2017 Annual Report

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
Post Reply
george moromisato
Developer
Developer
Posts: 2936
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:53 pm
Contact:

Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:07 am

Time again for the Kronosaur Productions Annual Report: http://multiverse.kronosaur.com/news.hexm?id=1891

Overall I'm happy with progress in 2017 and very much looking forward to 2018. Let me know what you think here.

shanejfilomena
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Alaska

Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:22 am

I am excited & I KNOW that there are alot of players - new and old that have the game out there, playing offline ( as much as it can be done ) and thinking " this is it.".

But it's Not 'it' , there is an entire Universe to explore .

Corporate Command expanded the universe without taking away one bit of the adventure. I would like to see the other additions slide in, expanding the universe, expanding the experience and letting the universe flow like the swirling pool of Adventure it is..

And This is how I figured "2.0" would come - in pieces that add into the main adventure then get wrapped up as a continuous game package that takes the players into the universe to meet the Glory, Freedom and Challenges that awaits them.

Sure, some parts sold separately.....some assembly required, but Batteries are Included

(Mod : http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=807)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was sure there were 3x as many players as I found on the forums when I showed up. Steam isn't the only source for obtaining the game, neither is the main page.

I downloaded the game after chasing links to find it's source

( the main page : http://www.neurohack.com/transcendence/ )

Today you can find many ways to locate the game file and information both on ClearNet and the Onion Routers


( Many Eons ago Major Geeks was created before many of the more popular download sites came to being.
All listed downloads are tested....... Major Geeks Knows I love this game
And while he insists he won't review it : he is doing a horrible job of not making it look good and trying to give the game some visibility)


NOTICE THE DOWNLOAD COUNT ON THE BOTTOM IMAGE :)

Image
Image
Flying Irresponsibly In Eridani......

I don't like to kill pirates in cold blood ..I do it.. but I don't like it..

User avatar
WeedersDog97
Anarchist
Anarchist
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:27 am

Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:34 pm

You are absolutely correct in saying the groundwork you've lain is exciting, in fact I believe that's an understatement. Being able to get a new ship during a playthrough is the one thing I have always wanted from transcendence. It brings so much potential and replayability. And the new trading mechanics are really good as well and will be a big help to new players. The armor weight/speed system adds yet another layer of depth.

However, there is one thing I was confused about, and that was what you said about CSC America and adding crew dynamics. The only reason I'm bringing this up is because you said it might also be the path to adding capital ships to the base game. Now, I don't know what you have in mind, but in my opinion simply adding a new mechanic to capital ships won't fix them. They just don't feel big enough. Having a crew to command is all well and good, but I want a ship that makes the one I started out in look like a mote of dust.

Take the phobos dreadnought for example. There's a line that Admiral Decker said in the game, which was, "A gunship armed like a battleship." If your battleships are only toting the firepower that can be equipped on a gunship, then I'm sorry, but you're doing your battleships wrong. A gunship should never be able to even scratch a ship like the phobos. Likewise, a dreadnought should never be able to bring a spinal mounted weapons to bear on a gunship. The Phobos' turn rate is way to high in game, in reality it would shear in half from the inertia of pulling off maneuvers like that.

Some solutions? I don't like to complain if I don't have ideas for fixes.
1: I talked to JohnB about this already, but adding the zoom in and out feature from the maps to the gameplay view would be a powerful tool. He said that it would make the game look like crap, but I really think this is an avenue worth exploring. It would allow you to play with the scale of everything so much more.

2: Tie in reactor sizes with the mass system. You already have a mass value in place for the playerships, for example the EI500 freighter has a mass of 150 tons. Then make a reactor like the SN2500 require a ship mass of over 300 tons. To get more powerful weapons and items you would have to get a bigger ship. This would require some radical balance changes, yes, but I think it would be relatively easy on the coding side(im just a 3d modeler not a coder).

3: A problem you would have with larger ships, and we already see some of this already with big ships, stations, and planets, is smaller ships just fly on top of the sprite and sit there. Would it be possible to add the repulson effect the walls of the rigel arena have to other stations and ships. It would be really funny to take my CSC back to Charon space and watch the pirates just pathetically bounce off of my ship.
You don't know the power of intersecting faces...

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:36 am

The issue is that gameplay revolves around gunships being able to destroy battleships. It's based off of Star Control, where ships are qualitatively extremely different but functionally capable of fighting each other on even ground.

The issue here is that ships aren't qualitatively different enough. They're largely identical except for size and speed, save for gimmicks(which are cool, but most ships don't have them), which upsets the balance in favor of smaller, faster ships. Powerful, long ranged WMD weapons should be limited to slower ships that can't use them to avoid ever being shot at.

