Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Cody »

Selezen wrote:The open forums are too busy for me to keep up with every topic...
Yep, me too... and it would probably drive me crackers if I could. I'm across a few threads... that's more than enough.
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by drew »

El Viejo wrote:
Selezen wrote:The open forums are too busy for me to keep up with every topic...
Yep, me too... and it would probably drive me crackers if I could. I'm across a few threads... that's more than enough.
Hmmm. There was me thinking that you already were crackers. We live and learn. :lol:

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Cody »

drew wrote:There was me thinking that you already were crackers.
'You might think that... I couldn't possibly comment!' ~FU
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by JazHaz »

Here's this week's discussion topic. Discuss!
Sandro Sammarco wrote:Quick Note: We're going to try keeping the discussion inside one thread this week, as this should make it easier for the design team to read through every suggestion. When relevant please try to use the headings that Sandy has mentioned at the bottom of this proposal, as this will also make it easier for the design team to fully organise and take your ideas on board. Thanks in advance!- Ashley


Hyperspace is an integral part of Elite.

Travelling large distances through space encapsulates several exciting concepts: majestic scale, a sense of wonder and discovery, the harsh uncaring nature of the void.

With the addition of multiplayer, hyperspace travel becomes even more important (and potentially complicated). Fundamentally we can no longer tamper with time because it needs to be the same for everyone.

Current Plan

• The player selects a destination using a navigation interface

• Their choice is hard-limited by several factors:

The amount of fuel available determines the maximum distance of a trip
The basic jump range of the ship’s hyperdrive, determines the distance of each step of the trip
Jump locations available to their star map determine the route of the trip


• The player may also have access to additional information that could inform their decisions:

Activity heat maps for trade, piracy, conflicts etc.
Hyperspace tracking/prediction devices to monitor local ship activity


• A hyperspace journey may comprise of a number of jumps depending on the distance travelled

• When inputting a journey, there may be multiple routes available to choose from

• When the hyperdrive is engaged it begins to draw power from the ship’s power plant until it is fully charged:

The amount of time a hyperdrive takes to fully charge can vary according to power availability and the specification of the drive

• Once the drive is fully charged it activates and the ship enters hyperspace

• After a delay (a few seconds) the ship exits hyperspace at the destination area:

If the journey consists of more than one jump the hyperdrive automatically begins to charge for the next jump
The player can cancel the journey at this point


These multiple jumps for a journey go via dark systems, rogue bodies surrounded by lightless, dust-filled space, which will:

• support all sorts of interesting encounters in their own right
• become useful physical star map locations to discover
• Allow multiple routes to a destination
• allow players to meet each other far from civilisation

We also have an “under the hood” match-making requirement, to allow the game to silently hook up players with each as much as possible. The reason we all need to be very aware of this is that it limits the precision to which players can choose their arrival point – we need to keep it somewhat vague so players can “happen upon” each other.

Issues

You’ve probably already spotted a large hole in this sequence - what effects prevents a player from jumping? Well, that’s one point where I’d really like to get your opinion. There are several options and they all have large ramifications:

• Players can jump as soon as the drive is charged
• Players are mass locked (if so, what are the limits?)
• Effects such as weapon fire slow or disrupt the charging sequence
• A mixture of all of these things, or something else entirely

Next up, what do you think of our “multiple jumps” proposal? Does it work for you, or can you already see the flaws we are missing?

And finally, my description is purposefully dry. What would you expect to see during a jump sequence, and what would feel utterly wrong? Bearing in mind that this jump technology is different from previous games, it’s quite an open field (obviously this is as much an art question as design, but I don’t see why that shouldn’t stop us putting forward ideas).

In an effort to keep things as legible as possible, perhaps we could try adding a heading to responses where applicable, to allow us all to filter more effectively:

Jump Restrictions
Multiple Jumps
Jump Effect
Other (for example, miss-jumps)


And that’s it. Jump in!
JazHaz

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drew wrote:£4,500 though! :shock: <Faints>
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Maybe you could start a Kickstarter Campaign to found your £4500 pledge. 8)
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Disembodied »

JazHaz wrote:Here's this week's discussion topic. Discuss!
Sandro Sammarco wrote:Issues

You’ve probably already spotted a large hole in this sequence - what effects prevents a player from jumping? Well, that’s one point where I’d really like to get your opinion. There are several options and they all have large ramifications:

• Players can jump as soon as the drive is charged
• Players are mass locked (if so, what are the limits?)
• Effects such as weapon fire slow or disrupt the charging sequence
• A mixture of all of these things, or something else entirely
Oolite's requirement for ships to fly straight and level when making a jump is worth keeping in mind, I think. Personally I'd support allowing players to jump out in the presence of other, potentially hostile, ships - preventing this would give too much power to ambush attacks, and it would allow for dramatic skin-of-the-teeth escapes - but obviously it can't be made too easy. Having to fly straight-and-level to charge up the drive means players have to think tactically, and pick their moment.

