Author Topic: The Base  (Read 15326 times)

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Hyper

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The Base
« on: August 02, 2013, 06:51:39 PM »
If this gets too long winded I will delete babble and just keep important content.
I will add other subjects as I need to know so for now lets just keep this about the base, construction and how to let players edit the layout.
So here are a few caveats.

1. the parts have to fit like building blocks. I think we can all agree building containers in situ will have to be modular. Currently we have hubs and connectors. I want to keep the same theme there but may add round modules like the ones Dr Zubrin suggests with mars direct. So suggestions welcome here.

2. An editor to let the user do the layout. Gui 2d based or live in game ghost plan like Star Wars Galaxies. Or give me a idea.

3. How to implement the actual construction. They just appear, go through a build anim, or what?

The economy required to obtain the modules will be discussed in a different board.
Please dont write a book on every post, I have a lot on my plate and I need fast reading.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 07:04:54 PM by Hyper »

profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 04:12:02 AM »
I think the build animation should be kept very simple but I think it would be important to have one.    Perhaps a tent/tarp over the build area with dust that comes out when people are working on it or something.

The Build interface itself probably should use ghosted green wire-frame outlines of the building being built at 50ish % alpha as it would allow players familiarity with most other games and help in positioning the modules.

I think a live 3D with a floating not user attached camera when someone enters the build menu that works within 10 meters of the user. (Have to put the limit to avoid using it for exploration =p )  The floating camera is useful for getting an overview of the placement though.


outzoner

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Re: The Base
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 05:41:52 AM »
What about a kind of "Construction-container"- only coloured black with yellowstripes- warning signs and so on.  it can show some bright light through windows that simulate welding-work with some heavy sounds.  not too much work on that animation.

the idea with the green frame should work for everybody. lots of build up games got a similar system. the green frame could be highlighted when it is in position that fits.


« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 05:47:44 AM by outzoner »
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Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 07:45:28 AM »
I can put a fly camera in and as you say only allow activation near a registered "build" site. Good idea. The ghost would be helpful because you know someone would build off a cliff.
Lets lock that in for now, I will test implementation.

rditto48801

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Re: The Base
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 06:53:01 AM »
I like the ideas for 'ghost buildings' to help placement, and of the 'construction tent' since it makes sense in several ways.

Another stray idea for the building cam idea to aid in limiting its 'exploration' potential, such as having a 'fog of war' to block seeing to far when in build mode. Or maybe have the camera go into a mainly top down view viewing a viewing area wide enough for 3 structures to fit (or 4-5 for wide screen displays).

A stray suggestion/idea relating to base building.
Building Grids:
A 'building grid' made of (1m?) squares could be visible when in 'build mode'. Structures would (or could) snap to the grid. Hopefully easier than just having the game itself try to figure out what places may or may not be suited for different types of construction. Also allows a little extra 'variety' of structures and require a bit extra thought and planning of what gets built where.
There would be several types of 'spaces', based on the terrain/location. The down side is it could limit building rotation to 90 degree increments unless the grid is more of a 'building guide' without a 'snap to grid' restriction.
'Clear' squares (empty square on the grid).  Ready for building with little effort. Default build time/cost.
'Usable' squares (square with a '-' in it on the grid). Terrain is firm/level enough, needs some prep.  Basic structures/equipment - default time/cost (basic default 'foundation' included).  Standard structures - small time/cost increase  for basic foundation prep.
Heavier structures/equipment - moderate time/cost needed for sturdy foundation prep.
'Rough' squares (square with a '/' though it). The terrain is poorly suited for construction. foundation prep cost/time would be significant (and prohibitive) for most structures. Only basic/lighter structures/equipment can be placed without extensive foundation/terrain prep.
'Unusable' squares (a square with an 'X' through it on the grid). The terrain is not suitable for anything for any number of reasons. If it is at least 'level' enough, then 'portable' stuff or basic equipment like navigational lights could still be placed there.
Special exceptions: Things that 'set' on the ground, like covered pipes leading to the rover fuel station in 1.x might be able to handle many terrain types, so long as they are 'level'.
Another would be a basic platform resting on several pilings. They could be built in difficult terrain, but be poorly suited for structures, meant more for creating a level places to put (semi) portable equipment, or even just setting stuff on.  Such a platform could be built over grades of 30-45%. They would also be the ideal location for special semi-portable shelters.

