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Starscape update/sequel ideas
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Fost
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 9:45 am    Post subject: Starscape update/sequel ideas Reply with quote

These ideas were originally posted to the mammoth 'so what do you think?' thread, but I thought it was worth posting them here too incase anyone had anything to add:

vulpineblaze wrote:
Im thinking more towards a StarScape2 simply because i want much moreout of every aspect of the game. You could do better with the research, more types of weapons, deeper tech-trees, inter-woven trees (you need ion 3 + blaster 3 to get charge-ion 1), interwoven weapon systems (putting ion3 and blaster3 next to each other gives the option of creating one charge-ion2, but with drawbacks ) more research than can be done in the game (near-useless technologies, like weak spread-fire blasters or something) so that you can sit dormant in a danger zone for hours on the first zone, yet make those inferior to new alien technologies later on. much more technologies for aegis , like the beam turret, lightning cannons n scoop 2. More hulls, im talking about dual-engined heavy fighter, ultra-fast corsairs, mining ships with built-in cargo n scoop upgrades, etc. More controls, make the bombs, missiles, drones fireable on separate buttons, as well as all on the same. have the control menu let you input up to 3 buttons for each function. Also, if this was to be the sequel, have an actual -Starbase- availble, so you could totally change your gameplay, launch as a mining ship and have a button (TAB?) change between your escorting drone force, or launch as a battle force, control between the large ship and a swarm of other fighter ships. Have research into dual-scoops, scoop-shields, wide-angle, and long range scoops, for both the fighters and aegis.

In Addition, have the menues for research and building need to be re-worked. the menues for most functions of the game have been awkward or at worst, completely confusing. The ability to decicate personnel to multiple projects at once in each catagory should be added too. there should be separate buttons right as you view each ship, you can just click and press "S" for store or whatever so you can re-work ship or add things much easyer. also have more catagories of things to add to a ship and aegis. aegis shields, aegis thrusters, aegis generator even?, armor for aegis and fighters, additional docking bays to add more fighters at the expense for turrets, more types of weapons (eg. wide-angle weapons similar to charged blasters, or sonic waves, vulcan cannons,"ultra" versions of traditional weapons, short-range plasmas *like Zone 5's boss*, exploding disruptors *like Zone 5's boss*) invincible plates for aegis, drone squads ,point-defense systems to take out missles and close-in enemies, limited-use batteries that have a massive output, near-instantly charge/recharge everything onboard but only last 5 or 10 seconds.

Gameplay, have more ways to play arcade-mode. in addition to having survival and instant play, you could add things like capture the pod (blow up one of the tougher mining ships or boss-replica's to get it and take it back to aegis) and custom time limits to survival. custom instant action: different things to have to destroy, different ship outfits to do it as, harder levels, handicaps, more/less escorting drones, more/less asteroids, set how frequently enemies warp into the node, different 'gravity' settings, faster/slower enemies, etc.. have two-player co-op and deathmatch modes, both arcade and campaign. have the arcade mode change zones, and as it does, have certain pods unlock bonus zones.. so lets say when going from 2 to 3, if you had the bonus you'd jump from 2 to *BONUS* to 3, each bonus be different, maybe some that were all resources with a timelimit, some with ice-asteroids and minimal enemies, some like danger-zones, but with more resources. and have a way to de-code your scores so you can show all your friends how good you are with every detail on-screen, even if your not as good as the 'top-players'.

Also, you could have the arachnid unlockable, to where you can play an archnid campaign. I mean, what are the other branches doing the during the time that the earthlings were taking back their warp-drive components? If you really wanted to get into this idea, have a whole online campaign revolved around it, different players fighting over hundreds of nodes spread out other many zones. each player could choose a faction, each faction has a different tech tree, different specialties. for instance, it seemed that the faction featured in Starscape had a liking for the invincible plating, although it never had shields, most of it ships used those not-quite-so-ion guns or dumb-fire missles. have a faction have better generators and shields, and maybe another with better weaponry. you can kinda blend alot of the lower technologies, but only have the biggest and best useable by the specialized faction. This idea will need a whole new game i assume. "Starscape 2 : The Archanid Wars" or something.

