Author Topic: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth  (Read 6823 times)

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EmissionGeneration

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Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« on: August 21, 2013, 09:02:16 AM »
So, really enjoying the Game so far, very addictive, and at Phase 6 at the moment. One thing though that I've noticed and seem's to take some of the fun out of it, is when you go to new Phases [starting at Phase 3 with the Communication], another Team has been there and set it all up for you.

Personally I would like to be the 1 setting them up. The "Labor Team" comes down, puts the Equipment Casing down and adds the extra Modules, and then I come in and get it all running, like in the First Stage, with adding all the Components.

I enjoy the Management side of the Game, but just feel like after Phase 2, and some of Phase 3, it's mainly over with Installing Equipment, and focused more on Growth and Science. I like if we are still required to get the new Systems finished off before the Science and Growth. In my opinion, this will definitely expand the Gameplay through all of the Phases.

[v2.0 is said to have the ability to build your own Modules, so if this was already intended with that, then just ignore me]  :P

Thanks. =]
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 09:05:28 AM by EmissionGeneration »

rditto48801

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 10:45:55 PM »
Perhaps there could be an option to assist the work teams with setting stuff up, or even an option to do much of the work yourself. At least where possible/feasible. (baring stuff like heavy equipment a single person cannot handle, or stuff needing specialized skills the player's colonist might not yet have or not have developed enough yet).

For added steps... having to actually put soil into the planters and worm beds by using multiple large carried containers, or figuring out how to fill up the fish tank with water. Maybe a large insulated/heated water tank parked outside of the main airlock... and a larger  than normal water container just for that purpose... Maybe a wheeled water tank that can be 'pushed' around for that task.
Just need to hope health is not tracked to such a degree where over exertion or injury might come into play for working to hard for to long.


I can agree the game is addictive. I took like 40-50 hours to beat my first playthrough... most of the time spent in phase 6...
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Ryder

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 12:33:02 AM »
There are surprising things that add to depth... some are rather simple.

Audio is often overlooked, but the best immersive experiences seem to always have great sound.

For example: As opposed to always checking the status of systems... one might get a sense of them by changes in how they sound... pumps get noisy... clicky.  Having things sound different as they wear is a great clue to check the system more closely.


Another thing... and I learned this with Kerbal Space Program... was that adding other "players", beings that you could identify with, by name, really adds to the emotional satisfaction...  Of course this is covered in multiplayer in many respects, BUT, one can add players and the feeling of other players by seeing them at work.
For Example:  Supplies should arrive at the start of a game phase... not simply be there.  A landing craft should come, announcing itself on the radio, and we could watch it land, and hear the pilot(s).  We could then hear and even see them as they assist from above, lowering supplies to the surface where we can collect them... then they wave, close the cabin door, and immediately leave to make a hasty rendezvous or perhaps another stop at a different base. 

This should give a much wider sense to the game scope.  You KNOW there are others out there, because you've seen them... worked with them.

Comms from other stations warning of a storm hitting them... moving in... that and any other comms would seem to generate a sense of depth.

The very occasional surprise... out in the dunes... like an old Russian probe, or a Viking lander, covered in red dust, placed occasionally and at random, would be a thrill to find.

And even the small stuff... a heat shield maybe... or a crash site... or meteor strike (a bigger event with such a thin atmosphere).


The occasional rocket contrail crossing the sky... a supply lander heading back to orbit from a distant outpost.

These are all elements of a world that is host to expanding human activity.

rditto48801

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 02:35:15 AM »
The idea of having a lander type craft delivering supplies is interesting, but in a way not practical.
The main factor being fuel. Unless it could be locally produced in sufficient quantities, fuel would need to be shipped from Earth. Not to mention needing to actually ship such a craft to, or construct and assemble it on, Mars. Anything shipped from Earth makes things time consuming and very expensive.

That makes rovers more practical and sensible just for delivering supplies earlier on.
The subject of landers and such is touched upon in another topic (I forget which one, but I think one started by Hyper).
If a lander does show up, it is either a one way trip (free spare parts/equipment/shelter?), or a dual stage craft with an ascent stage that is not going anywhere until they have whatever people or materials are going to be taken to orbit to an awaiting interplanetary transfer craft. (With a caravan arriving sooner or later with said people/stuff to be shipped to Earth?)

Also consider that it takes a good bit of time to prepare and launch even a single space mission, and the fact it takes a half year to get to Mars. That means seeing rocket contrails and rocket engine propelled flying craft are going to be extremely rare early on, not to mention the whole 'needle in a haystack' effect of such a lander/rocket passing nearby the player's position in the first place, so should be a rare event/sighting at best.
Now, if the Mars Constellation mission concept or the SKYLON based TROY Mars Mission concept were to become a reality, then it could be a more viable option to have (likely single use) landers used to deliver supplies/materials from an orbiting interplanetary transfer craft.
The cargo lander from the Mars Constellation could likely deliver supplies/materials for an entire base all by itself.

