Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

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Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:12 am

This is a todo list for Playership Drones v7 (PSD7). I wrote fragments of what I planned elsewhere, but this should a handy reference.

Rerendered ships
* Rerender ships to have as many facings as needed to turn smoothly. rotationCount will vary instead of maneuver to achieve this.
* Use 8-bit masks, if possible. This one is iffy due to limits at Xelerus.

Improved user-interface
* Use item picker to show shipyard inventory. This shows more ships on screen than Battle Arena ship select. Shipyards can get crowded when the game includes many playership mods.
* Show firearcs of linked fire weapons when applicable.

Improved linked weapon slot features
* Slot criteria for linked fire weapon slots.
* Allow option for some linked fire weapon slots to use both primary weapons and launchers.

Expanded communications
* Let drones order drones assigned to it as it sees fit. In other words, subordinate drones should not be locked into escort mode only.
* Add mining command so drones can mine.

Gameplay
* Let some ships carry other ships.
* Have equipment of ships be set by system level, rather than by station type.
* Let adventure choose availability of ships.
Shipyards:
- Trading post style: Have unlimited ships, but you can only trade or buy a limited number of ships. Limit defined by adventure.
- Normal style: Generate a limited number of random ships, but the player can buy all of them or as many as he can afford.
Shipwrights:
- Availability should vary by adventure. They can range from somewhat uncommon to quest reward only. In any case, they should be available to order at Corporate trading posts.
Crew:
- Ship can either be completely automated (default assumed by PSD) or crewed by people. The latter would simply be an abstract resource like fuel that may or may not appear as an item. The adventure should choose who pilots ships.

For example, in the default D&O adventure, where player is supposed to be a lone pilgrim, current trading post limits are used to make it hard to get many ships (because the extra power makes the adventure too easy). In a custom adventure where the player is expected to command a fleet and need to replenish ships lost in battle regularly, shipyards should sell ships like any other commodity.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by storm366 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 pm

Maybe, the ship you are using could limit the number of ships you can have. Like the EI100 freighter can have a maximum of three gunships and one extra freighter. This could be further limited so that a Corsair could not buy or own a CSC. Then you have to buy a new ship to use as your own to upgrade the number of ships and the level of them that can be used. Also, different shipyards. You don't see a Toyota being sold along with a Chevrolet at some generic car dealer. Of course there are used cars that are sold at car lots but what I mean is that EI ships should be sold at EI shipyards. Just some ideas to make playership drones a little more awesome (although that may not be possible).
storm366> my mod wont work, can you help me?
NithrilDark> Did you set it to WUMBO?

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:29 pm

storm366 wrote:Maybe, the ship you are using could limit the number of ships you can have.
Been there, done that. Older versions of PSD featured hard limits. PSD1 limited the player to two ships (but did not add any new ships). PSD2, the first version that added new ships, introduced Control Power Units (CPUs) which limited ships by points, and ships were assigned a point value, with bigger ships worth more. In PSD4, when functional linked fire weapons made big ships much more powerful than gunships, limit went back to two ships only when buying them; shipwrights can break that. In PSD5 and PSD6, playerside limits were dropped in favor of those imposed by vendors and finite number of shipwrights.

Bigger ships need more items to outfit. The equipment used to outfit a Charon frigate can be used to outfit two or three Wolfen gunships.
storm366 wrote:You don't see a Toyota being sold along with a Chevrolet at some generic car dealer.
That is why you do not see enemy ships for sale at Commonwealth Dry Docks and the like.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:07 am

Due to the extensive changes wrought by the 1.2 beta, a rewrite of the library will be necessary. The next update of PSD for v1.2 will be released as PSD7.

As for features listed above...
Rerendered ships: Still planned, even necessary since some ships were resized. Hopefully, George will update TransArt to include the updated Molotok and Outlaw ships.
Improved user-interface: Already done in more recent versions of PSD6.
Everything else: Unknown, likely deferred to PSD7 updates or a possible PSD8.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by Jay2Jay » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:28 am

PM I would like to tell you that Playership Drones is amazing, you have worked long and hard on this mod, and it reflects it in the quality of the mod. In reality, there is not much more that can be added to PSD other than minor fixes of certain bugs that could make it better.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by sun1404 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:11 pm

