DrDread

all messages by user

3/17/2016
Topic:
NPC Corporation factions added to the game

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
We have added Non player character corporations (NPCs) to the game recently. these were necessary to handle things like the Terran Federation units that defend everyone in the cities of Sol System. It's very easy to just treat them as a special "Corporation" that is immune to the economics of the game but can issue order and do attacks just like anyone else. They can even be involved in many events where transferring goods or attacking certain faction units is the goal.


Terran Federation - The "City Guards" of the game. They represent the unified government of the Sol System from the story page and their units are present, and automatically re-populate, in every city in the Sol System and set to Guard the entire location from any attacks. Larger cities get heavier units. There is also work being done to spawn and move capital ships to places where a lot of combat is happening outside the city, such as at a higher value resource site where other players might be raiding each other. They are not designed to one shot everyone who attacks another player. Attacking other player, especially to raid their products is part of the game. They are there to make sure that players are generally safe in the cities and a little less so outside of them. They make sure that other player who attack you can't be more than an annoyance without suiciding themselves.


The People - This is a corporation that represent the general population of the game. If there is a riot event in a city, the units involved will most likely be part of "The people" corporation. There may also be events where transferring certain goods to "The People" in a certain city is required. They could be traded to just like any other corporation in this situation.


Commonwealth - The "Good Pirate" faction akin to the Rebellion from Star Wars. This faction would be used mostly for events. They might attack certain players who deal in certain goods also. Military oriented players might spend some time attacking this corps units as part of a daily routine.


Darkstar Empire - This is the "Evil Pirate" faction akin to something like "The Empire" from Star Wars also but they are about the same size as the Commonwealth. Just like the Commonwealth corporation, this corp will most likely be attacking players or "The People" through events that have an evil slant to them.


The Machines - The Mysterious Artificial Intelligence faction from the story page. Treated essentially like another "pirate' faction although their motivations are unknown and they don't respond to politics. There units are also far more powerful then the other factions.


Mother Nature - We plan to use this "Corporation" for events or units that are simply "hostile creatures". There won't be much political consideration for this faction unless we do some treehugger events =)


Space Monster - Similar to Mother Nature but used for things in space and or intelligent monsters with a motive . usually large super units that attack populations etc.


We might go with two more faction representing true alien races but that idea is still in the air. Perhaps a good advanced race and an evil one (Vorlons and Shadows from babylon 5) Or maybe a couple of neutral races where anything goes.
3/17/2016
Topic:
NPC Corporation factions added to the game

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
The two pirate factions are probably going to attack YOU. Depending on the type of products you produce (Contraband BAD, Farming GOOD) on occasion but they will also show up in events where you might want to hit them. I imagine events that spawn bases and units for Commonwealth and Darkstar on a planet and then start fighting each other or certain locations with a vote or to help either side or simply actually helping either side militarily. There would be some payoff for getting involved, money reward in the simplest cases. I was planning to make a third of events combat oriented, another third production oriented and the last third "political" or mixed.
3/27/2016
Topic:
Comms tab and Combat features implemented

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
The last couple of weeks we've been working on a couple of combat features.

One is that combat units do less damage the more damaged they are. It's a simple scale against "half" of there damage. At 50% hit points a unit will only be 75% effective. at 1% of remaining hit points the units will be about 50% effective.

Structures will lose production output directly related to their damage, a factory at 40% remaining hit points with only output 40% of what it normally does

Units and structures also now automatically repair themselves. We're still playing with numbers but structures repair quickly at 5% a turn. Defenses repair at 1% a turn and so do units, but normal units repair time is divided by how large they are. (Small ships and units can recover to 100% faster that huge ships and units). However we also had the idea of making Military bases and Shipyards act as "healers" for all units in the area. If your units are in the same location as one of your bases, it will increase its repair rate, shipyards do the same for ships. Again its influenced by the size of the units in the area that are in need of repairing and the size of the base/shipyards that are there. units can get 10x healing rate if there size is lower than the total size of the bases in the area. Units only repair if they are not involved in combat that round. Perhaps we'll scale the repair down depending on the size of the attacks instead

Attacking (not defending) adds +20% to those units upkeep for that turn. There is some money lost when attacking

We implemented the "Raid" option. This option when attacking cuts your offense in half but will steal products from the area into your cargo hold. Still toying with some numbers but generally speaking, the smaller attack craft like corvettes can raid a lot more product in one turn than bigger ships or freighters for example.

