General ideas

Eder

Mr. Standoff
Well, let's be honest, the Jalthi is a bad example of Kilrathi "extravagance"... it's almost as generic as you've described the terran ships to be. :p

It's symmetric unlike the post-WC2 designs, it's got only one cockpit unlike the Krant, and it's got a nice pair of wings unlike the rock fighter. :p
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Eder said:
Well, let's be honest, the Jalthi is a bad example of Kilrathi "extravagance"... it's almost as generic as you've described the terran ships to be. :p

It's symmetric unlike the post-WC2 designs, it's got only one cockpit unlike the Krant, and it's got a nice pair of wings unlike the rock fighter. :p

Yeah I know, but theres this "something" in its design, that is really cool (not speaking about 6 guns though! :) ). I guess it's my individual aesthetic sense.
 

Cargoman

Spaceman
Plasteel , I am so glad to see you in good spirits .
Please speak your mind , but be prepared for others to do likewise .
Look forward to see how this project advances ,
and your contributions to it.

Cheers !
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
3 of the 4 player ships in the original Privateer have no hint of aircraft design anywhere in them, for starters. As for asymetry or other "nonstandard" design features, check out the Privateer 2 designs, particularly the Veldor pirate fighter, Kiowan pirate shuttle, Heretic CIS fighter, CIS capital ship prototype (not a fighter, but still has the design features you commented on lacking in human designs), and Freij CIS fighter.

(Anyone trying to argue, here, that P2 isn't WC will be sumarily executed.)
 
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Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Death said:
3 of the 4 player ships in the original Privateer have no hint of aircraft design anywhere in them, for starters. As for asymetry or other "nonstandard" design features, check out the Privateer 2 designs...

Ok, but what it has in common with Pioneer. I know, that in P2 there were some original ship designs but that was different game. What I was trying to say is that I'd like to see ships resembling for instance (when speaking of P2) Kindred Blade, Krell (BTW very similar to one Kilrathis ship...what was its name? ;) ) and Duress.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Howard Day said:
Lots of money and a pair of particle cannons.
Works for me.

Eder said:
A pair of Particle cannons sounds nice - like a reference to those P2 guns which you could only get by meeting some weird character somewhere.

Plasteel Skull said:
If those guns are otherwise unavailable on a free market it's awesome prize.

To connect all the dots here, completion of the Jalthi arc could be the trigger that kicks off particle cannon availability to the player.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
ChrisReid said:
To connect all the dots here, completion of the Jalthi arc could be the trigger that kicks off particle cannon availability to the player.

It can be a logical conclusion, however I wouldn't be so sure about it. The Jalthi arc is still only a slight possibility and particle cannons were mentioned as an example of a reward when Jalthi will be stolen...ehrm, TAKEN from you ;)

Back to the thread topic - it says General Ideas so here's one:
The other day when I was playing Knights of the Old Republic (1 and 2 - but in the second part I think the interior of Ebon Hawk was done better) there was an option to board your ship and walk there talking with NPCs. In different parts of a ship were some things - in the KOTOR 1 you even dragged a swoop bike with you. My idea is, that if you are making bases in which a player can freely move and visit them - why not to make 5 (or more - if there will be possibility to fly more ships later) ship interiors with cargo holds, passenger cabins a toilet? :)and so on - it would also be a opportunity to talk to your turret gunners and co-pilot (just the same conversation as with the rest of NPCs in a game - maybe some complaint on a stupid boss :p. Speaking of cargo hold, game would check how much cargo a ship is carrying (in percents treshold every 20%) and would load one of 5 ship interior models distinguishing only by number of crates in cargo hold The ship itself would be inaccessible during a flight - only after landing. I don't know how difficult it would be, but i imagine it - that if you are making bases consisting of segments and put together like puzzle, the "ship segment" (not chosen randomly, of course) would be always a part of every place you land. Can it be done. What do you think about this?From KOTOR experience I can say, that it's a detail which would add a tremendous lot to the reality feel of a gameplay.:)
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
To add a little idea to finish the last one - during boarding of ones ship he could meet also some repair droids (if those were bought, not technician hired) welding hull, adjusting some computers inside and so on... There's nothing worse than idle repair droid :)
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Howard Day said:
Black hole/Realistic Gravity:
Got it already - there will be several black hole (or gavitational oddities) present in the universe.