If there exist a way to give ANY ship in the game the compatibility with PSD, that'd be a great feature. For example, when you start the game with a custom playership, PSD automatically swaps that to a similar ship with the additional datas required for it to be used as a drone. Selling that ship in shipyards is probably impossible, as that requires extra datas that can't be generated by computer alone, but just making the ship usable *might* be possible(although that might require a complete rework of the way you handle drones.)
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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by murlocdummy » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:41 am

I've been trying to update my PSD6 to the most recent version, and I've been getting

Invalid entity: rsShipModIcons

for every single one of the patched playerships. It's a pain to have to go back and redo every single XML file to make them work, but it's worth it.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:54 pm

(sun1404:) Yes, piloting any ship would be very nice, but I do not think I can do it in a satisfactory way. The ships would probably lack some of the data it should use, especially for big ships with linked-fire slots. A "complete rework of the way you handle drones" will be necessary due to changes wrought by 1.2 beta. Once I can spend time to work on it, getting PSD to work for 1.2 will be a higher priority. Some previous wish-list features may not make it for the first release of PSD7.

(murlocdummy:) That was caused by inserting new graphics used to display firing arcs of ships. I am sorry for that, but it was necessary. Be warned that PSD7 may not be compatible with mods made for PSD6. That said, I have no idea when PSD7 will be ready. I will be unable to spend much time on updating Transcendence mods for the near-future.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:01 pm

I should add that if playerships remain limited to one launcher per ship, I will probably exclude launchers from the linked-fire weapons interface in PSD7 to save ourselves a headache and a possible source of bugs.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:26 pm

Change of plan: I plan to update PSD6, to support new features introduced in 1.2 and 1.3, and re-release it as PSD6+. When this will happen I do not know. The big wishlist of features planned for PSD7 will need to wait.

Update: PSD6+ was released on March 23, 2014.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:33 pm

Just some random thoughts on what to do (or at least experiment with) for next version of PSD.

* Try to write alternative install dockscreen for linked-fire weapons, so that player can only configure weapons at shops, not at will as before.
* Remove docking ports from playerships. Player will change ships via communications, if player is close enough. Need to think about how to transfer loot beyond crate dropping and other options.
* Add virtual item to store ship stats, sort of like pokeballs, so that shops can sell individual ships, and carriers can deploy them.
* Maybe: Assume ships are crewed with people, and not under total AI control. Try to add crew item, if only for ships to rebuild via shipwright. This would be nothing fancy; the crew would be an item like any other, possibly virtual to prevent exploits like feeding the fabricator.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:22 am

Questions to those interested:
  • * Who do you think pilots your additional drone ships? Human crew? AI?
    * Who do you think should pilot your ships? Human crew or AI?
    • * If AI, what is their availability?
      • * Can Joe Citizen buy one from the local shop and/or write his own with AI-For-Dummies and a computer terminal?
        * Is it military technology?
        * Is it exotic, such that it can only be acquired from reclusive (CDM) and/or hostile (Luminous or Iocrym) entities?
        * Is the AI self-aware? Must the AI be sentient?
        * Can AI take care of capital ships, those that should hundreds of crew? For example, can an AI run a CSC? If so, is self-awareness and/or sentience a requirement?
So far, Playership Drones has assumed sophisticated, yet not self-aware AI (or maybe self-aware yet incapable of disobedience). Basically, the perfect servant that does everything you want. Also, such wondrous AI is common, cheap to the point of free, and easy to acquire. I am not sure such assumptions can hold as Transcendence matures more than it has, unless we want to let to player grab whatever and blast his way to the end (which is fun, admittedly), discarding verisimilitude in the process.

Not to mention some features depend on whether the ship is crewed or unmanned. For example, neuroplague launchers (from Eternity Port) do not stick to AI-controlled ships, and there is a ticket requesting for unmanned ships to be immune to death-by-radiation.

I suppose I could add androids that function like AI yet have enough biological functions to be killed by things that cannot hurt AI, but that seems silly.

Yet, if I assume human crew for all drone ships (any ship with alien or other non-human origin will have life support and a cabin jury-rigged somewhere), the question becomes where does the player find such perfect crewmates? Does he find them at a spacer bar? an abbey? the local space cadet academy? free with the purchase of a ship? Then, if shipwrights remain to restore any ship found, should we expect the player to bring transports filled with personnel?

