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5 things you would stick in a space sim

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DarkOne
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If you could give your opinions to help build the ultimate space sim, what 5 things would you have included?

1. Openness - I want to be able to go anywhere and attack anything I would like.

2. Story - I want to bring back the good years of the WC story lines and character development. I mean you actually felt bad that your wingmate's died because you got attached to them and you would replay it over and over to see if you could save them. I know in a MMO storylines haven't gotten much attention but if a game truly was story driven and things done effect the world it would make the game more deep in scope.

3. Modular Ship Design - Various ships are nice but I think users should be able to have some base model types and be able to add everything else to the shell this way most ships look unique and of course paint and logos can be added. I think a decent instance of that is the Evochron series have a modular style of ship building.

4. Weakness and Strengths in weapons and armor - This would make any game more interesting if your ship was equipped with some type of beam/laser weapon and when you fire it did barely any damage to the hull. But hardpoint ammo (good ole fashion bullets) shred the ship in half. This could give a little guy a chance if his ship was outfitted correctly. Plus it would make building your armor and shield plants more challenging to have a balance.

5. Graphics - Yeah I know they are pretty good now. But they can always get better especially with DX10 and DX11 coming next year. I want to see cosmic events actually have an effect in the game world like nebula and meteor storms etc...


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 Anonymous
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Hmm you covered a few good ones there.

1. More career types like archologist, star mapper, ship and building designer, etc..

2. Consumeable resources... fuel, ammo, resources, antimatter, etc...

3. Hacking/Spying. Think it would be amazing to build a skill that would allow you to inflitrate your enemy ranks 🙂

4. Better guild communication systems. Most MMO's today just suck at relying info

5. Better global/universe newsfeeds where you could possibly see your name in the news by doing either a great deed or an evil one.


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Here's a few I like to see

1 A space trading game based on Frontier/Frontiers First Encounter and not the 25 year old game play of

Elite

2 I want to get out of the space craft and walk about on the planet,I would not expect to go walk about

on the entire planet surface.But I do think that the space port/city could be done,after all there are

a number of 8/16 bit games where you can get out of the ship and explore the planet.So why can't devs

do this sort of game today?.

3 mini arch storylines this would be 3/4 missions that would form that an independent story instead of

having one main one.

4 I like to see a lot more player immersion/atmosphere,Freelancer great at voice chatter.But a lot more

could be done around the stations like of seeing ship being loaded/unloaded with cargo,taking on

fuel,being built ect

5 A real sense of different levels of technology between low/high tec planets or civilization


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 Anonymous
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PINBACK wrote:

3 mini arch storylines this would be 3/4 missions that would form that an independent story instead of

having one main one.

I like this one. And maybe the story archs change depending on the outcome of the major battles?


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There's a very good idea from Terminus where if the player does not do the mission or misses the

deadline then the game plays the mission and player finds out what happened later on.


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DarkOne
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Now that is a great idea... I mean that is what builds immersion. Knowing that would slacked off and did partake in a battle or mission and something happened now affecting the sector or race relations.

It's amazing that all the space sims ever created there is a little bit of everything that people want in each one and if there was a game that included 60% of all these features it would be a huge fan favorite for years.


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Darkone wrote:

It's amazing that all the space sims ever created there is a little bit of everything that people want in each one and if there was a game that included 60% of all these features it would be a huge fan favorite for years.

I agree with that,there is a lot good ideas from older game that never get reused.

I will have to have think about my top 5 unused ideas from old games now. 😆


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DarkOne
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c0mas wrote:
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It's amazing that all the space sims ever created there is a little bit of everything that people want in each one and if there was a game that included 60% of all these features it would be a huge fan favorite for years.

Well ... it's quite hard to please everyone 🙂

C0mas I'm sure Heresy War will please us. With modding being added to Heresy that is definitely a plus. Let your community build your content. Look what has happened with FL and FS. Modders have done great things without real modding tools for FL and FS is now open source. I think that is a big reason why Valve is so successful with their games because they open them up to modding and they hang around forever.


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 Anonymous
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I might have to agree there. I could almost say developers could put a little less in a game and just give the users a very good set of modding tools and let them build the game up. Then the devs only have to worry about fixing critical bugs and maybe the next graphical update.

I know recently the focus has been on eye candy for most people since they have these very expensive gamer machines they want to play games that push the envelope which is understandable. But I am always willing to take a hit on game if the content is special.