More enemy fighters. simple enough, but seeing either lil guys, blasters, or missles ships the whole time got kind of boring. add beam weapons, combo craft, slower heavy fighters, faster swift-attack fighters, kamikaze ships, different mines, maybe even turreted mines too. Also have different distribution patterns, but keep the ratios about even. between 1-3 lil guys for each fighter, and 1 missle ship per 2-4 fighters. then have a random number of fighters, 2-99 *although 99 would certainly kill most players off instantly* Have some of the bosses come back as replica-minibosses. have speciallized tactics for each ship, instead of having the fighter chase and kill, make them run and regroup if they are getting beat on, and have some have forward invincible plating so you have to get behing or on side of them to destroy them. you could add different kinds of native creatures too. I saw a post about a 'blue worm' that infected aegis and you had to blast the infestion off of aegis. maybe have one that has a kind of weapon, or a native space-faring race with their own types of fighters, each one being more like the player, less like archnid, they have alot of weapons and are tough to destroy, but only one or two per node, or smarms of smaller "space bugs".

More 'goodies'. Have more kinds of resources perhaps, or a 'rainbow' resource that counts as all three. have randomly added pods that are un-researchable upgrades, or pods containing technologies you dont currently possess. have the occasional enemy hull be dropped from larger mining ships and bosses. have the bosses actually drop stuff. maybe have asteroids contains pods or survivors on a rare random chance. have better earthling technologies findable like survivors/drive-components were (eg. nuclear weapons, chain-lightning weapons, mines, area-of-effect missles, "Blaze-of-Glory" kamikaze devices)

You could shift toward a more RPG role, have your character have 'stats' that are upgradable with mission experience. have 'perks' or 'specialties' learnable as well, and have to two aspect interwoven. for instance, a player with 'damage control' perks and a high 'tech' stat could repair his own ship while hes flying (maybe have a separate button that you have to press 5 times fast to use that skill) and a player with 'manuever' stats and 'stunt flying' be able to set certain buttons to instant reverse the direction of the ship, or fly one direction and blast in the other. maybe have other pilots rescueable, each with a different compliment of 'stats'. This idea is far too complicated to explore here though.

Also, have side-quests. Have the Xenarch give quests like, blow something up, rescue drones, recon missions, give us 200 in each resource, save us/another outpost from an oncoming invasion force; and in return have better technologies or un-buildable pods or hulls purchasable. maybe even have them give locations to nodes/zones that archnid havn't found full of resources or friendly aliens. have the zone-boss harder to find, instead of just picking up the info-pod, have there be quests and/or puzzles invovled, or even have the boss move around to adjacent nodes, although it doesnt go very far.
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Darth Dallas



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the co-op concept for this very much. I haven't seen it in action with too many games, but I did get to experience co-op with that Battlefield game (at least, I think it had that, it could very well be we were playing a muitliplayer map but just fighting the AI).

Also I like the bonus zone/node idea for finding or encountering things you wouldn't normally on the path you were originally set to be on be they specials, combo-resources, new enemies or allies etc.

As for the rest of it, its been touched on in various ways, but in any case these appear to be great sequal ideas. Overall without getting into too many details since there's quite a few here already in the above post...I'll just say this last thing. From what I've seen and experienced in this game, it has definitely left me craving for a much larger setting or settings to explore in this universe. Don't get me wrong, I'm still waiting eagerly for Battlescape, but I can't wait to get back to the space dog fighting angle.
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KomputationMutation



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:23 pm    Post subject: I'd like to add a couple of ideas to this! Reply with quote

1: AI unit shifting and relocation. Say you've attacked a carrier group and destroyed some of the escort before they all warped out. A nearby battle group would go into the same zone as the carrier, and transfer some of their forces to the carrier group

2: Turret missions. The AEGIS gunners are dumb. It's your turn to show them how to do it

3: Do you really have to docked with the station/mothership to tell them to do repairs to themselves?

4: The occaisonal military support from allies, say when you're outnumbered a hundred to one

That's all I've got for now. Some more may come later
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Remote Controlled Badger



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Idea I'm thinking that maby in the next game like what vulpineblaze wrote that the Archind could have developed their own sort of jump drive from the information from the 1 we had and decided to attack us for revenge??
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Remote Controlled Badger



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey just had another idea
maby if you could have a none plot related game version where you can do what you like with unlimited enemies

Very Happy
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tanathos



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever heard of the game Silent death?