We also added a "list" display as opposed to an "Icon" display to the battle reports so you can see larger battles more easily.

Another big feature is the Coms tab! You can send messages to another corporation privately but the major feature display all post across "Channels" which are kind of like forums but they are underneath each other. You can post a message into any System, Planet or city underneath it. For example you can post a message at the system level and it will show up even if you're looking at a planet or city in that system. If you're only interested in what's happening in your city you can filter to that city, you'll still see posts for that planet and System however. Events will "post" messages in the channel at the appropriate level. You can also post guild wide messages and they will show up as well. We're toying with how to handle free accounts vs paid and or players who are currently rulers. Currently we have a simple posts per day limitation but most likely the maximum will be very small for free accounts who cant post outside their own city as opposed to paid accounts who will have a much higher limit. Rulers are probably the only ones who can post in planet and system wide channels

Here are a few screenshots below that were added to the website also that show some of that in action











3/28/2016
Topic:
Any update on the timetable for alpha/beta/launch?

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
I started changing all the March Kickstarter dates to "Possibly May" or "middle of 2016" for the next try. I was thinking of trying to do an Alpha without the event system in place but I'm not sure anymore. Things have been taking longer than expected, as usual. It's also a pain to change things while the game is running and I might have to blow out the game every time I try to update it. Then again, so what, I mean you're playing for free right? =)

There is a couple of details with the attack system, with raiding, that I need to fix. Then a couple tweaks to contracts so they work right. I'm considering stopping there and see if I can get the game playable. There would be no events, voting or even building outside of the Sol System and god knows what bugs you'll find but you could play it. I was shooting for a playable Alpha weeks ago so I really need to find a stopping point and give it a try. I might be able to get to that point in a week or two

I might make an Alpha Incoming post that details what's left before I put it up. When it goes up I'll invite all you big fans first then open it up to anyone who's signed up quietly
3/30/2016
Topic:
Website "bugs"

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Valhalla wrote:


Error I get every time I log in to my account. It still logs in, but requires a webpage refresh to work.


I assume Valhalla is your login on the site as well? I'll take a look at the log and see what it could be. thanks for reporting it.
3/30/2016
Topic:
Espionage

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Sorry I didn't answer this from a month ago! Or maybe I did in another post

Espionage isn't something that works well in the game because in this game everything is out in the open. There is no "stealth" and you can see what everyone is building and where all there units are at all times. There isn't anything to really "Espionage". We thought about doing Sabotage where you can attack other player structures perhaps but we didn't want to get into a whole system f Sabotage and countermeasures to it just for the sake of attacking units secretly.

We DO plan to have events that are espionage in nature. We were considering events, like terrorism or spy guilds where the corporations can vote on who you want to "attack". It would be espionage via random event not something you can push or develop on your corporation.

We're still open to the idea however, maybe we'll come up with a good mechanic in the future
3/30/2016
Topic:
Game speed, aka how long are turns expected to be?

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
The current plan is for turns to be 10 minutes long. We figured that was an easy number to track and 10 minutes is enough time for something to happen, players can get notified (not a feature right now) get in the game and actually change orders or act on it.

You don't get any advantage for being there for more turns. It's not like you are spending actions per turn and the more time you spend in the game the more advantage you have. The only things you are really doing on the site is queuing or changing orders. essentially steering a ship. The game is designed so you can setup up most everything to run by itself and only have to check up on things and make adjustments when things happen

The "pace" of the game is really dictated by things like how long fights take and how long does it take to for units to transports good from here to there. You can make turns take 1 minute but make units have 10x the hit points and the fight would still take 30 minutes instead of 3 rounds at 10 minute turns.

The 10 minute turn is just how much time you have to react to things that happen. The best example is when you're "watching" a fight take place. Every turn damage is dealt and you can see where the fights going, maybe pull units out or bring more in. Some fights may be huge, entire planet taking on a space monster and some time is needed to coordinate in the Comms tab, Star Lord might tell everyone to pull out and mass at a different location with more units coming. Or discussions on what to do next.

As your empire gets bigger youwill need to spend more time managing it. making deals, setting up fleets of ships to make trade runs or juggling several different attacks or events at once, especialy if you're a planet or system lord. But spending a lot of time actually in the game past what you need to do doesn't give much advantage at all, the game was built that way on purpose =)
3/30/2016
Topic:
Website "bugs"

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Valhalla wrote:


Error I get every time I log in to my account. It still logs in, but requires a webpage refresh to work.