C0mas is right you cannot please everyone... which is so true. Someone somewhere is going to whine about your game or find something wrong with it. So I guess you just take the feedback from your fans during game development and you go with that. I won't even go into the people that expect the sun and the moon and want it for free 🙂


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Modular ship design is a very important point, because if you can build your own ship, it personalises the game much more for you, rather than having a selection of fixed ships, you could tweak a basic hull, and add what you want, where you want.. and come out with a completely unique ship for yourself. The basic hull's hardpoints would be fixed, but the standard equipment and loadout modules could be manipulated how you want it. This is exemplified in Evochron Legends, where you can select from hulls, but not only is the physical placement of the components set by you, but also the size and scale of the components, so you can take cargo bays and engines and squeeze and stretch them, expand wingspans compact fuel pods.. you can even colour your ship. I think in most free-form open ended space sim games, there should be this level of customisation available to really endear you to your craft. Having templates to store the designs and swap the designs readily with other players is also a very cool option. In fixed storyline or mission based games, perhaps the ship designs are much more rigid in terms of looks for an artistic or lore direction, however, even then I'd say the ability to select different variants on the same modules would give it some variety, so you could still feel a part of the ship design and building process.

I'd like to see professions fleshed out as much as combat usually is, so mining would become quite a complex and involving endeavour, trading would become more dynamic than just finding a favourite route, and having the cargo bays to cope with it. It would be nice to incorporate certain random events, happening to a ship during normal play, meteor storms, attacked by bandits, having to run silent through heavily turreted enemy bases, rescue missions on asteroids and planet surfaces. Multi-story arcs, from different racial perspectives, giving more than just different missions, actually opening up different cultural possiblities between terrans and alien species, allowing for more diplomacy and negotiation to occur, along with trade agreements and non-agression pacts.. I could go on..

Essentially what I'm looking for is an amalgamation of depth and immersion of an RPG game, with races and cultures, coupled with the strategic possiblities from 4X games, coupled with the ability to pilot your own craft and take part in missions and storylines that make you care about your character, your ship and your race.. making for an epic space opera. I realise all of this is a lot to ask from a single game. But you know if you don't ask.. 🙂


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spelk wrote:

I'd like to see professions fleshed out as much as combat usually is, so mining would become quite a complex and involving endeavour, trading would become more dynamic than just finding a favourite route, and having the cargo bays to cope with it. It would be nice to incorporate certain random events, happening to a ship during normal play, meteor storms, attacked by bandits, having to run silent through heavily turreted enemy bases, rescue missions on asteroids and planet surfaces.

That's something I would like too see happen in the sand box type of games.The old trading,mining,piracy

and bounty hunting jobs has hardly changed since the days of Elite.


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DarkOne
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spelk wrote:
Modular ship design is a very important point, because if you can build your own ship, it personalises the game much more for you, rather than having a selection of fixed ships, you could tweak a basic hull, and add what you want, where you want.. and come out with a completely unique ship for yourself. The basic hull's hardpoints would be fixed, but the standard equipment and loadout modules could be manipulated how you want it. This is exemplified in Evochron Legends, where you can select from hulls, but not only is the physical placement of the components set by you, but also the size and scale of the components, so you can take cargo bays and engines and squeeze and stretch them, expand wingspans compact fuel pods.. you can even colour your ship. I think in most free-form open ended space sim games, there should be this level of customisation available to really endear you to your craft. Having templates to store the designs and swap the designs readily with other players is also a very cool option. In fixed storyline or mission based games, perhaps the ship designs are much more rigid in terms of looks for an artistic or lore direction, however, even then I'd say the ability to select different variants on the same modules would give it some variety, so you could still feel a part of the ship design and building process.

With the latest Renegades Legends patch it has everything you just spoke of for customization of the ship. Strange how we get this type of customization from a single developer and not the bigger development efforts. I agree with Spelk that ship customizations are a big deal to make you feel unique.


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Asteroids you know the bit in Empire when the Milennium Falcon flys through the asteroids belt.I loved

to see some thing like that in a game.With the asteroid crashing into one another and moving around.


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DarkOne
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It was kicked around in both Infinity and JGE that asteriods will server more of a purpose instead of mining so maybe that wish may come true. I know there could be asteriods where you could hideout or even make a small base/station in the cave. That would be something great right there.

I know I would really like to see space take its toll on your ship and systems. Get too close to the sun or a nebula and it starts to degrade your systems or hull. It would just add a lot more realism to the sim. They said in Infinity that your ship will get dirty and show sinces of age over time 😉 I like that.


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Thousands of systems to explore not a couple of hundred boxes as in the X games.Trader that

can be interacted with on the stations,as in Starflight/Protostar.

I have read that if you annoy the traders in Protostar they will send you on a wild goose

chase to get something then refuse to buy it.


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I would like a small, fairly low tech setting, say in the moons around a Gas giant somewhere, or within our own system.

I would like every inch of this small setting detailed. Meaning interior of ships, stations, and any surfaces bases. Everything (hence the small setting size).

I would like careers and actions to be simulated. Meaning when trading cargo, you would actually be working with physical cargo that you would have to dock, load, move around etc. This would go for other career types as well.

I would like a careful back story to all the tech, ships, station designs etc. Make me believe they are real.

I would like a non-airplane flight model.

There you go. 5 things I would stick in a space sim. Of course I would have a few other ideas as well, but 5 was the limit.