Starscape 2 could simply be multiplayer! You start out with a small ship, choose your faction (Xenarch, human, somethin else invented), then build up as you gain xp and resources (resources could be used for the ship, while xp for some "skills").

Game mode could range from "protect the "X" ship" to deathmatches. The possibilities are ENDLESS!
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jollyreaper



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the basic resource gathering was a bit too tedious. What would probably be more rewarding is making all resources come from salvaged enemy ships with possibly a few extra special resources located within the environment. The core fun part of Starscape is running and gunning and so you don't want to pull the player away from that to do something tedious. Making the resources based on destroyed enemies simply gives the player more incentive to kill enemies -- you get goodies.

This discussion is a bit academic since it sounds like it'll be years before they get around to doing anything else with Starscape. That being said, the simplest upgrade I'd like to see is higher screen resolution with a greater variety of intelligent enemies and enemy ships. Combine that with ship hulls and equipment that can lead to a variety of optimal designs that appeal to different styles of play and we're all set. Starscape's biggest flaw in the design area is that there's only one or two ultimate combinations of ships and weapons. Escape Velocity: Nova has that very same problem. The only way around it is extreme concentration on design and refine for the equipment.

Now the play styles they could optimize for would be:

Brawler: high shielding an armor counts, no missile weapons, guns are rapid-fire with low-damage ammunition. Each hit isn't much but the cumulative effect is felt quickly.

Missile Boat: player enjoys sitting back from the fight and taking picked shots.

Fencer: nimble ship that doesn't have a lot of armor but is fast and has punch.

Drive-by: fast ship, not maneuverable, tends to make slashing passes at high speeds, then turns around far outside of enemy weapon range to do it again.

Balanced: has average stats all around, no particular weaknesses to expoit but no twinkish strengths.

The idea is to allow for players to figure out their own favorite mix of weapons and equipment and develop a unique and suitable play style that they can enjoy. The worst situation is to end up like EV: Nova where railguns are the only weapon worth having and you can use them to plink at enemies from across the screen. If the railguns are the only weapons worth having, why bother to include other weapons at all?

The best non-customizable balance of this sort of thing I've seen is Soul Caliber. Every character was decent but you might not enjoy a particular style. I never liked the big bruiser characters but they could be hellishly effective in a fight. I liked the smaller fast fighters like the girls. They could also be hellishly effective.

The best customizable balance I saw was the original Armored Core. You figure out what kind of mech balance you like and go from there. You could design a walking arsenal that could destroy anything in sight but moved so slow it couldn't chase down a snail. You could design the fasted mech around but would sacrifice hitting power to do so. You could also design a more balanced mech to fit with a particular play style. If you're a crack shot you could go for ranged weapons with hitting power. If you were less accurate, you could go for spray and pray weapons. If flight was essential to your style of play you sacrificed for it. If you don't care for flight you could drop the booster systems and use the saved weight to boost something else you cared about.

I think the worst mistake they could make with Starscape 2 is adding a whole bunch of features that detracts from the gameplay feel of the original without doing much to improve it in other ways.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jollyreaper wrote:
I think the basic resource gathering was a bit too tedious.

The thing we've always found odd about that, is that the mining aspect of the game was intended more as a backup - incase the player was stuck, they always could mine. We always intented the player to move away from mining, and more towards salvaging parts and converting thm to gems. Watching people play the game since has shown that there's an in built desire to mine every last node dry though Very Happy
Perhaps the balance needs shifting towards enemy drops and away from mining, although I'm sure there's an element of player kleptomania going here - you don't have to mine if you don't want to - and I'm not sure we should force you to play the game in one particular way.
I think this is definitely one thing that is the biggest complaint, more needs to be done to encourage non-mining activities that generate 'gem wealth', perhaps even more varied ways to get gems.
jollyreaper wrote:

This discussion is a bit academic since it sounds like it'll be years before they get around to doing anything else with Starscape.

