Author Topic: Feature Request...  (Read 2985 times)

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Offline docfu

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So after taking a year hiatus and dealing with all the stuff going on (I live in Japan.) I spent a lot of time thinking about the one feature request I'd like to have in Diaspora.

It's a pretty tall order but at least it's easily understood:

I want every mission to be so morally and ethically challenging that I reach for a bottle of whiskey instead of hitting "accept".

That is all.

-docfu

 

Offline newman

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If you need moral choices in a computer game to make you an alcoholic, you're doing it wrong.
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

 

Offline Angelus

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It's a bit hard, dealing with morals and ethical questions when a wing of Raiders is trying to shoot your nipples off.
My advise is, pull the trigger and shoot some Toasters and deal with those questions afterwards.

 :D
while ( !asleep)     |     Building a Warmachine for FreeSpace: Chronicles of a dark Age        |       My WIP's                                 
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Could there be an option for in-game alcoholism? You get black-out drunk in the pilot's rec room and then your controls are all swimmy and your vision is pulsating and the sound is way too loud on your next mission. :p

 

Offline newman

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We have an ultra realistic feature for that that feels 100% authentic. It involves drinking actual alcohol while playing :)
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

 

Offline Dragon

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Could there be an option for in-game alcoholism? You get black-out drunk in the pilot's rec room and then your controls are all swimmy and your vision is pulsating and the sound is way too loud on your next mission. :p
Well, believe it or not, it's been actually done, in Wing Commander 3. You had an option to get drunk instead of letting your girlfriend talk you out of it. On the following mission, your ship responded erratically. I don't know how to emulate it in FS though, ask somebody from WCS.  :)

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Could there be an option for in-game alcoholism? You get black-out drunk in the pilot's rec room and then your controls are all swimmy and your vision is pulsating and the sound is way too loud on your next mission. :p
Well, believe it or not, it's been actually done, in Wing Commander 3. You had an option to get drunk instead of letting your girlfriend talk you out of it. On the following mission, your ship responded erratically. I don't know how to emulate it in FS though, ask somebody from WCS.  :)

Imbibe strong drink before eliminating the foe?  You are doing it wrong!
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline docfu

  • 27
Always a hoot with you guys...

Actually, one thing I realized that sort of kills freespace 2 missions is the 'single outcome' scenario. I.e. you play it once and it's the same result either way, to win you do everything correctly or you lose, simple as that...

I wonder if there would be a way to incorporate "dice rolls" into certain missions to give them added replay value...

Taking "Thirty-three" / the Olympic Carrier as an example(irrelevant to the plot in future episodes), what if you could have a mission where you have to truly make a gut call based on what you see in the game and not by just what the mission is programmed to do?

i.e. the carrier shows up, you are dispatched to intercept it, you get orders to fire across the bow, radiology alarm goes off, but when doing a flyby you notice people moving in the windows(different from the actual show) and order a rescue operation, if you miss the cue to order a rescue op and shoot down the ship you only find out after the mission is over...

Missions kind of have a single-play life expectancy because one you figure out what the real objectives are and how to achieve them everything else becomes irrelevant.

A goal then would be to play a mission enough times to get the major possible outcomes instead of just beating it and advancing to the next one.

That's what I really want out of the missions of Diaspora, the idea that not everything is concrete and perfectly explainable leaving enough grey area for things to go either way...

It's a huge request but maybe a few single player/multiplayer missions could be crafted this way just for the heck of it...

 

Offline newman

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Actually, one thing I realized that sort of kills freespace 2 missions is the 'single outcome' scenario. I.e. you play it once and it's the same result either way, to win you do everything correctly or you lose, simple as that...

Multiple outcomes are possible, yes, but with each mission like that you complicate matters further, exponentially. Meaning after this you now have to have two (or more) missions done that simulate every eventuality. If any of the following missions have multiple outcomes, the complexity grows as every outcome now branched into several further outcomes each. Even a 5 mission campaign could easily need like 15-20 missions designed that way.

I wonder if there would be a way to incorporate "dice rolls" into certain missions to give them added replay value...