For me, it would nice to start a phase looking at one or more rovers as they pull away with the work team that had assembled structures and installed heavy equipment between phases, with several empty rover beds (and any 'extra' rovers at the base/outpost) give a better feel of 'where' those supplies came from. Perhaps toss in getting some sort of 'good luck' message from the work team as they leave (be it audio or just text in the message window). Toss in a larger 'caravan' type rover (or towed 'self propelled' trailers) that gives the impression it can carry a lot of people and supplies.
Even that has its own obstacles though. I don't think there is any sort of real AI in MC:C at present, so anything that moves on its own would be likely limited to being 'on rails', or otherwise controlled by a limited/restrict script of some sort.


I would agree it would be interesting to have equipment get different sounds based on their condition.
And warning klaxons/lights to help add to the impact when you get a message that something bad just happened, such as the filter in the air scrubber catching on fire... of which I had happen before. In hindsight, lack of clouds of smoke, flashing warning lights and warning klaxons made the event a little anti-climactic.

By 'players', do you mean actual players? Or do you mean just computer controlled characters? (as in NPCs, a.k.a. Non-Player Characters).


One of the other topics (I think one started by Hyper) already had people bring up the subject of finding assorted things, such as old probes and such, and of other things be added to improve immersion, such as random radio chatter and such.


I see there is a fellow KSP fan around. Imagine the issues with getting even a small automated rover to Duna if you had an astronomical bill (pun intended) tacked onto things. That is a factor to consider here. MC:C tries to stick to realism, scientific fact, etc. "Sounds cool" quickly clashes with "Where do we get the money for that?"
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Ryder

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 04:19:07 AM »
Of course a craft delivering supplies is practical... in fact, each new segment of the game includes this... but we never see it.  The phase starts... and the "stuff" is just there.  It got there somehow.

Why not show it?

"Players" is quoted... I tried to indicate that they are not necessarily human players.  Like in Kerbal Space Program... the characters in the game are not the player or other human players (except in multiplayer use).  You need SOME entities that can be identified with, or assisted, or lost/killed... that are not the player.  In other words, you need to not be alone in the universe...
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 12:13:07 PM by Ryder »

rditto48801

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2013, 10:25:14 PM »
By craft, if you refer to rovers, yes, they are practical.
If you refer to reusable landers/effective VTOLs, then no. Logistical nightmare comes to mind. Even mid-late game such a thing might not be practical outside of emergency purposes. With things sticking to scientific fact, realism and possibly 'hard sci-fi', the 'rule of cool' does no fit well.

As for 'showing' it.
It is a question of if Hyper can do or otherwise has people available at present that can handle such animations or anything more than simple AI/scripting for something to follow a fixed path is another matter.
Even my base suggestion of starting a phase and seeing one or more rovers depart (and despawn when far enough away) might be tricky to do.
Maybe some sort of breif animated video might be possible, maybe one with animated elements (people removing stuff from a rover, before getting in the rocer and leaving) displayed over a fixed static background of whatever map the player is on, at an camera angle pointing away from the main area the base would be built up at. It might not account for if the view looks in a direction a player did build something, but it might be better than nothing.



About players/characters.
As a long time gamer (I grew up on Atari and NES and 'pen and paper' RPGs), I have become used to the term NPC (Non Player Character) to identify those characters that are only controlled by the AI/compute, and PC (Player Character) as those controlled by the player only, and in a way also including groups of characters (like some RPGs) where PC might be applicable to all characters in a group, even if the player just controls one at a time with the rest controlled by the AI or 'follow the leader' (or perhaps all controlled by the player in the case of a turn based game).

For active 'entities'/NPCs, it again comes down to if Hyper or someone helping them is capable of programming/creating animations and AI for stuff like 'mobile' NPCs.
Farming Simulator 2013 comes to mind. There are 'people', but they walk around on fixed paths (usually sidewalks), and a few vehicles drive around on fixed paths on some roads (with basic collision detection so they temporarily stop at intersections or if something gets in front of them, causing the occasion 'eternal traffic jam). Nothing can be really interacted with (aside from bumping into cars, people have no collision mesh), but in a way it is better than just having an effective 'ghost town'.