NMS
Militia Commander
Militia Commander
Posts: 454
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:26 am

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:47 am

It's true you could make ship equipment scale in size and power appropriately with ship size, but that would just force the player to switch to a very slow ship in order to be able to fight capital ships. No thanks! Edit: However, I agree with JohnBWatson that we need some additional balancing mechanic, at least if switching to a wide variety of ships is going to become possible in part 1.

(Also, a Phobos is 290 m long and rotates at up to 3.6 deg/ tick. Bearing in mind each tick is 2 seconds in game time, that gives a centripetal acceleration at the ends of 0.143 m/s^2. Ships in Transcendence could actually rotate much faster than they do, but again, it would be bad for gameplay.)

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2322
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:14 pm

I would like to see capital ships added to the base game, at least supported if not necessarily available for purchase, just to get the engine or shipyard changes that would support them.

In Playership Drones, piloting a capital is much like piloting a gunship except your ship is bigger and has linked-fire weapons. (I really need to update Playership Drones sometime.)

As for ships not being qualitatively different enough, that does not matter enough for some people when the reasons are merely fashion (or maybe they matter in a bad way when your sleek ship is underpowered and the ugly ship is overpowered).
Download and Play in 1.8 Beta...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Download and Play in 1.7...
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): (OUTDATED!) Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Work in progress... Playership Drones v8: Work just started! Details to come later...

User avatar
WeedersDog97
Anarchist
Anarchist
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:27 am

Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:18 am

Wow, the Phobos is really that small? And here I was wanting to add my own dreadnought to the game that was around 4km long. I was thinking it was around that size.

I can see all of your points on why capital ships are the way they are, especially the one where you'd have to swap your ship out based on what you are fighting, but it just didn't feel right to me so I thought I'd voice my opinion.
You don't know the power of intersecting faces...

User avatar
AssumedPseudonym
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:18 am
Location: On the other side of the screen.

Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:36 pm

 Scale is logarithmic in Transcendence but it’s not that logarithmic, heh. You can see the details in this post. A 4km ship would be 1,407 pixels long. Even at 1km long, it would be massive by Transcendence’s scale.
Image

My mods on Xelerus: Click here!

Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:04 am

NMS wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:47 am
It's true you could make ship equipment scale in size and power appropriately with ship size, but that would just force the player to switch to a very slow ship in order to be able to fight capital ships.


I'm not saying restrict all powerful equipment to heavy ships, I'm saying to make sure that armament makes sense. An F-35 can carry a nuclear bomb, but would not be able to elegantly field a 14 inch/45 battleship gun.

If you haven't, give Star Control(Ur Quan Masters) a try to see what I mean. It's one of George's main inspirations for the game, and it legitimately holds up, even today. In particular, try out the Ur Quan Dreadnought against something lighter, like the Stinger. Larger, slower ships make up for their inability to dodge as effectively by being much more dangerous to approach, and quicker, faster ships typically need to close distance to damage their targets, but can quickly take them down by using their agility smartly.

User avatar
Shrike
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2712
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Scouting the borders of sanity (there's a lovely view of the abyss).

Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:36 am

The problem with heavy weaponry is that it's inherently better against smaller craft as well. Small(er) craft carrying a heavy gun or missiles is fine....but there's very few limitations to doing so.


I'm not sure the issue is fixable, so I'd personally think that keeping to corvette or maybe frigate size. Capital ships are fun, but they do unbalance the heck out of everything, one way or another.

I'm not saying restrict all powerful equipment to heavy ships, I'm saying to make sure that armament makes sense. An F-35 can carry a nuclear bomb, but would not be able to elegantly field a 14 inch/45 battleship gun.
I think a better example would be the difference between submarines carrying torpedoes and cruise missiles (which can deal with heavy targets under the right conditions), and the more impractical case of HMS M1 (which was a less-awful version of the worst submarine class in history.... with a 12" battleship gun):
Image

I mean....yes you can fit a big gun on an improbable platform, but it's usually a really, really bad idea.

-----------------------------------------------

It's something that might be an interesting thing to mod in...except that missile limitations are really annoying to work with. There's very few ways to limit missile capacity (thus making them more powerful and good for capships) that don't also massively reduce their versatility.....and because missiles in this game (as opposed to the unguided rockets which do have a few downsides at least) never miss unless you do something silly, and do absurdly high damage with a rapid rate of fire.....the balancing factor right now is credit income and looting rather than anything more subtle.
Mischievous local moderator. Always unusual, occasionally undefinable, sometimes entertaining. She/Her pronouns.