Should I hold off on posting actual ideas/suggestions for types of structures that could be built? Or could I mention those in this thread also? (I got like a page worth, some practical, some sensible, some that might be more for immersion/decoration without supporting aspects being in game...)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 06:55:32 AM by rditto48801 »
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Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 05:14:09 PM »
The easiest solution for me is to open a dialog and give the user a top down 2d view with parts they can select and place as they wish. That way they get a nice view of the layout.

I dont want to get into the economy in this thread but our meetings here have pointed us to the fact that users will not build the base all at once. Suggestions have been made to let the users purchase units as the game progresses and they can add to the base using this 2d dialog based editor. And they can change the layout of what they want all they want except for the units they have already placed. Does that make sense?

profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 12:12:48 AM »
Yes, that actually makes sense I think..   

1. You can not change the layout once you have built something, but you can select where new things go.

2. You will select what you want from a top down 2d box

3. There will be some form of resource that allows you to build.  What it is has yet to be determined.



Oh!   Hey I know this is not the proper place for this, but Hyperkat is seriously missing something that is very important...  Now please do not laugh, cause I am serious.....    You are missing a Facebook page for the company (at least as far as I have seen)....  I know it seems silly, but I have over 1000 friends, and I know many of them who really do not leave facebook or follow links, but if you had a page I could at least share it and expose them to some hard science fun... I admit most would not appreciate it... but I do know at least one who would.


Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 09:15:23 AM »
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hyperkat-Games/134921960018697

Didn't want to go over economy at this point but we are looking at a couple ways.
1. Users supply the main base with materials for marsbucks or credits and you can purchase modules. Rare material gets more cash.
2. the game will send messages about shortage of plant material for algae (example) you supply that for bonus.

At any rate you go to the main base and pick up a load of materials to be manufactured into a hub or module.
OR you send in a request for the material to be delivered.

Player decided to add a life support module at some location.
Player selects build and credits are deducted, AI crew comes out and builds the unit

So since we opened that can o worms I will start that thread....

profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 10:51:18 PM »
Thanks Hyper, Did not know you already had one =)

Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 08:50:00 AM »
Shapes of the modules... What do you think of the basic shapes I use now? I will probably add a cylinder like the ones in the demo game. Any thoughts on dimensions? Hubs are 8 meters at this point.

profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2013, 03:37:46 PM »
The shapes of the modules are not important in the slightest..  They can be triangles, domes, whatever.. it will be how they are filled and how closely they resemble something we can recognize as something not in this world.   

The current modules feel really lifeless (obviously due to the limited amount of money and time that can be spent on art assets.)     I do have to say though, the current habs look like they were never designed to be pressurized, and if they really had 15 PSI in them they would explode into shrapnel... But that is just my opinion....

The hub modules for example are about perfect in size but they are quite lifeless and feels like the only use the room has is as a connector..... I mean.. here is an ISS node module.. Yes, it is designed as a connector.. but it also has use otherwise...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unity_module_interior.jpg

Some beds,  shelves, a desk... storage....  Dont really matter, as long as it can be jumped to that there is a logical use for it..  Some working shelves actually would be nice.

A desk with a computer on it would also seem logical.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 03:48:20 PM by profit004 »

Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 07:18:48 PM »
I have to agree on lifeless. You can't imagine how hard it was to describe this to the artists. My description was a submarine interior like this

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://th02.deviantart.net/fs11/PRE/i/2006/167/e/1/Submarine_Interior_18_by_Silvermoonshade.jpg&imgrefurl=http://silvermoonshade.deviantart.com/art/Submarine-Interior-18-34865505&h=774&w=1032&sz=185&tbnid=EfBNJ2D7w7X-mM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=127&zoom=1&usg=__52Qne-LntmXl5etod2IPuP-z3aA=&docid=GLtdn1zfD_cXDM&sa=X&ei=nngFUuSyIIeU2AXHzICwDQ&ved=0CFwQ9QEwDg&dur=1874

and you saw what I got..

Which module is a "hab" ? I can prove the connector modules can hold pressure. I worked with a plastics expert on the design using interlocking fingers that seal tighter under pressure.


« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 07:23:29 PM by Hyper »

profit004

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Re: The Base
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 08:25:09 PM »
By Hab I meant all the long habitation modules in the base, they just looked to me like they were never designed to be pressurized,  they lacked the banding I would expect, they are an odd shape and.. You know.. I really dont know how to describe it, but they do not look like they could hold the 648 ish+ tons of pressure that would be pressing against the walls and ceiling of the structure from the inside..  I would at least expect some steel bands or something to keep it together...

The picture of the sub, Yeah, that is more of like I would expect.  Maybe not quite that busy, but yes, more like that.  A lot more plastic and less metal obviously, but yeah something like that.

I hate giving you a half baked answer like this but I have to be honest I really dont know what I expect a mars base to look like.. I just dont quite think I am seeing it...   Let me think on this for a while.

Hyper

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Re: The Base
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2013, 04:21:09 PM »
The walls of the base are filled with mars dirt. The arch will support a lot of weight and there are bands inside and out for keeping the thing from blowing apart. I have been assured that pressure disbursed over the entire surface area of the interior would not be that hard to contain. 10 to 14 psi wont hardly supply enough pressure to support a 3,000 lb vehicle. I realize there is nothing to restrict the expansion on Mars but I think it is valid. I will pass this along to some friends at MIT and see what the issues would be.

rditto48801

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Re: The Base
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2013, 06:39:00 AM »
It seems like 3D printer technology, if developed enough, would mean using Mars dirt would not be needed for structural components... except maybe as raw materials to actually make stuff...
Would the basic concept of using regolith (sp?) on the Moon to make building/structural components be applicable in any way on Mars?


I was watching some videos on YouTube relating to assorted concepts, which might be handy for some inspiration for building module designs.


Such as the ATHLETE and RATS stuff NASA is working on and have concepts for Cylindrical modules with connection points on the ends and on either side, to be moved and put in place by freaking spider like vehicles with wheels for feet...

An awesome video showing how they do analog testing on Earth, it shows the basic concept I am talking about. They also discuss the option of inflatable shelters to a limited degree.
Analog Video 12 08 HD720p

The ATHLETE concept video, moving and positioning the cylindrical modules on the Moon.
ATHLETE Trailer HD720p

Canned Sardines in Space is one way of describing the living space of the module in the video.. which is basically the same as older style submarines.... except nicer looking...

Baring that stuff above, a huge mess of stuff I wrote down that I almost threw into the building grid idea post...
basically, base module ideas, which fall into 'shapes' they might have... sort of...