That's not how the game works. Every "dice roll" eventuality would have to be remembered and carried over to the next mission. Now let's say we have several dice rolls per mission, resulting in several eventualities, that have to carry over through the campaign. Then next mission does the same, and the next, etc. The way this game works, it would become a huge mess impossible to control before you reached mission 2. In the world of "sims" there are two main types of campaigns: scripted and dynamic. Scripted basically have a predetermined path the player needs to follow, with maybe two simulated outcomes on rare occasions. The downside is you're on rails, the up side is the story can actually get a lot more interesting as it's possible to write events that would never happen in a dynamic campaign.

Dynamic campaigns usually translate into 3 or 4 basic mission types that repeat until game over. The overall result is calculated based on player performance. The up side is, every time you play it will be slightly different. The down side is, every time you play it will be almost the same - as you are, for all intents and purposes, just repeating 3 basic mission types; one has you escorting bombers, other has you intercepting bombers, and another has you just pure dogfighting. Over and over. I never played a dynamic campaign that didn't bore me out of my skull - I much prefer a predetermined but well written story.


i.e. the carrier shows up, you are dispatched to intercept it, you get orders to fire across the bow, radiology alarm goes off, but when doing a flyby you notice people moving in the windows(different from the actual show) and order a rescue operation, if you miss the cue to order a rescue op and shoot down the ship you only find out after the mission is over...

To do this feature, which may seem trivial, you actually need to do a huge amount of work. First off, you need to actually model the interior of said ship. And probably other ships because it's weird only one has interior. Then, you need to texture the interiors, bake light solutions, etc. When that is done you have an empty ship, so you need characters. Moving around. Building characters for games is one of the most difficult part of game design. Rigging and animating them, even more so. And you can't have one character copied all around because it'll look totally wrong. So you have to build, texture, rig and animate at least a dozen characters just so the player can take a short look through the window. There is a very good reason why you never see things like that in games of this type.
There's also a reason why the most complex of games take huge studios with large budgets, and whole teams of artists paid to sit there all day and model, texture and animate everything needed. With a small volunteer based team, this is isn't a realistic goal.


It's a huge request but maybe a few single player/multiplayer missions could be crafted this way just for the heck of it...

It's huge enough that I can tell you realistically that this isn't going to happen. What may be possible in future campaigns is a mission or two that do have multiple endings. But considering how much extra workload this entails to make it right, I wouldn't expect it soon, or a lot of it. What we might do is, for example, in a campaign in mission 5 you have to defend a convoy of ships. One of those ships is very difficult to protect and normally dies first. If you do manage to protect it, bonus objective met. Then 3 missions later you have a better outcome because that ship survived and came to your aid when needed. Those sort of things are possible, but we'll see just how much of them we implement over time.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 10:47:52 am by newman »
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

 

Offline -Norbert-

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i.e. the carrier shows up, you are dispatched to intercept it, you get orders to fire across the bow, radiology alarm goes off, but when doing a flyby you notice people moving in the windows(different from the actual show) and order a rescue operation, if you miss the cue to order a rescue op and shoot down the ship you only find out after the mission is over...

To do this feature, which may seem trivial, you actually need to do a huge amount of work.
Unless you don't take his comment literal, then you could just let the player character or a wingman say a line like "Oh my god, there are still people moving around in there!" if you fly close enough to trigger the event. That way the player would learn of it, without actually having to see it.

And this particular scenario could be done without anything in later missions changing. You still have to shoot the ship down sooner or later, or it will blow a hole into the fleet, which loses the mission. Wether the surviving people on board get rescued or blown up, won't have any impact on later missions, unless you have a "surviving member of the Human race" counter, like Roselin had. But since that would be just a single integer, carrying that along through the missions really is no problem.

.... come to think of it, that would be an interresting idea, to have such a counter. In the missions you have optional bonus objectives (that don't influence any other mission, only the counter is carried over), that in some way prevent people from dying (by not being blown up, by making sure they don't die of thirst or hunger in a riot, ect.) and after you finished the campaign you can compare with your friends who saved the most civilians.

 

Offline newman

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Unless you don't take his comment literal...