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:12 am

Shrike wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:36 am
The problem with heavy weaponry is that it's inherently better against smaller craft as well.
That's not the case. Faster firing weapons, and weapons with faster projectiles, are significantly harder to avoid. While heavy weaponry in the game's current iteration is incredibly OP, there's nothing inherent in the game that causes that. The major thing that makes heavy weaponry exceptionally powerful is that it's several times more enhanceable - most howitzers are thermonuclear, which is the easiest damagetype to enhance, and the speedloader improves it by 40 percent on top of that. This can be fixed simply by balancing them to account for this, nerfing the base damage of weapons with easily boostable damagetypes to create a tradeoff between potential and initial power. Incidentally, this would make ion weapons more viable.

More generally, a 'heavy' weapon intended to be strong against large ships and weak against small ships can have the following traits:

High damage, low firerate. In addition to being harder to field accurately, relying on damage per hit rather than firerate for DPS is an inherently worse strategy when fighting many targets with less health per individual, due to lack of spillover.

AOE over DPS. A weapon that lands an AOE effect on hit is much more effective against an enemy with lots of armor segments. Tighter AOE is more biased in this direction, being less likely to be useful against all but the most closely clustered groups of units but still hitting a group of armor segments on a single ship fairly reliably.

Lower shot velocity, or abstract shot movement mechanics. Weapons whose shots move slower are harder to aim at small, fast targets, but big, sluggish battleships just fine. Using acceleration works too - it's harder to lead a target when your bullets aren't moving at a constant speed.

Wider shot spread is less of a problem against larger targets than small ones.
I think a better example would be the difference between submarines carrying torpedoes and cruise missiles (which can deal with heavy targets under the right conditions), and the more impractical case of HMS M1 (which was a less-awful version of the worst submarine class in history.... with a 12" battleship gun):
I'm not sure what mechanic you're suggesting here.
It's something that might be an interesting thing to mod in...except that missile limitations are really annoying to work with. There's very few ways to limit missile capacity (thus making them more powerful and good for capships) that don't also massively reduce their versatility.....
If you explain what you're trying to do, I could try explaining how to implement it. What do you mean by "missile capacity"? It's easy enough to make missiles weigh more. If you want a hard limit not imposed by weight, that can easily be done too, but you'll need to be more specific on how you want that limit to work.
and because missiles in this game (as opposed to the unguided rockets which do have a few downsides at least) never miss unless you do something silly, and do absurdly high damage with a rapid rate of fire.....the balancing factor right now is credit income and looting rather than anything more subtle.
Lowering turn rate solves that one fairly easily. IIRC modders have already done this, but not in any public mods yet. I think I did it myself on one of the prototypes for my Iocrym rework. I agree that George should add some vanilla missiles with low tracking speed to take advantage of this.

@George: I've heard of Michael Tangent before(he composed the cool new music), but I hadn't heard of Matteson Claus joining the team. Given the increase in focus on advertising, I'm guessing that Part II is expected to come out soon.

@Everyone: How did we go from not being able to compile the core code to having multiple users being able to not only edit it, but make useful modifications to it, in less than a year? Did George add instructions or rework it, or are we just that good? I'd love to have a go at tweaking the core AI.

User avatar
Wolfy
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 5363
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Frontier on a Hycrotan station, working on new ships.

Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:18 pm

With regards to versioning schemes, rather than treating it as a decimal, the standard convention is to treat it as separate numbers
Major.Minor.Patch.Build is a common one (build often gets omitted for public-facing stuff, as does patch sometimes)
Thus since they are separate numbers, its possible to just keep going like '1.9,.1.10, 1.11, etc)

Historically transcendence omits the build, and uses a letter for patches.

The incorporation of VotG into the main game in its completed state I would feel would be a sufficient change to call '2.0' - till then, you would continue to get 1.X versions.
(shpOrder gPlayership 'barrelRoll)
(plySetGenome gPlayer (list 'hycrotan 'nonBinary))
Image

relanat
Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 563
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:56 am

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:32 am

Well done on only a 10% drop in sales. To beat the projections is excellent news. You must be offering something that people want.
Also I checked the Steam website a couple of months ago and noticed that you reply to feedback on that site. This implied that you actually notice what people say and want the game to be better. It may seem obvious but that is a professional attitude that is often missing elsewhere.

Regarding version numbers. The use of the year of release is a great idea. If you have been playing Transcendence 2017 and you see Transcendence 2018 then it is very clear that a newer version is available. Not sure what happens if you release two new versions in the same year though!
The current version numbering works very well for development but probably lacks a lot of meaning for non-developing or non-modding players.

From a help point of view, the small amount of bug reporting, feedback or suggestions I give seems like a drop in the ocean compared to the hundreds of hours of enjoyment your game has given me. Thank you. I'm very happy to help where I can.

I'd also like to specifically thank (again) NMS and giantcabbage for the improvements to the function help and the debug console. I believe others may have been involved as well but I don't know who they are. Thanks to anyone involved. Modding is so much easier now.

Post Reply