Base layout ideas.
Base Module (variations).
(These will likely need better names than I can think of). I am assuming the 'basic' stuff would be '1x1' on a 'building grid'. (being 8x8m? Placed anywhere initially, otherwise 'centered' on a 'core module' of connected to an existed module or groups of modules?)
Hub Module (1x1): The default 'hub'.
Connector Module (1x1): The default module that goes between hubs. Some basic space for equipment on either side of the 'walkway'
Hub Corridor (1x1): A simple + shaped corridor intersection, cheap but no real space for equipment.
Strait Corridor (1x1): A simple strait corridor, cheap but no real space for equipment.
Bridge Corridor(1x3, 3x1): A 'corridor' that  has a raised middle section that has enough ground clearance to allow rovers to pass underneath. Spacing between support posts on either end would be a little wider than is needed for two rovers to fit side by side.
6 Point Hub (1x2, 2x1): Effectively 2 hubs side by side. In essence, 2 connectors on the two longer sides, 1 connector on the two narrower sides.
8 Point Hub (2x2): Effectively a larger 'hub' with 2 connectors each side, but as one central structure. (heavy structure? capable of supporting additional levels?).
Large Hub (2x2): Also the same ground coverage as a 2x2 hub, but only a single connector point centered on each side. (heavy structure? capable of supporting levels?)
Core Base Hub (3x3, heavy structure): A 'large' hub that is (or could have a) roughly Octagonal layout, with a single connector each side. This is a 'big' structure, with the potential for supporting (or starting with) several levels. Not meant for initial construction without substantial logistics support being in place ahead of time. Air tight doors in several places lessen risk from decompression (accidental or otherwise). A central point (where stairs could exist for multiple levels) would double as an emergency airlock in case of a wall breach in one section. (even if the latter is not added as an actual in game mechanic).
Buried Modules: A module that has less insulation/radiation shielding, which is covered in Martial Soil after completion. Cheaper in term of resources needed, not in terms of time and manpower (and rover fuel?) needed. Could lead to their own challenges, like how to allow for 'windows'. Could require 'proper soil composition' to be near the construction site. (just as a requirement, without any sort of 'terrain deformation'  being needed.)
Raised Corridor (1x1): A corridor to connect a pair of structures on the second level (if such structures will be possible/allowed). Has enough ground clearance for rovers to pass underneath.
Tower (1x1, or 0.5x0.5): A stand alone 'watch tower' like structure with ladder (or stairs around the sides) to a small platform on the top. An idea place for observation, and for installing weather monitoring equipment and basic communications relays. Could be 9m tall for the top 'platform', 12m tall including secondary antennae/weather sensors.
Raised Platform(varies, multiple sizes, as small as a few meters, to being as big as 2x2): A simple platform located on adjustable legs or fixed pilings. Less meant for structures, and more for placing fixed equipment, by allowing for a nice, flat surface to 'store'/place things on otherwise rough/uneven/soft terrain. Only the most basic and light of structures can be supported. Otherwise heavier items would have to have a framework that could better transfer their weight to the legs/pilings themselves. Using legs, grades can be no more than 5% can be handdled. Using pilings, grades of 30-45% could be handled for a smaller platform (1x1 or smaller), or 10-15% for a longer/wider platform (2x2).
Remote Shelter (1x1 or smaller?). A 'stand alone' structure designed to be semi-portable with rugged construction. It is basically a small ELS with small attached airlock and a rugged reinforced structure, and designed for minimal footprint. (alternative airlock interior layout needed, maybe built along the 'side', rather than 'sticking out' like on the default base?) Power is supplemented by small solar panels and vertical wind turbines on the roof, accessed via a side ladder. Included equipment is same as the fixed base ELS, plus small food (MRE) and medical storage lockers, small 5 gallon water tank, and a 'transfer' system to replenish (or draw from) its O2, water and power storage systems. The water tank would have multiple 'heating probes' and a flexible case to prevent issues from the water freezing during prolonged periods of not being used. The bottom of the framework doubles as a built in foundation and includes 6 removable 'legs' (4 corners of the 'shelter', other 2 at the end of the airlock extension) that can be adjusted to different lengths to handle uneven terrain. The legs can be removed so it can be placed on a Raised Platform. To get more technical/complex, there could also be a special 'self propelled' trailer (designed to also load/unload the shelter) used to transport it 'in game' (with the trailer needing to be 'pulled' by a rover).

Optional base module ideas (maybe more for immersion than anything else)
Lander Module (1x1? 2x2?): For some reason, a lander is available (perhaps based on the Dragon capsule?). Could be a support module for initial construction. Or just as a basic habitable structure meant mainly for decoration/immersion.
Landing Pad Module (1x1? 2x2?): Rather than a lander, a designated place for a lander... No 'connection' nodes, a stand alone structure, best placed at least a short distance from structures. Even if just for decoration/immersion.
Lander  Docking Module (1x2? 2x3?): A reinforced/hardened 'structure' with a landing pad on top, it has connection points (or maybe 1, opposite of the landing pad), with 'access' adjacent to the landing pad for personnel and refueling equipment. Useful even if just for decoration/immersion.
Vehicle Refueling Station: A big 'stand alone' structure with large storage tanks. Stores a LOT of oxygen, hydrogen, and methane. Fits well near a landing pad, even if just for decoration/immersion (while remaining as a huge storage thing for rover fuel). Might fit well with a 'trade base'  or 'convoy pit stop' themed base. Maybe include solar panels on the roof and radiators on the upper sides (to keep the 'contents' cool).
MMEV Berth: A big module with a raised 'retractable airlock bridge' and big 'parking spot'. For larger vehicles to 'dock' to (like the Manned Mars Exploration Vehicle, which will likely be a good 'work horse' for transporting heavy equipment and lots of materials based on some Mars colonization concepts). Maybe needed if trade with other bases becomes a thing that needs to be handled with actually using rovers to transport larger equipment. Otherwise, a big fancy structure just for decoration/immersion.
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