It makes me think, maybe a 'main base' scene could have a number of paths in place that random NPCs and vehicles to follow, to give an impression of activity, even if the player cannot directly interact with things. perhaps as a 'backdrop' for some 'menus' when dealing with logistics, ordering supplies, assigning research projects, etc.
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Hyper

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 08:54:11 AM »
Next version should have a RTO (Return To Orbit ) vehicle that will land and take off ( over time ).
The main base will be in the game in a crater in the center of the zone which is 4 times bigger than the current zones. Players can build their base as they wish on the outer area. NPC will be added to guide users and offer "missions"...
 

Ryder

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 10:31:55 PM »
rDitto

Obviously all suggestions come down to "if Hyper can do it"...   That never needs to be said.

The point is to make the suggestions.  Hyper can figure out if he wants/is able to do it... users have no role in that.


Now, I'm completely befuddled by your comments re:practical delivery of hardware...

You can't believe that greenhouse modules, and science modules are *fabricated* by astronauts...  therefore, these have to be delivered by some mechanical means.

The point is:  Show it.

Totally irrespective of exactly how it get's there... whatever way it is... simply show it.





« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 10:37:19 PM by Ryder »

Baneblade

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 04:44:55 PM »
Adding in a RTO Vehicle seems like an effective and non immersion breaking way to give the player extra equipment they would not have the capability to fabricate (science modules, growth units, RSGs, etc) in some sense limiting their early progress.

Would the player eventually have the capability to create such modules on site, or will the RTO vehicle always be the method of obtaining advanced hardware?

Hyper

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 08:54:11 AM »
The RTO was added mostly for effect but will hold some "supplies". I want the user to mostly survive with what is there. Say a new circuit board for transmitters or new machine to allow manufacture of some special objects. The fact that it lands and launches adds to the feel of alien world.
In the real Mars scenario the RTO would be a cargo shuttle to send things back to Earth and get new equipment so I wanted to add that to the game.
The RTO could be part of a storyline as well. Sandbox mode or Story mode. We have been looking at some possible alternatives to the core mode.

rditto48801

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 07:46:00 AM »
Would the RTO be akin to the LEM, in that the actual RTO is an ascent stage that separates from the descent stage? (E.g., the crew lander for the Constellation Mars mission concept)
Or would it be an effective 'Single Stage to Orbit' craft that remains whole when it takes off again? (E.g., the lander for the Troy Mars mission concept)

Would the RTO be 'reusable' if it were able to take off whole, and be able to refuel from the 'mothership' (or whatever the interplanetary transfer craft might be called), to allow more than one trip to and from the surface of Mars? Or would there not be enough spare fuel brought along for more than a single trip to the surface and back?

If it is a single use craft that leaves behind a descent stage, could said descent stage be used in some way, be it adapted for storage, converted into an extra structure, etc?
It makes me think of one concept of the Space Shuttle main tank being taken into orbit, and used as the outer shell for a basic space structure.
Basically, use whatever is 'discarded' and make adapt it for something of use.

Having both RTO capable craft and 'single use' landers would be a nice thing to happen on occasion to add a little variety to things. The later being able to be retrofitted into makeshift structures/shelters or use for parts/materials since a strong 'reduce, resuse, recycle' mentality should be present.
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outzoner

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2014, 06:21:56 AM »
so the aera is much larger now?

maybe its a nice idea to have one special rover there,   for long range explorations.   can take more fuel, oxegene tanks for your own use, can take more equiptment and maybe the option where i can build a mobile hub, just to eat drink and pee..   

so there is space for more missions like build up small places like emergency hubs with equiptment in it.  maybe the solar panels have to be checked there time after time.     in it a commrepeater to enlarge the communication systems....
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Hyper

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 08:31:23 PM »
Read the updates for v2.0
Land is 4x larger, Ares base in the middle and players can build their own base, in the outer areas
Will be adding economy etc
Full sandbox game plus some surprises
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DieAngel

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Re: Expanding the Gameplay and Depth
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2014, 06:02:57 PM »
Not sure if this tipic is still live, anyway.

I think it would be nice to expand upon the "kits" you can load into the rover. One that come to mind, to me, would be for the main antennas, you could load a collapsed antenna into the rover (maybe even have several parts to it), bring it where it will be deployed and then have the player assemble the entire thing.

Something like:
  • Antenna foundations: movable by rover, immovable as soon as one of it's internal is installed.
  • Solar panel: folding solar panel is shownon the antenna foundation when it's added.
  • Battery & Radio unit like the game is currently.

Another interesting option could be to select a landing site for the initial equipment shippings. I'm thinking some kind of lander would bring the stuff for each phase, the RTG parts might be installed "in" the lander a bit like for the crashed satellite. so once you took all the equipment, the lander would be reduced to almost nothing. I'm thinking heavy recycling... like for example the lander frame can be dismantled and that's one of the parts you need to build the rover, things like that.