Just one minor concern after watching Wing Commanders Academy series on my computer. The whole show is really great and I really enjoyed it, however in episodes "Expendable" and "Chain of command" there was a Pulsar which (like is said in stuff written on https://www.wcnews.com/articles/jumpfaq.shtml ) created with another "synchronized" pulsar a supernode jump line. What was rather funny was a way this Pulsar was portrayed - rather cartoonish i must say - like an ordinary star, rotating (the signs of its rotation were those "toroids" or "tires" above its surface and double cone light emanating from poles. Ok, that's just not the way a pulsar is looking like and just to be sure not to see such a abomination in WCP someday (I know that you know, but still - its better to be sure :) )for safety I would like to describe, how I see it in case it will be placed in WCP. Pulsar rotates several to several thousand times per second - it depends mainly on size and rotation frequency of the original star. But this rotation is invisible. It only sends a very intensive bursts of elecromagnetic waves in the direction of those cones which were shown in WCA. Otherwise it emanates a deadly X-ray radiation all around, intense enough to kill all life in a very long distance from it. If we would be looking on a pulsar - or neutron star, we would see something like a small black (yet not totally black, like a black hole's event horizon) ball - size of several kilometers in diameter. But it would be very hardly visible unless on a light background (like some light shaded nebula or a corona of a nearby star). Closing too near to it would allow its gravitational drift to tear the ship apart. Writing all of this just to avoid sight of shiny orange ball with double cone and tires all around it in a game ;) :D
 
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Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Two words for you, Plasteel Skull: artistic license :)

Somewhat more seriously, there are times when viewer understanding is more important than technical accuracy. Mind you, WC is years beyond, say, Star Trek in trying to keep a realistic grasp on the universe. :D :p
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Death said:
Somewhat more seriously, there are times when viewer understanding is more important than technical accuracy.

In that I agree, just wouldn't be happy to see a basketball ball rotating in space, without Shaquille O'Neal's finger under it posing as a pulsar...


Death said:
Mind you, WC is years beyond, say, Star Trek in trying to keep a realistic grasp on the universe. :D :p

Oh, I more than agree on this one. :) Each and every part of this show features a new subatomic particle - toron, baraton, virion...
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
You can pull down hundreds of technobabble references from Wing Commander too. It's not so obvious in Wing Commander because you have the gameplay sequences to resolve things, but both Star Trek and Wing Commander pretty much start with the very basics and make up whatever they want after that.
Tachyon Gun - It slows down tachyon particles, which naturally travel faster than the speed of light. Once these particles ore decelerated and forced into streams, their potential damage increases monumentally.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Another small contribution on mine in the name of a small pseudo-quest of reanimating idea traffic on this thread :) I post a few conceptions which came to my mind while playing X-Universe games (as an act of satiating my hunger for a good privateerish game):

General ideas:
* WC Pioneer as a game should be a rich source of lore about the Landreich systems as an integral part of WC universe. This goal -- IMO -- can be achieved with imparting deatiled infobase concerning various systems, planets and other stellar objects, organisations, government(s), celebrities, pirate gangs (if any), ship types and their subsystems (like shield types, missiles, guns and devices). If this would be to much work to write or out of boundaries of workload, you plan to invest into Pioneer, you can always employ many eager WC fans here, who would be glad to write ( of that i am sure) any valid info, based on their vast knowledge emerging from lecture of books and so on... At the end it would be you, who would decide what to use and what to dump. Reading and learning those things while playing Pioneer would be a great fun (at least for me).

