Author Topic: In-flight reloads  (Read 4423 times)

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Offline headdie

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in fact I am struggling to think of a space fighter game that, energy/heat bar aside, didn't have unlimited cannon ammo.
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It's funny because in Elite you'll almost always be using your unlimited (except for an overheat meter) laser, and missiles are a last resort. You also have fully regenerative health barring subsystem damage (which almost always immediately precedes death). So it isn't a particularly good example.
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Offline Parias

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in fact I am struggling to think of a space fighter game that, energy/heat bar aside, didn't have unlimited cannon ammo.

The X series, once they introduced ballistic weapons.

 

Offline Dragon

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Even in X, the Mass Drivers were a niche weapon. Especially in X2, in X3 they were somewhat better, but still you'd stick to energy weapons because of the cost.
One sort of "space" game that comes to my mind is Descent, where the energy didn't regenerate, but had to be collected like typical FPS ammo.
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I'd say that in-mission reloads would be a good idea for R2. You could touch down in the flightpod, get rearmed, perhaps slightly patched up and take off again. This would allow much longer and more intense missions which would normally cause you to run out of ammo. Also, remember that a combat landing and rearming takes you out of battle for a while, so this wouldn't be a game breaker.

I'd be a fan of something like that. If you take a two-three minute time out in the middle of a mission, you're running a pretty good risk of some raiders showing up and blasting your battlestar out of existence while you're sitting in the hangar twiddling your thumbs. It seems like a pretty good tradeoff to give to a player - do I get greedy with missile-requiring objectives or do I stick it out and shoot down raiders?
Basically, that was my idea for reloads. Reloads would be paired with a rather hectic pounding by Heavy Raiders and Basestars, so you'd have to time them right, or trade off some of your Battlestar's health in order to get rearmed. Coupled with global missile load tracking (limiting cannon ammo like that could be a bit overkill), this could really help the atmosphere and add depth to the game. Since the only missiles that are mission critical are anti-ship, these could be issued on a per-mission basis, and maybe you could get to keep the spares to use in case of being in a tight spot later. AA missiles would be issued at the start to use at your discretion, and you'd be able to get some more in certain missions, usually by saving a cargo vessel.

 

Offline karajorma

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Yes but without code to lower you into the hanger bay and watch all the grease monkeys stick new weapons on your hull, it would quite obviously be a game mechanic. We might as well have you fly over a Power Up icon to recharge your ammo. :p

Seriously guys, in flightpod reloads are not going to happen. Get used to it.
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Offline Dragon

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If only there was a way to include a pre-recorded cutscene in the middle of a mission (of course, with game running in the background), this could be done. Actually, it'd be really awesome if something like that could happen. Imagine you touch down for rearming, and get a cutscene (maybe a clip from the show?) of the elevator lowering you down, technicans scrambling around the ship, loading ordnance and welding metal plates to the hull, then loading you into the launch rail for a combat launch. Of course, this would require the combat launches to be doable when the ship is moving and turning in the middle of a mission (not an easy task, I reckon), but just think how awesome it'd be. :)

 

Offline Angelus

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If only there was a way to include a pre-recorded cutscene in the middle of a mission (of course, with game running in the background), this could be done. Actually, it'd be really awesome if something like that could happen. Imagine you touch down for rearming, and get a cutscene (maybe a clip from the show?) of the elevator lowering you down, technicans scrambling around the ship, loading ordnance and welding metal plates to the hull, then loading you into the launch rail for a combat launch. Of course, this would require the combat launches to be doable when the ship is moving and turning in the middle of a mission (not an easy task, I reckon), but just think how awesome it'd be. :)


Clips from the show are a big No-No, and doing such a scene for just one mission... i dunno, that's something for those moments when the 3D guys have an empty plate, unless this specific mission would require it.

Having such a scene in every mission would become boring for most players very fast, so we'd have to make that cutscene skipable, which makes the whole effort in Animating and coding pointless. Plus it'd would bring us to were we started.
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Offline newman

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Reloads in every mission or whenever the player requests them are never happening, anyway. And in those few specific situations where we might do them, I'd rather have a dedicated craft you need to land in for that than break the mission with cutscenes.
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Offline Dragon

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Having such a scene in every mission would become boring for most players very fast, so we'd have to make that cutscene skipable, which makes the whole effort in Animating and coding pointless. Plus it'd would bring us to were we started.
Now that I think of it, a scene of a Viper being outfitted with weapons (just be careful not to show the missiles well) and loaded into the launch tube would fit pretty well at the mission start, ala Wing Commander takeoff scenes. Of course, being stock footage, it'd often get skipped, but I found such scenes really added to atmosphere in Wing Commander. Same goes for landing, it shows you the world that's beyond game space.
Reloads in every mission or whenever the player requests them are never happening, anyway. And in those few specific situations where we might do them, I'd rather have a dedicated craft you need to land in for that than break the mission with cutscenes.
That could be a good idea too, and wouldn't require any coding additions. TBH, I initially didn't know that Battlestars have hangar lifts and don't do their rearming WWII style, on the flight deck. I watched only a few BSG episodes and assumed that rearming could be done on flight deck.

 

Offline newman

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The flight deck is exposed to the vacuum of space most of the time, and since there aren't any fancy force fields in BSG, that would make reloading on the deck impractical to say the least :)
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Offline Swifty

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I guess they could close the two garage doors on the pods but that would take a while. :P

 
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Offline Ace

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To be honest, if we had some extra dedicated artists I'd love to do things more like Wing Commander (with little cutscenes showing ship damage, etc.) Not hard to do on the mission end. The trick is getting people who have the time and labor to do it all. (and we'd want new team members so we can still do R2 on time)

i.e. little scenes post-mission of each viper type showing battle damage and the silhouette of the crew chief sort of thing.

So if you know artists who want to model battlestar interiors and render them, send them our way!
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Offline karajorma

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Indeed. Wing Commander Saga really took my cutscenes code and ran with it. We had similar plans but we couldn't carry them out because we didn't have enough animators to do it (Well we have the animators, but we'd rather they were modelling!).
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Offline Thaeris

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in fact I am struggling to think of a space fighter game that, energy/heat bar aside, didn't have unlimited cannon ammo.

I think Starshatter could be made very similar to this. Your fighter has particle cannons, which do recharge, but there is no re-arming/re-fueling on the go. If one altered the gun code (with respect to powering down sensor levels), you could not regain energy, nor deplete it when not firing. Starshatter also had a BSG mod back in the day.
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Offline StarSlayer

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i.e. little scenes post-mission of each viper type showing battle damage and the crew chief with a wrench uprased as a weapon. The mechanic's expression was of pure, if silly, rage.
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