I think I fixed the problem. I think everyone was getting that error who DOES NOT have a corporation created since I pushed some changes a few days ago. I do since I'm testing the game
4/3/2016
Topic:
Beta?

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
There will be. We're working on an Alpha version right now. We hope to invite some of the users at the end of the week. Hopefully we'll do a beta by the time we launch another Kickstarter campaign in May
4/9/2016
Topic:
Cleanup of system in preperation for Alpha Test!

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
We did some work on Contracts and rework on the Battle Log but mostly tied up several loose ends so we can soft launch an Alpha of the game today!

We're going to post in the New forum about it and email the 20+ users we've invited to test the basic mechanics of a very limited version of the game.
4/9/2016
Topic:
We've launched an Alpha version of the Game!

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
We've been working on getting the game good enough to play a limited Alpha version of the game and finally pushed it up today!

Major parts of the game are not implemented yet, mainly the event system which means no voting or ruling a city, planet or system. We also don't have Artifacts implemented yet and the galaxy does not expand meaning everyone is stuck in the Sol System. But otherwise everything else in the game is in place. All the other features have had some work done on them but not enabled yet. We intend to try out the simple mechanics of the game first then introduce the other features over the course of the next month. Hopefully we can go into a Beta phase by then.

We've invited about 20+ to try it out for now. These are generally members who have shown a lot of interest, helped or actually posted in the forums.

Good luck everyone!
4/9/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Hey Testers!

Use this thread to complain and rant about your Alpha test experience. We're looking for major bugs and to make sure the basic mechanics of the system are working. Have fun messing around with it!
4/9/2016
Topic:
Min 3 letters.

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
It wont let you use much punctuation at all. I'm feeling it might be the Exclamation point. Can't us e it.
4/9/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Valhalla wrote:
I'm producing my first product to sell "Precious Minerals" however no matter how deep I dig into sub-menus on any of the tabs, I can't find what these sell for "value wise" unless I actually sell them first. Only the unhelpful demand % is shown. Have I not delved into the menus deep enough yet? Or is the value of items simply not shown?


I'm realizing that this is hard to find because it doesn't show up as links nor does it make it obvious you can drill down. On the viewscreen tab go to "demand" and then click on "Raw materials" on the list of categories, Then "Minerals" then "Precious Minerals". You will see the demand for Precious Minerals. As you narrow down to Preciouos Minerals the grid shows you averages whatever category your looking at HOWEVER, you need to also zoom all the way down to the city you are interested in. If you are zoomed out looking at a planet, the demand (which is the sell price) will be an AVERAGE for the whole planet
4/9/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
cyb0rg wrote:
Tried to change my name from Newb to Cyb0rg and it says "Character name is already used by another player"
edited by cyb0rg on 4/9/2016


That's first legitimate bug. Its accidentally looking for user (login) names not player names. That's whyit bounced when you put in your login.
UPDATE
I take that back, it's not a bug. It won't allow you to choose any other Player name OR login name in the system because anyone's login can potentially be their player name by default. You can't impersonate anyone.
If you want to use your login name, you can leave the player name blank and it should default to your login.

*was about to hand you a badge, pulls it back*


edited by DrDread on 4/9/2016
edited by DrDread on 4/9/2016
4/9/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Valhalla wrote:
Doctor Dread wrote:
Valhalla wrote:
I'm producing my first product to sell "Precious Minerals" however no matter how deep I dig into sub-menus on any of the tabs, I can't find what these sell for "value wise" unless I actually sell them first. Only the unhelpful demand % is shown. Have I not delved into the menus deep enough yet? Or is the value of items simply not shown?


I'm realizing that this is hard to find because it doesn't show up as links nor does it make it obvious you can drill down. On the viewscreen tab go to "demand" and then click on "Raw materials" on the list of categories, Then "Minerals" then "Precious Minerals". You will see the demand for Precious Minerals. As you narrow down to Preciouos Minerals the grid shows you averages whatever category your looking at HOWEVER, you need to also zoom all the way down to the city you are interested in. If you are zoomed out looking at a planet, the demand (which is the sell price) will be an AVERAGE for the whole planet


I found that page earlier, however I still don't see a clear value on that page. Here is what I see.



The "Demand" is just a colored bar. The only numbers of this page are under "%" and "AVG" So I'm taking a wild guess that the numbers under "AVG" are the price per unit. This is very very confusing to try and make sense of.