Drives which can work under emergency situations means that speed of charging becomes a useful feature of the drive, and therefore players can upgrade their drives for faster charge times. It might also be used as a balancing mechanism: you can have a drive which charges quickly, but can't go very far; or you can have a drive that'll go long-distance, but takes longer to charge.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Griff »

Thanks for posting these here JazHaz, it's really interesting to read about the things that devs have to think about when designing games.
I must admit i quite like all the ideas that Frontier have come up with, the bit about tweaking the arrival point in your destination system to keep the human players fairly close together makes me think of the 'all the traffic is in space lane' design in Oolite.
I like Disembodied idea of a small hop getaway emergency jump drive, a bit like the one in Asteroids the coin-op (which hardly ever helped you survive)

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Selezen »

Disembodied wrote:Drives which can work under emergency situations means that speed of charging becomes a useful feature of the drive, and therefore players can upgrade their drives for faster charge times. It might also be used as a balancing mechanism: you can have a drive which charges quickly, but can't go very far; or you can have a drive that'll go long-distance, but takes longer to charge.
+1

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by JazHaz »

Selezen wrote:
Disembodied wrote:Drives which can work under emergency situations means that speed of charging becomes a useful feature of the drive, and therefore players can upgrade their drives for faster charge times. It might also be used as a balancing mechanism: you can have a drive which charges quickly, but can't go very far; or you can have a drive that'll go long-distance, but takes longer to charge.
+1
This has already been suggested in the discussion. :)
JazHaz

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drew wrote:£4,500 though! :shock: <Faints>
Cheers,
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Maybe you could start a Kickstarter Campaign to found your £4500 pledge. 8)
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by NigelJK »

You could take that idea a little further and say that in emergency situations you could use some of your normal drive juice to 'fast charge' the HJ, and possibly incur damage in doing so.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by JazHaz »

NigelJK wrote:You could take that idea a little further and say that in emergency situations you could use some of your normal drive juice to 'fast charge' the HJ, and possibly incur damage in doing so.
That has also been discussed. :)

Since yesterday morning, the thread has grown to 64 pages of posts! :lol:

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by drew »

I've dropped in a comment, but it's way to busy for me to keep up with. I think they were a bit too generous with the number of DDF backer slots. Must be a nightmare to managed at their end.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by cim »

JazHaz wrote:These multiple jumps for a journey go via dark systems
Now this could potentially be very interesting indeed. Done right it could let them combine the best features of Elite's hyperspace model (galactic topology, difficult to cross features) with the best features of Frontier's (upgradable drives with trade-offs, etc.), plus allow some whole new interesting things. Have they hinted at all what the jump range per step for a typical ship might be?

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Selezen »

I'm not even bothering with it any more. I made one comment and in the time it took me to type it another whole page had been posted. The DDF seems to be a spam bin, and I agree that maybe FD were too generous with it.

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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by Gimi »

One thing is for sure, it's not a discussion forum, so I don't reply to posts there. Frontier have promised that they read all suggestions though, so I have posted a few if the subject intrests me. Appart from that I'm on the look out for suggestions from Frontier that in my view will take it too far from original Elite. Not that I think my voice will be heard, but it's worth a try. Have had a little discussion about the appearance of ships from other SciFi universes, which I'm against.

Last suggestion was about witch space effects:
Gimi wrote:What effect to use when jumping is obviously one of the places where the Frontier graphics designers can go over board and have some fun.

My suggestion would be to use the only conceivable theory for FTL (I think) that has been touched upon by modern physics, The Alcubierre drive.

Here space itself is compressed in front of what ever entity is travelling, so the entity stays below light speed, but space in front is compressed making the distance travelled shorter.

[Suggestion]
It would be a nice effect to see space in front of your ship compress towards you at increasing speed at the beginning of the jump, and the destination point/system stretching out to its normal form in front of your ship as you arrive.
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Re: Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum

Post by cim »

Gimi wrote:It would be a nice effect to see space in front of your ship compress towards you at increasing speed at the beginning of the jump, and the destination point/system stretching out to its normal form in front of your ship as you arrive.
Not particularly difficult to implement graphically, either. It would probably look a bit like this, only better.

The catch, as you can see, is that the starfield backdrop is generally the major visible object once the compression is under way (space being largely empty, and even more so in a Frontier-scale system), so it probably requires the "backdrop" actually have the real stars on it in their real locations.

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