* I don't know what physical flight model you are going to use in Pio and what is allowed by WC setting, but useing the inertia physics and devices (like some kind of inertia dumpeners enhancing maneouverability of a ship) would be sweet

* Inspired by oldschool elite family games - the mis-jump effect. As with previous idea - do't know, whether it even exists in WC games, but possibility of a jump drive malfunction leading you to a different (possibly unknown) system is always a fun thing to happen. And the trouble it causes... well, just an idea.

* This was very lightly discussed in context of cockpits - but what about cracked front cockpit windows?

Space environment ideas:

* These are very impressive in X2 and X3 - various in-system nebulas, with electricity discharges that would cloud ship sensors, disrupt shields, lower visibility and gun effectivity. In-nebula asteroid fields... etc.

* Asteroid fields are of course a must :). But will these be like in some space simulator - full of large and completely harmless asteroids - or will there be many relatively small, fast and knocking with each other asteroids just like in Empire strikes back movie -- I mean really dangerous fields which mean serious trouble (for you but also for your foes rushing into it on your tail).

* Waching some of WC:Academy cartoons gave me this idea - will there be any planets with Saturn-like asteroid belts - maybe with some bases hidden in one of those? A dogfight in such an environment would be soomething to remember! Writing a code for sometthing like this, too, I'm sure. ;)

* This is just recycled idea of mine, from the top of this topic - pulsar and black hole systems -- myriad of possibilities here.

Having all of this in Pio would mean, that this game would be perfect in my eyes, hovewer perfect games doesn't exist so it will be great when you will pick just few of those best fitting with what you've already done so far.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Plasteel Skull said:
Another small contribution on mine in the name of a small pseudo-quest of reanimating idea traffic on this thread :) I post a few conceptions which came to my mind while playing X-Universe games (as an act of satiating my hunger for a good privateerish game):
General ideas:
* WC Pioneer as a game should be a rich source of lore about the Landreich systems as an integral part of WC universe. This goal -- IMO -- can be achieved with imparting deatiled infobase concerning various systems, planets and other stellar objects, organisations, government(s), celebrities, pirate gangs (if any), ship types and their subsystems (like shield types, missiles, guns and devices). If this would be to much work to write or out of boundaries of workload, you plan to invest into Pioneer, you can always employ many eager WC fans here, who would be glad to write ( of that i am sure) any valid info, based on their vast knowledge emerging from lecture of books and so on... At the end it would be you, who would decide what to use and what to dump. Reading and learning those things while playing Pioneer would be a great fun (at least for me).

This sort of Databate/encyclopedia is already planned. It makes perfect sense to supply this sort of information in the game (as we don't have a printed manual) and to make it entertaining to the player to use it. That's not where it stops, however.
We've gone so far as to try and spec out a system of tracking every ship in the universe - primarily ship registries, but also captains and to a certain extent crew members. The ideal end goal of this, of course, is to let you encounter both the friends and enemies you create during the game on more than one occasion. If you save the life and livelyhood of a passing merchant - thanks will be exchanged. Most likely, that's as far as it goes. But if you were to be in combat at a later date, and this same merchant were to pass by, then there's a good chance he'd try and help you out. It's not guaranteed, of course - but it increases the chances of it.
We have no idea how plausible this system is, but from all appearances it seems to just be a database that's randomly generated at the start of the game. Joel didn't seem to think it was too difficult, and sounded eager to give it a shot.

* I don't know what physical flight model you are going to use in Pio and what is allowed by WC setting, but useing the inertia physics and devices (like some kind of inertia dumpeners enhancing maneouverability of a ship) would be sweet

I believe the flight engine will be a mix between newtonian physics and a more traditionally WC flight model. This is subject to change, though - we need to find a flight model that doesn't seem like you're sitting in a bubble spinning around - one that give the feeling of speed, motion, and true manuvering. As for the manuvering jets and the like improving performance, this is already planned.