The "%" is the actual price, 112 per unit. It should be changed to a "$" or "Value". You're not the first person to get thrown off by that. Back in the day the products had different base values (some were worth 100 each, some were worth 500 each) and then you had to figure out what the actual price was by the percentage applied against that. Crazy confusing. Now everything is worth what that "%" is but it really is the value of the product now.

By the way, all the prices are going to look exactly the same and rise the same since we're only 20 people selling a handful of product to a small fraction of the list. When you star building a real factory and upgrading it to sells hundreds a turn, you'll see the price of your product start to fall. When we get 200 people playing (probable open it up to entire website) prices will be all over the place.

Also, In Sol the prices are restricted, they have an increasing resistance as they go far away from a base of 100. You probably wont see the prices go past 200 or below about 50 in Sol.
edited by DrDread on 4/9/2016
4/10/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
cyb0rg wrote:
Yeah I just built a chemical factory and I only had $10k. It didn't even charge me.
edited by cyb0rg on 4/10/2016


That would be a big one. I have to look into that. You only had it happen one time?
4/10/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Valhalla wrote:
Also this is more a feedback than a bug report, but you should really reconsider the progression pace of the tutorial. As when you get to the part where you should build your first structure you hit a two mile high wall that basically reads "Come back in 8-10 hours." While thats fine for the game propper, you don't want brand new players having to wait half of an entire day to do a single step of the "tutorial". That would cause a massive number of people to quit immediately. (If I were trying out a random browser game and came across that in the tutorial, I'd move on to the next game myself.)


Originally the tutorial was doing something like that. It was slamming the build time to 1 turn for the starting items and giving you money or reducing the cost of the next structure. There is a problem with giving money away like this though. You can make 10 accounts do a few turns of the tutorial and then salvage and or transfer the money to a main account through a contract where you'll have a million on day one. I had to reverse those changes. It was getting complicated to try to mitigate it. I might revisit it and try to at least reduce the build times. The build times have all been put to a couple turns right now
4/10/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
cyb0rg wrote:
Is there somewhere you can find out the resources needed to make a product before you spend 100k making a building?


I saw this problem earlier also. The only place you can see it before you build anything is trying to make it at your Corp HQ which can make anything and you'll see the components its takes. It needs to be on display on some clickable popup help screen that shows every formula in the game from the database. Not sure where to put it is all
4/10/2016
Topic:
The ALPHA TEST Reporting thread

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Valhalla wrote:
Doctor Dread wrote:
Valhalla wrote:
Also this is more a feedback than a bug report, but you should really reconsider the progression pace of the tutorial. As when you get to the part where you should build your first structure you hit a two mile high wall that basically reads "Come back in 8-10 hours." While thats fine for the game propper, you don't want brand new players having to wait half of an entire day to do a single step of the "tutorial". That would cause a massive number of people to quit immediately. (If I were trying out a random browser game and came across that in the tutorial, I'd move on to the next game myself.)


Originally the tutorial was doing something like that. It was slamming the build time to 1 turn for the starting items and giving you money or reducing the cost of the next structure. There is a problem with giving money away like this though. You can make 10 accounts do a few turns of the tutorial and then salvage and or transfer the money to a main account through a contract where you'll have a million on day one. I had to reverse those changes. It was getting complicated to try to mitigate it. I might revisit it and try to at least reduce the build times. The build times have all been put to a couple turns right now


Hmm, fair point. I have a proposal that could work. Since the tutorial is just there to show you how things work, you could have the tutorial tell you to build special "tutorial" buildings and units that cost nothing and give nothing and are removed after the tutorial. Or you could make the tutorial seperate from the game propper, in an instanced sort of area, and once completed you move into the real game. This way people can go through the tutorial in less than an hour, yet learn everything, and you have no exploiting of the freebies. Though let's face it, your going to have a lot of people who cheat and use a dozen+ accounts who funnel it all into a main account anyway. Always happens in this sort of game. (Though I'd love for you to be the first to come up with a solution for that.)
edited by Valhalla on 4/10/2016


I was trying to do the "Worth nothing, cost nothing" structures / units also but I couldn't make it work easily code wise so I dropped it for now . I might revisit the idea again with a different angle. I didn't want to have a side game to learn everything. Just making the first few things to build cost less and happen quickly is probably the best approach. I'll find a practical way to do it.

The 100 accounts problem isn't a problem in a normal MMO If your character has zero worth at start and you have to spend time with each character to get anywhere. But here you can make 100 accounts and they all run at the same time.
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