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V2.0 civilian ships: The Science Vessel

posted Jun 05, 2013 12:57:57 by ThomRobertson
I've gotten 4 new civilian ship models for the V2.0 of Artemis; the cruise liner, the science vessel, the transport, and the cargo vessel. These civvy ships will make each game more complex and interesting (hopefully).

But in the existing version of Artemis, "neutral" ships are bone stupid, and (unless ordered otherwise) proceed in a straight line to the edge of the map. So I'm hoping YOU can suggest missions, behaviors, and situations that you would like to see for these ships.

This week, let's look at the Science Vessel.

Creator of Artemis
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9 replies
AdmlBaconStraps said Jun 05, 2013 13:12:15
Just a quick question on the types coming out:

How are the transport and the cargo vessel going to differ? It seems to me (and you may have a totally different take on this) that they're just different names for the same kind of ship?
aconrad103 said Jun 05, 2013 13:21:27
Very cool, I really like these varied aesthetics that the new ships bring.

As to it's behavior, perhaps it tries to study the space whales and monsters, periodically going back to a station. Most of their quests could trigger when they agro a space monster, but then they would need something to survive long enough to even get assistance. Unusually high shields does not make much sense, but abilities like a warp drive could increase their survivability.

Their reward for helping them should be related to scanning. Each ship/station's quests should have appreciably different rewards, so it can be easily distinguished by type of vessel. Perhaps increasing scan speed or each scan counting as 2 (giving shield frequencies the first time). Increasing sensor range when it is limited can also be an option. Maybe increasing the lock on range for dumb fired torpedoes or giving the torpedoes some kind of IFF would benefit smaller crews that are more combat focused.
matt.schillinger said Jun 05, 2013 14:31:35
I love the new designs! These ships are inspiration in and of themselves!

For a science vessel, I would expect long duration missions, so it should have reserve batteries and a mechanism for recharging without having to reroute power as a standard.

Science ships should be examining anomalies and nebula, and any sort of astronomical or biological phenomenon.

Leapfrogging off of aconrad103's idea, I think that having a science vessel able to tractor and take a space monster specimen or inboard in containment would be interesting. Same for space whales.

A science vessel may require escort to the edge of a sector as it is sent on mission.

It could offer enhanced scanning functionality, possibly being able to retrofit ship systems with more enhanced versions. As a science vessel is about science and research, there are no voids to what type of 'upgrades' a science vessel might be able to offer.

For that reason, a science vessel could also become a target of other races wanting to obtain research ad technology.

A science vessel should have at least one genesis torpedo! ;) Just Kidding.

Mad scientists with madness caused by seclusion, selling research to the highest bidder are possible plot points.

As a last addition, what if a science vessel has a gravatonic engine capable of countering the gravitational effects of a sinilarity. A la "Disney's, The Black Hole". However, if there is a civilian tugboat, I think that would be a better feature for it.

Havin the ability of a civvy ship to save other ships would be cool!

Once again, these ships look AWESOME!
[Last edited Jun 05, 2013 14:34:04]
Mike_Substelny said Jun 05, 2013 14:40:43
Ah, that's a beautiful ship! But I was hoping for another role for it . . .
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
RobertSawyer said Jun 05, 2013 15:03:52
With the science ship, maybe give it some play with the ??? entity. For instance, maybe saving the science vessel will give the comms the ability to communicate with it (and maybe convince it to go in specific directions). So being able to either send it away, or directing it against the enemies. Or perhaps the science vessel will give knowledge of how to kill the ???.

Or perhaps rescuing a Science Vessel will simply feed all of the scanner knowledge for everything the science vessel has gotten nearby (though I'm not as fond of that idea, a reward should enhance gameplay, not replace it).

Rescuing a Science Vessel may supercharge lasers for a time, or maybe rescuing a Science Vessel that is studying a black hole will assist by giving the player the ability to dive into a black hole, which teleports the players randomly somewhere on the map.

Or the Science Vessel can supercharge the EMP missiles, so that for the rest of the map EMP missiles are more powerful, or don't target friendlies. Lots of fun options.

As for Science Missions, having the ship request assistance with scanning something (basically the science vessel wants scanned data for x, or they want the player to destroy something (since the science vessel is unarmed), and ask the players to target an asteroid and shoot it down while the science vessel scans it, etc). Perhaps the Science Vessel would like help clearing a minefield, or would like the players to scout an area in a nebula out to make sure it's safe.
MichaelMesich said Jun 06, 2013 03:05:04
I'm hoping there will be a half dozen ??? entities where maybe one or two are beneficial and thus worth checking out despite the risk.
EliWintercross said Jun 06, 2013 04:06:17

the difference between Transport and Cargo vessel would be (I assume) That a cargo vessel is exactly as it sounds, shipping goods in large holds... where as a 'transport' would likely have cabins/rooms/amenities and transport people. That's how it normally goes in space-sim games anyway.
ZacharyDanielBringham said Jun 06, 2013 15:23:38
I think the root of the question of the difference between cargo and transport vessels is that often the same body type is repurposed for either role. Many air- and watercraft are this way today, with modular interior designs to adapt to whatever role is required. Luxury liners and science vessels have vastly different purposes and thus it's expected that physically they'll be different. Cargo vessels and passenger transports have the same purpose, namely that of moving something from one place to another, so their physical design doesn't require stark differences.
DaveWightman said Jun 07, 2013 04:17:10
Beautiful model, beautiful texture work. Somewhat related question: does the game engine down-sample textures while it's running? I tried making a higher definition texture for the TSN ships and in the ship building program they looked good but in-game they were blurry.

Anyway, ideas:
1.) You know those energy sources your science officer can find and then help you find to recharge your ship? Yeah, they should track those down and then deliver them to you. Maybe the science officer could identify a location for energy, the comms officer could order the science ship to search sector F6 or wherever for energy, the science ship would find it, and then you could pick it up.

2.) Science ship should randomly being around exploring singularities and space whales.

3.) Those ???s that blow things up? Maybe the science vessel can communicate with them, or figure out how to kill them.

4.) Maybe science vessels can detect cloaked ships that are within their sensor range. Let me tell you when there are two Skaraans on the map at once this would be nice :p

5.) Maybe they get into trouble sometimes. I could see them getting snared by a black hole or something like that and needing to be tractor beamed out.

6.) Maybe they can go places and gather research data which could eventually lead to them upgrading your gear. Maybe they call the comms officer and say something like "We could go study X and develop a beam upgrade, or go study Y and develop a warp core upgrade?" and then your comms officer could give them an instruction, then when they were done their mission they'd fly to a star base and drop off the equipment for you to pick up later.

7.) What if the science vessel could mod your ship to have a warp drive AND a jump drive? That would be crazy.

8.) Maybe they could have some attributes of a mobile star base? They shouldn't have warhead's stocked, but maybe they could help you with repairs and give you a slow battery recharge. At a starbase your battery can recharge at something like 200/second, maybe these guys help your battery recover at 20/second.

9.) Maybe not every scientist works for you... maybe this has Skaraan tech on it. Maybe it's a Kralien science ship that cheated the Arvonians. These neutral ships have all sorts of opportunities to give the Comm's officer something interesting to do. I wonder if different ships could be given different "motivations" and a good comm's officer could try finding out what people want and maybe diffuse (or exacerbate) the situation.

10.) Maybe they need repair help from you.

11.) Maybe they will accidentally kill your crew, or need damage control teams permanently.

12.) Maybe they've got a device on board that is causing the system's of nearby ships (friend or foe) to overheat.
[Last edited Jun 07, 2013 04:21:50]
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