* Inspired by oldschool elite family games - the mis-jump effect. As with previous idea - do't know, whether it even exists in WC games, but possibility of a jump drive malfunction leading you to a different (possibly unknown) system is always a fun thing to happen. And the trouble it causes... well, just an idea.
Possible. This looks like it'd more be a randomly activated storyline/mission arc, than something that would just happen randomly. We'd need to provide some framework, and I'm doubtful we'd be able to do this to the player more than once. Definately an possiblity, though.

* This was very lightly discussed in context of cockpits - but what about cracked front cockpit windows?
\
Absolutely. Busted wiring and sparking displays are in the works to.

* These are very impressive in X2 and X3 - various in-system nebulas, with electricity discharges that would cloud ship sensors, disrupt shields, lower visibility and gun effectivity. In-nebula asteroid fields... etc.

* Asteroid fields are of course a must :). But will these be like in some space simulator - full of large and completely harmless asteroids - or will there be many relatively small, fast and knocking with each other asteroids just like in Empire strikes back movie -- I mean really dangerous fields which mean serious trouble (for you but also for your foes rushing into it on your tail).

* Waching some of WC:Academy cartoons gave me this idea - will there be any planets with Saturn-like asteroid belts - maybe with some bases hidden in one of those? A dogfight in such an environment would be soomething to remember! Writing a code for sometthing like this, too, I'm sure. ;)

* This is just recycled idea of mine, from the top of this topic - pulsar and black hole systems -- myriad of possibilities here.

All of these at to some extent planned. It's somewhat difficult to show at the moment, but we have several different asteriod field types planned - planetary ring and solar ring are the main two, but we're investigating other opeions as well. Recently destroyed moons, for instance - with a localized asteriod field.

Having all of this in Pio would mean, that this game would be perfect in my eyes, hovewer perfect games doesn't exist so it will be great when you will pick just few of those best fitting with what you've already done so far.
Well, they're all good ideas - and most of them are already in the works or at least on paper as something we'd like to try. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Howard Day said:
Possible. This looks like it'd more be a randomly activated storyline/mission arc, than something that would just happen randomly. We'd need to provide some framework, and I'm doubtful we'd be able to do this to the player more than once. Definately an possiblity, though.

That's a thought--maybe after reaching a certain point, there is a small random chance each jump of a jump failure landing you in just the right spot to start a story arc.

All of these at to some extent planned. It's somewhat difficult to show at the moment, but we have several different asteriod field types planned - planetary ring and solar ring are the main two, but we're investigating other opeions as well. Recently destroyed moons, for instance - with a localized asteriod field.

Nebulas from WC3/WC4 generally cut your radar and targeting range while you are in them. Other plausible effects would include communications interference (static, or even no signal at all if you are deep in the nebula trying to contact the outside universe), increased energy drain required to maintain shield strength, or increased drag from the ramscoops.
 

Plasteel Skull

Commodore
Howard Day said:
This sort of Databate/encyclopedia is already planned. It makes perfect sense to supply this sort of information in the game (as we don't have a printed manual) and to make it entertaining to the player to use it. That's not where it stops, however.
We've gone so far as to try and spec out a system of tracking every ship in the universe - primarily ship registries, but also captains and to a certain extent crew members. The ideal end goal of this, of course, is to let you encounter both the friends and enemies you create during the game on more than one occasion. If you save the life and livelyhood of a passing merchant - thanks will be exchanged. Most likely, that's as far as it goes. But if you were to be in combat at a later date, and this same merchant were to pass by, then there's a good chance he'd try and help you out. It's not guaranteed, of course - but it increases the chances of it.
We have no idea how plausible this system is, but from all appearances it seems to just be a database that's randomly generated at the start of the game. Joel didn't seem to think it was too difficult, and sounded eager to give it a shot.