If you are talking about a possible sequel, then yes - there's 3 games on the way before there's a chance of that, however, there are already plans for improvements to Starscape 1 based on emails we've received, board suggestions, and some of our own thoughts. There's a few things we knew we wanted to do with Starscape when we released version 1 and never had the time; we've always wanted to redress those parts of the game. I've even completed a lot of artwork, sfx, and particle systems in preparation for the update, but it'll all come down to when we feel we can slot in both the programming aspects of it all, and another massive gameplay balancing beta test (we love updating Starscape, but gameplay tests are painful - and we take this aspect of development most seriously!)

I like your other ideas, especially about ship specialisation. Another thing that could help that would be ships and equipment optimised for different tasks - mining, defence, capitol ship attack etc.

Interesting that you want the game to run at higher res - last time we did that was implementing 800X600 mode, and no one has brought it up since. It required lots of rebalancing issues to be taken care of. 1024X768 would be an even greater leap (the big issues are AI, and audio related), but, having run the game at that res, I can see how appealing it would be. It would be very hard to go beyond that mind.
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Rup



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Watching people play the game since has shown that there's an in built desire to mine every last node dry though


The problem is knowing if we're meant to or not. Sometimes if you take the easy route through a game you get squashed later on because you didn't invest in tech or have enough cash to fall back on. So we need to do at least as much as we think you expected us to Smile And if you're going to overcompensate somewhere it might as well be in zone one whilst it's still easy.

Fost wrote:
If you are talking about a possible sequel, then yes - there's 3 games on the way before there's a chance of that,


*Three*? Do tell Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rup wrote:
The problem is knowing if we're meant to or not. Sometimes if you take the easy route through a game you get squashed later on because you didn't invest in tech or have enough cash to fall back on. So we need to do at least as much as we think you expected us to Smile And if you're going to overcompensate somewhere it might as well be in zone one whilst it's still easy.

Yes, you're right there - we should at least 'advertise' other modes of play - we drum mining into you from the start, so you'll never get stuck!
Fost wrote:
*Three*? Do tell Smile

Two have already been mentioned on the forums: Mr. Robot and Battlescape. There's another which has already been started, but we won't be making any announcements until Mr. Robot is complete.
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Harabek



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My main complaint with mining is that the rescources can be destroyed. This makes sense because of the current system. But why have that? Why do I have to pick up the gems myself? There could be little drones that could do that for me. If the crew can learn to make drones from the Xenarch's data that can stay in perfect formation with me then they can make drones to pick up the gems. Or use a teleport system. Or leave it as unexplained "salvage points" earned by killing enemies. That would allow more focus on combat.

Keep in mind that I'm the guy that plays rpg's by leveling until until I can smite anything before going into each dungeon. So maybe I'm just compulsive.

Oh, and the third game, will that be after Battlescape or will Battlescape be delayed again?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harabek wrote:
My main complaint with mining is that the rescources can be destroyed. This makes sense because of the current system. But why have that? Why do I have to pick up the gems myself? There could be little drones that could do that for me. If the crew can learn to make drones from the Xenarch's data that can stay in perfect formation with me then they can make drones to pick up the gems. Or use a teleport system. Or leave it as unexplained "salvage points" earned by killing enemies. That would allow more focus on combat.

Keep in mind that I'm the guy that plays rpg's by leveling until until I can smite anything before going into each dungeon. So maybe I'm just compulsive.

Any kind of wingmen/mining drone AI would be a pretty big update. I think you've hit on the issue though - the more compulsive of us think 'If I mine these nodes dry, I'll be rich with gems! and I can glue multiple lasers to my ships!'

So, I think, a three-part strategy to combat 'mining lethargy', could be:

*Make Enemy equipment drops more interesting: if there were rare or unique items available for the enemy, then that would be cool. Perhaps to start with, change all the existing equipment drops to 'archnid class' variations - maybe bigger units, but more powerful; you get the idea. Then have some unique weapons and equipment only available as rare archnid drops.
*Make mining more fun! Ok, I'm open to ideas on this. Could have every 100th asteroid mined with a nuke Wink. Seriously - there must be some more interesting things we could do with mining. Perhaps if there were certain skills combined with certain equipment types which would yield better results - Not thought enough about this - ideas welcome Very Happy
*Add more ways to put gems 'in the bank'. A big update, but a really cool feature would be a new race of traders with outposts like the Xenarch, offering trading options between outposts

I am trepidatious about fully automating mining, as you are essentially killing one of the 'things you can do' in the game - and Aegis mining equipment (if only a halfway house) only seemed to help a little.