Answers to such questions (and more) will affect how Playership Drones v7 will be developed.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by JohnBWatson » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:55 pm

PM wrote:Questions to those interested:
  • * Who do you think pilots your additional drone ships? Human crew? AI?
    * Who do you think should pilot your ships? Human crew or AI?
    • * If AI, what is their availability?
      • * Can Joe Citizen buy one from the local shop and/or write his own with AI-For-Dummies and a computer terminal?
        * Is it military technology?
        * Is it exotic, such that it can only be acquired from reclusive (CDM) and/or hostile (Luminous or Iocrym) entities?
        * Is the AI self-aware? Must the AI be sentient?
        * Can AI take care of capital ships, those that should hundreds of crew? For example, can an AI run a CSC? If so, is self-awareness and/or sentience a requirement?
My guess is AI pilots our additional ships. While human crewed wingmen are generally identical in all but name and a few special features like not harming allies willingly, AI fits the role best given the lack of need to crew the ships yourself. My understanding of AI is that it's commonly available, given the presence of autons. While 3d space combat AI would be a bit beyond what most people could create, a well run business would have little trouble given the technology available. I'd expect that AI could run a capital ship well enough, given that the only functionality they would truly require is weaponry and shields, as opposed to the various life support, command, and carrier bay roles human - crewed ships require. If we're talking about running a fully functional carrier, I doubt AI could command its squadrons on its own.

It's likely CSC America will shed some light on this, and perhaps on why capital ships require hundreds of crew members when our ships, which largely do all the same things, only need one.
Last edited by JohnBWatson on Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by Atarlost » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:25 pm

Putting a major warship in under the control of an AI or even a single pilot must be politically unacceptable or no one would use fully crewed ships anymore. The amount of refitting to fully automate a crewed capital ship would require a major shipyard, all of which are owned by people with too much to lose to be willing to do the job if the governments don't want fully automated capital ships to exist.
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Re: Todo for next version of Playership Drones.

Post by PM » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:25 pm

When I made Playership Drones, I handwaved and/or ignored all of the logistical and political problems in favor of gameplay and fun. I wanted to blast things with an Aquila, Dragon Slaver, or other overpowered big ship and send small but elite gunships to kill things.

Transcendence canon has grown since the 1.03 days, and George has expressed interest in Playership Drones. I should try to polish Playership Drones up and make things more sense, that is try to integrate it into Transcendence without violating lore or verisimilitude (too much). After all, if anyone can easily copy-and-paste a bunch of MorningStar or Lilith or other virtual lifeform/advanced AI to control ships as well as trained human pilots, such technology would be either banned or restricted to the military, and they would not use human pilots. Not to mention that no human pilots mean we do not need unnecessary junk like life support for military assault craft.

It seems that crew may be the way to go. At least I do not need to deal with the headache of drones being vulnerable to things that do not hurt AI ships. Also, I can ditch the shipwright item, although I may need its code if I allow field repairs.

Some quick ideas:
* Crew will probably be treated much like currency. No item or cargo management this way.
* You start the game with a few crewmates (probably three).
  • * The crew is loyal enough to do anything you want, including war crimes, free of charge and upkeep.
* Acquiring more qualified and likeminded crew will be somewhat hard.
  • * But it cannot be so hard that piloting a capital is impossible; part of the fun of playing PSD is piloting any ship you find.
    * Perhaps slave coffins can be a source of crew, if freed.
    * Player can only carry so many crew. For example, you cannot cram a hundred crew in one small gunship.
* All drone ships need crew, even those that are normally unmanned.
  • * Gunships and other small ships only need one crew.
    * Capital ships will need ten or more.
    * Major capital ships (like CSCs) might require a hundred or more.
* Shipwrights are gone - all player needs for field repairs is an armor repair device (not consumed), a spare reactor, enough armor segments, and crew.
  • * Rebuilding ships will not be instantaneous, it will take time.
Playership Drones should probably be renamed if crew becomes the standard as drones imply AI. However, Playership Drones has become notable and memorable enough that changing the name at this point is probably not a good idea. Thus, Playership Drones should keep its name, despite the name being an artifact.
Download and Play in 1.7 Beta...
Playership Drones v7 (Beta): Acquire and command almost any ship in Stars of the Pilgrim or Eternity Port.
Drake Technologies (Alpha): Updated for 1.7! More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.

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