Brilliant idea which -- if done well and functional -- will prolonge the potential gameplay for many, many months (not that any of players will stop playing that game after finishing the main plot (I've played Privateer and Frontier 2 for years) at least and will give you a powerful tool to compose some of the most challenging and cool quests (storyline-based or independent). Surely inspired by Privateer 2.

Howard Day said:
Possible. This looks like it'd more be a randomly activated storyline/mission arc, than something that would just happen randomly. We'd need to provide some framework, and I'm doubtful we'd be able to do this to the player more than once. Definately an possiblity, though.

Ijuin has a point here -- the game could wait for a specific moment in a game and than the chance of misjumping into somehow plot-important system would become possible. Also the idea is of some completely isolated set of systems to which there leads no "usual" jump point and which are accessible thanks to misjump with chance of occuring like 1 to 10000 -- I would compare it with special events happening in rpgs Fallout 1 and 2.

Howard Day said:
Well, they're all good ideas - and most of them are already in the works or at least on paper as something we'd like to try. Thanks for the suggestions!

No problem, Howie. When I come with something else, i'll post it.
 

Magnum

Rear Admiral
Howard Day said:
I believe the flight engine will be a mix between newtonian physics and a more traditionally WC flight model. This is subject to change, though - we need to find a flight model that doesn't seem like you're sitting in a bubble spinning around - one that give the feeling of speed, motion, and true manuvering. As for the manuvering jets and the like improving performance, this is already planned.
Based on previous information, won't the Newtonian vs. WC physics be dependent on the position of the ram scoops?

Also, things like "head shake" can go a long way to adding a sense of motion. That is, when you pull a manuever, your viewpoint will shift slightly for a moment before you can adjust to the new direction of travel. You could also get pushed back into the seat under strong acceleration.

Another thing that just popped into my head is blackouts/redouts. You could have a minimal blackout effect under high-G maneuvers, and then if your acceleration absorbers get knocked out, you won't be able to pull a lot of Gs without completely blacking out.

Ijuin said:
Nebulas from WC3/WC4 generally cut your radar and targeting range while you are in them. Other plausible effects would include communications interference (static, or even no signal at all if you are deep in the nebula trying to contact the outside universe), increased energy drain required to maintain shield strength, or increased drag from the ramscoops.
The thing that really sucked about nebulas in WC3/4 is that they just stuck a pink overlay on the screen, so it looked like the nebula gas was inside your cockpit too. I would think it's safe to assume that any nebula possible activity in Pioneer would be executed properly, right?
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Nebulas:
There arre definately going to be some sort of cool visual effects involved in these. I'm not sure what it will specifically look like, but I imagine that it will at least resemble the nebulas/dustclouds from Freelancer/Freespace. The should have some actual depth, and have at least some effect on the electronics and systems of your ship. The specifics of these effects will most likely vary on a per-nebula basis. Some will be more severe than others.
Flight Engine:
Yes - It should be at least partly dependant on your scoop settings. Here's the thing, though - we haven't actually tested this method, so we have no idea if this system will be fun. Honestly, all the best laid plans that we have will be ditched if the gameplay - the actual game - isn't fun to play. We have starting points - systems we've specc'd out - but there's no way of knowing if they'll work as we hope till we actually implement them. So I guess what I'm saying is that most likely, yes, that is how it will work, but there's no final word on that yet.
As for the blackouts/redouts...Excellent idea. Keep 'em coming!
 

Ijuin

Admiral
I liked the visible particles and wisps of "smoke" streaming past in Freelancer. If you could pull off something similar it would be way cool.
 

gr1mre4per

Rear Admiral
How will capital ships work? Im a fan of big capships battles, but that was impossible in Prophecy/Secret Ops. I would like to see WC3 style capships, but with shields powerful enough with a regen rate just high enough to prevent a single figher from lasering them down, but a group of fighters able to take the shields down with sustained laser fire. Obviously torpedoes would have the usual damage effect. Maybe even still have targettable modules like bridge/engine like in prophecy.
 
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