Harabek wrote:
Oh, and the third game, will that be after Battlescape or will Battlescape be delayed again?

Game 3 will follow on from Mr. Robot (this was mentioned in the original Mr. Robot announcement though, so is old news) - and will feature certain technologies that we decided Battlescape would really benefit from. There's method in our madness Very Happy -Battlescape is a very complicated game to make, but we could have still easily have released in the time frame we wanted. We just thought - this may be the only rts we make - so we might aswell put some of the things we always wanted into it Hence the delay decision, and resurrection of some previously worked on ideas.

People looking forward to Battlescape should be happy to know that (as with Mr. Robot) there's already been an extensive amount of work done on game 3 (in fact it was running in prototype form well before Mr. Robot was!) so it shouldn't cause too much of a delay.
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[RRF]Centipede



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe as an upgrade, it would be nice to have the Aegis let you drop minerals faster. Docking feels like it takes forever. Perhaps special pads can be researched and deployed (such as a pad that you can just fly over and all the resources you have are automatically dumped, no delays. Or even automated turrets). Would be really neat if they remain in the zone, that way if you can deploy things like turrets, you can lay ambushes.
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Darth Dallas



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the way that mining operates in this game mechanics-wise but it does get tedious.

I agree that there needs to be some exploration of different ways to get it done, but I think the previous methods of obtaining things will definitely need to stay even if you shifted most "drops" to happen from enemies (the hands on way with your fighter being the primary).

Aegis' newer abilities, thanks to the latest patch, helps to suppliment the fighter's role without it taking over. I mean, if one wanted to try to have it do most of it, they'd have to criss cross the map calling the station several times to pull it off.

I like the ideas going round about using remote mining methods however. I think more methods of aquiring resources and items is probably largely dependent on how large the scope of the sequel could be, and then figuring out from that which roles or objectives need to get done that the player needs direct conrol over as opposed to simply supervising other remote processes (the "set it and forget it" sort of tasks if you will).
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Aetherine



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy Folks. Aeth here, long time reader and first time poster.

Now, I've played a LOT of this genre in my time. I was introduced to computers through a Mac and Escape Velocity, I learned how to create my own plugins in order to make cool stuff, and since then I've been a hopeless computer junky.

Starscape "wins" as one of the best games of the space shooter genre because it's a whole lot more than just a space shooter.
The mining aspect of the game is really a great thing, especially considering your first three nodes you visit will be drained of their precious resources before you really do anything. Most people get the feeling that mining is an important thing the whole game because of that, and there's nothing wrong with that. I managed to get to teir three on all of my research and teir two with some to spare by gathering in the "danger" node in zone one. Since it's the only node that those filthy aliens don't go to and it regenerates resources, all I had to do was outfit the station with three scoops, a big freaking cannon, and a drill and I was literally pulling in hundreds of minerals each sweep through.
Combat also has a great feeling to it, though I think I hate inertia in the nodes. It might be the EV in me that says it, but I see the need for inertia. Afterall, energy management wouldn't be nearly as difficult if you could just coast along in reverse and shoot without spending the movement energy. When a person finally gets to a tier three hull and outfits it with a large amount of firepower, they'll either see that collecting from wreakage is the best way to get minerals, or they'll keep a "mining" craft just for when they do research and development and need a steady source of minerals. 'course, some folks just blast everything to pieces and let the station gather everything, grabbing the info cores and equipment they see with thier default craft.

Basic gathering is supposed to be a bit tedious though. Consider the fact you're the only space jocky on the station, and odds are the only person that can understand whatever the heck JJ builds. Are you going to train a greenhorn on how to work the flight stick and see them die? Woops, the engineer just accelerated into an asteroid, looks like I'm stuck in this prowler hull with tier one blasters until we get out. =/ I'll mine gladly so the Pink-Haired-Wonder can keep building me sweet rides.

If a stat system that improved as you did relevant things were added, a larger scale for the nodes/levels/areas/zones/whathaveyou, and more variation in upgrades ships and new tech, you folks here at Moonpod would have one hell of a title.
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