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Cambragol wrote:

I would like every inch of this small setting detailed. Meaning interior of ships, stations, and any surfaces bases. Everything (hence the small setting size).

I would like to see something Similar to that myself,but in a bigger unvierse.I dont know if their

are technical reason why it can't be done.But if you look at a game like Sundog,where you

could get out of the ship and explore the surface in vehicle,get out of the vehicle

and walk about the citys,go into the bars and get drunk,buy drugs get mugged and have shootouts on

the street.And all this is in a game which was made 25 years ago,so why can't deves do something

like this today?.


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Cambragol
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PINBACK wrote:

I would like to see something Similar to that myself,but in a bigger unvierse.I dont know if their

are technical reason why it can't be done.But if you look at a game like Sundog,where you

could get out of the ship and explore the surface in vehicle,get out of the vehicle

and walk about the citys,go into the bars and get drunk,buy drugs get mugged and have shootouts on

the street.And all this is in a game which was made 25 years ago,so why can't deves do something

like this today?.

The reason is part of a malaise that is affecting almost all games. Never ending improvements to graphics. With each new crop of games, the amount of detail that goes into the 3D environments increases. And with this repeating increase in detail, comes an increasing expectation of graphical improvements and detail by the player/consumer. So at the point we are at now, creating a large scale universe/game area would be impossible. It would simply take too many tens of thousands of hours. Even the biggest games out now can only create a very tiny set of physical environments.

So this is the trap we are in. Maybe at some point we will have computers that can actually design and build detailed levels completely on their own. Until then there will not be a significantly detailed space/universe game area.


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DarkOne
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All of those were great suggestions Cambragol.

I really liked the small details in ships and stations and the back story. Today's games WOW us with their graphics but when it comes to depth there is none. I guess that's why I lose focus of a game fairly quickly these days. The details are it for me, actually docking my ship, refueling it, unloading it, bartering with the merchant for the best price are great things. I think having thousands of sectors in a game is a must, I have a huge adventurist side and get all giddy going places I have never been before...


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Hendar23
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Solnicaris wrote:
Hmm you covered a few good ones there.

1. More career types like archologist, star mapper, ship and building designer, etc..

2. Consumeable resources... fuel, ammo, resources, antimatter, etc...

3. Hacking/Spying. Think it would be amazing to build a skill that would allow you to inflitrate your enemy ranks 🙂

4. Better guild communication systems. Most MMO's today just suck at relying info

5. Better global/universe newsfeeds where you could possibly see your name in the news by doing either a great deed or an evil one.

You just described EVE Online.

PINBACK wrote:

3 mini arch storylines this would be 3/4 missions that would form that an independent story instead of

having one main one.

I agree. And why are you always saving the whole universe? I want personal epic stories. Why not an epic quest to save your child? Or even just yourself? In Hardwar, your not trying to save the city, or win a war. You're just trying to selfishly get the hell off the crappy rock you live on. Nothing more. My favorite book is the Centauri Device, basically about a guy trying very hard to get people he doesn't like very much to leave him alone. I'd like to see more of that in games...if I ever finish my game, I'll show ya'll 🙂 In fact, I should probably be coding right now....


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AcesHigh wrote:
PINBACK wrote:
Asteroids you know the bit in Empire when the Milennium Falcon flys through the asteroids belt.I loved

to see some thing like that in a game.With the asteroid crashing into one another and moving around.

that would be ultra unrealistic, since real asteroid fields are almost as dense as pure vacuum (during the whole Cassini mission through the asteroid belt, it was able to spot ONE casual asteroid, as nothing more than a point at light... at a distance of 1.6 million kilometers!

I dont think what you want would be nice for a space sim, maybe for an action game or a space sim with unrealistic distances (like Wing Commander, etc)

It has nothing to do with it being realistic,but every thing to do with entertainment and enjoyment of the game.It is after all a game and why can't there not be any fun elements to it.Some thing which is some time overlooked in to days games.


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Hendar23
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PINBACK wrote:
It has nothing to do with it being realistic,but every thing to do with entertainment and enjoyment of the game.It is after all a game and why can't there not be any fun elements to it.Some thing which is some time overlooked in to days games.

I think realism is something which is too much overlooked to be honest. Realism can be fun too. Look at the legions of fanatical flight sim fans.


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Hendar23 wrote:

I think realism is something which is too much overlooked to be honest. Realism can be fun too. Look at the legions of fanatical flight sim fans.

Getting a balance between the two is proberly the hardest thing. 🙂


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Hendar23
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True. That's why I love I-War


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s2odan
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1. Depth. So many lack this.

2. Realistic flight and orbital mechanics as well as realistic galaxy. Realism is fun too, it just has to be done right. Space games must also have seamless planetary landings which should fall under the realistic galaxy part.

3. Choice and consequence.

4. Dynamic local and galactical events.

5. Freedom. Not the braveheart kind, but as in the freedom to choose your own goals.

Space games generally have a few of the above ingredients, but never all of them.


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