Of course, I was merely pointing out that every feature needs to be thought out. If we were unable to think of solutions like that we'd never get a single mission done. As for the counter, I agree it could be interesting, but we're nowhere near doing an actual Galactica campaign right now.
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

 

Offline karajorma

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I agree with Newman that making a campaign like that is hideously complex to FRED. But if you look at BtRL it should be obvious that FREDders like myself and Axem love making hideously complex missions with dynamic behaviour in them.
 I remember Axem and I once worked out that you'd have to play the campaign 3 times over with the final mission being played 7 times just to hear all of the dialogue. And even then you aren't guaranteed to hit every possible ending.

So I wouldn't rule out the possibility of something like that happening. In fact an early concept for R2 of mine had all kinds of dynamic behaviour built in. We probably won't go with that concept but it does prove some of the team do like making that sort of thing. :)
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline docfu

  • 27
Again to clarify, I said "in a few single player or multiplayer missions."

Yes, the entire plot of wing commander 1 and whether or not you won the game was dependent on how well you did in the missions but the problem was that the missions never changed drastically. Sometimes a few ships would be added here and there.

I think the big one is the mission in original Freespace where you need to take out the forward beam cannons on the Shivan juggernaut to make things easier for the Colosus. But really, there's nothing RANDOM about it, either you blow them up or you don't. It's 100% up to the player.

And there is no WAY I'd want to suggest that you guys should write out a mission tree that big, that would be insane.

What I am saying is it would be neat to have some 'grey area' missions where every time you play you know it might be one of several scenarios, but not always which one.

So much of what gamers do is dependant on 'goals', you either do what's needed to advance in the game, or you don't. This aspect of the game is always black and white. The players options and strategy can change but the goals are always 100% the same and give away "what was really going on."

If you go on a patrol mission once, play through it to the end, you know when the wings of ships will show up, how many, in what order and you can then "go back in time to reconfigure your ship" to get the best possible outcome by quitting the mission and starting over. Then when you finish the mission you get "we have no recommendations for you." showing that even if that ship got blown up it was pre-programmed to do so.

Obviously these wouldn't be plot missions, they would be a sort of filler missions to extent the life/replay value of the game.




 

Offline docfu

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Let me write this another way:

Mission to examine a derelict spacecraft.

Begin mission: the dice roll...

25% chance the craft is an ambush.
25% chance the craft is booby trapped and capturing it will result in the loss of the transport party.
49% chance the craft is just a dumb ship and there's nothing interesting/worthy of value.
1% chance it was carrying high explosives and will explode if you shoot at it.

Now the mission goals are completely dependent on which of the above scenarios is selected...but none of this is revealed to the player. To the player it looks like a normal derelict until they get close..then maybe through sensor scans they get different results and at that point the player needs to relay to command what they think needs to be done, rather than command magically assessing the situation from far away and just giving the player orders.

"Success" in the mission is determined by which sub-mission was rolled and then whether the player completes the goals successfully. If the player assumes it's a booby trap and it's not, then in the debriefing room they could say "a science team was dispatched after and determined there were no actual threats onboard the ship, nice call nugget and thanks for wasting everyone's time."




 

Offline karajorma

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Again, doable but it's a lot of work. And quite frankly rarely worth it.

You mentioned dice rolls and in that way reminded me of my role-playing past. In those games random encounters are rarely as much fun as the events the GM scripted. Basically this is similar. Although it can be done, it won't add as nuch to the overall plot as a properly scripted event would do.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

  

Offline newman

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Yes, it's pretty much the same thing you said first time - we did get it. So the answers remain the same :)

I do like the survivors counter idea for the Big G campaign, when we get to that.
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

 

Offline karajorma

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I think we'd already discussed having that actually. :)
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline newman

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We might have, I do have some vague recollection of it. Sometimes I think my long term memory just doesn't work anymore :P
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb

 

Offline Angelus

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Long term memory is overrated.  :P
while ( !asleep)     |     Building a Warmachine for FreeSpace: Chronicles of a dark Age        |       My WIP's                                 
{Eights++}

 

Offline newman

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Amen to that..
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb