played games where literally every key was used on the keyboard and that is just insane and pulls away from the experience for me. But I know there are people that like that type of thing but that is a much smaller crowd.

For instance watch this video of this game:

It takes you 10-15mins just to run a system check 🙂

So if you have cockpit complexity like this in a space combat game I think the game would only be appreciated by a few.


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XenoHelix
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@Darkone: Regarding the video and the pre-flight check i can say that if the actual procedure on this helli is as shown, then it's a Simulator alright. If it's entertaining to some people, they can call it a Game but since it's a common practice for a word to be defined by majority, i wouldn't call it that.

I've got a question for that 'Game' ...

What happens if you hear ... "SCRAMBLE, GO .. GO.. GO !!" 😆


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S77thArcher
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Ah DCS:Blackshark. I play that game a good bit, as do a lot of other people. That video is of the in game tutorial for the start procedure which goes through it very slowly. The current standard for zero to combat ready in my squadron is about 45 seconds. If we are not in a hurry we usually take about 2 min. And yes, that is a 100% accurate start sequence, and every system on the KA50 functions as it should in real life.

It is definitely a sim, but I don't think that makes it less viable as a game. There are people out there who really enjoy this type of game play. See any of the MS flight sims, X-plane, Falcon 4.0, Orbiter, Fighter Ops, the DCS series, and tons more. The communities for these games are not huge, but they are long lasting and dedicated. What other demographic would spend $500 for a flight stick ( http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/x65f.htm ), $100 for a rudder pedal set up, $200 for track IR all on a game that cost $14.95? Thats not even getting into the cost of the computer rig and monitors (yeah, most people I know fly with at least three screens) or those guys who spend thousands on cockpit mock-ups.

And just about everyone of my flight sim buddies are also fans of space sims. So I do think that you could capture a large enough player base for such a game to be successful over the long term.


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