Privateer: Ascii Sector

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
I've played Privateer quite a bit, but haven't noticed this bug. I guess I just haven't pitched or yawed violently enough for it to happen.

I don't think I'll be copying this particular bug, though... :D
That'd be a little difficult, seeing as there's no 3D spaceflight in P:AS. :p

As for the trick, you have to keep changing pitch/yaw rapidly back and forth, so your path viewed from an independent observer would look something like a sine wave.

(Sometimes very "something". :D )
 
I've finished programming the weapons. The same weapons as in the original Privateer (except the Image Recognition missiles) will be available for purchase:

Proton Torpedo (TORP)
Dumb Fire Missile (DUMB)
Heat Seeking Missile (HEAT)
Friend Or Foe Missile (FORF)

TORPs require a Torpedo Launcher, whereas the missiles require a Missile Launcher (just as in Privateer). The missile stats are pretty much as they are in Privateer -- DUMB will do the least amount of damage while FORF do the most. DUMB are the fastest and HEAT the slowest. And FORF lock on twice as fast to a target as HEAT.

I've changed the TORPs a bit, though. They still do the most amount of damage of all the weapons (20 cm), but I've made them the slowest of them all. I suppose they act more like the torpedoes in X-Wing and TIE Fighter -- they are slow, but will do a great deal of damage, which makes them the weapon of choice against slow moving capital ships, while fighters can easily evade them.

I might change these stats a bit based on feedback from playtesting, but for now I'll leave them as is.

I think I'll start working on the Nav computer now...
 
The nav computer is done:





I haven't decided on how to do the autopilot, yet. I'm leaning towards just showing the progress on the system map (i.e. the white dot representing your ship will move towards your destination), but I'm not sure... Any suggestions?
 

Dougly

Spaceman
The more I see, the more I want to play.

I've tried using Freelancer to get my Privateer style game fix in. But, for some reason, I've just never found Freelancer to be as appealing as the original Privateer.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
I haven't decided on how to do the autopilot, yet. I'm leaning towards just showing the progress on the system map (i.e. the white dot representing your ship will move towards your destination), but I'm not sure... Any suggestions?
I'd like to see the dot moving, leaving a (different-colored) dotted trail behind it (sort of like how they represent crossing wide distances on a map in the movies).
 
I'd like to see the dot moving, leaving a (different-colored) dotted trail behind it (sort of like how they represent crossing wide distances on a map in the movies).
That's a really good idea (and fairly easy to implement). I'll try it out! Thanks! :D
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I'd like to see the dot moving, leaving a (different-colored) dotted trail behind it (sort of like how they represent crossing wide distances on a map in the movies).
That sounds good.

Thanks for the screenshots and updates. Since your project only uses 16 colors, you can actually take advantage of gifs to maintain image quality and reduce file size. Your 155 k Crimson Quadrant jpeg can be saved as a 15 k gif:
 
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Since your project only uses 16 colors, you can actually take advantage of gifs to maintain image quality and reduce file size.
You're absolutely right. I don't know why I've been uploading the pics in jpeg format -- maybe I'm just too used to jpeg for pics on the internet... :)

Anyway, I've finished the autopilot. It wasn't nearly as difficult to program as I had feared. As suggested it works by showing the player's progress on the system map, leaving a trail of small, grey dots. Also, on the small screen displaying the system or nav point details "AUTOPILOT ENGAGED" will be flashing.

Next up is specific damage (i.e. damage to thrusters, generator, and so on) and the Damage Report. I'm also still working on the bases. I'll probably have a screenshot of the first finished base in a few days...
 
The first base is finished. It's an agricultural base, hence the yellow fields of grain. The green dot is the player. The other dots are randomly generated characters:



Inside the Merchant's Guild. The grey box on the brown counter is the mission computer:



I'm still working on modular damage. I've finished the Damage Report and damage to guns, weapon launchers, afterburner, generator and thrusters. Damage to these parts will have the same results as in the original Privateer.
 
I'm close to being done with modular damage -- I just need to program the effect of damage to the jump drive. However, I'm not entirely sure what this effect is... How does damage to the jump drive manifest itself in the original Privateer? Is it just that you won't always jump when you press the 'j' key?
 

privfan

Commodore
I can't remember what jump drive damage did as long as it wasn't totally destroyed
I did have it get totally destroyed on me a few times in those baseless systems
that really ruins your day
 
I can't remember what jump drive damage did as long as it wasn't totally destroyed
I did have it get totally destroyed on me a few times in those baseless systems
that really ruins your day
Yeah, all you can do in that case is to load a saved game... :(

I've considered having a damaged drive taking longer to jump, so you risk having missions expire if the jump takes too long. But I feel that a jump should always be instantaneous no matter how damaged the drive is. Maybe the jump process should just risk failing if the drive is damaged -- the more damage, the higher the risk of a failed jump?

EDIT: I just thought of another idea... What if you'll always be able to jump with a damaged jump drive, but you risk damaging your ship?
 

Justice

Rear Admiral
If I remember correctly, damage to your jump drive made it take more fuel for each jump, effectively reducing the number of jumps you could take before having to land to refuel.

Jumping in Privateer was never instantaneous; it always took a few seconds to charge during which you are immobile in the center of the jump point and vulnerable to enemy weapons. If you don't want to go the fuel route, you could instead try extending this time, making jumps near hostiles more dangerous without causing you to get stuck in a sector with nowhere to refuel because it took more than normal.

EDIT:
I just thought of another idea... What if you'll always be able to jump with a damaged jump drive, but you risk damaging your ship
I'm not really a big fan of this kind of mechanic, as you often have to jump in order to get somewhere to repair, and randomly blowing up or losing maneuvering jets or thrusters would really piss me off if there was nothing I could have done about it.
 
Jumping in Privateer was never instantaneous; it always took a few seconds to charge during which you are immobile in the center of the jump point and vulnerable to enemy weapons. If you don't want to go the fuel route, you could instead try extending this time, making jumps near hostiles more dangerous without causing you to get stuck in a sector with nowhere to refuel because it took more than normal.

EDIT:

I'm not really a big fan of this kind of mechanic, as you often have to jump in order to get somewhere to repair, and randomly blowing up or losing maneuvering jets or thrusters would really piss me off if there was nothing I could have done about it.
Yeah, I pretty much agree that random damage isn't the best solution.

As to instantaneous/not instantaneous I wasn't refering to the charging time -- I mean the actual time the jump takes. As my game will be real time with a "game clock", I could just make it so that a jump with a damaged drive would take hours, whereas a jump with a completely healthy drive will only take a few seconds. I don't mean that the player has to stare at his screen for a few hours while nothing happens, just that the game time will be increased with a few hours. This would come into play when you need to complete missions as all non-plot missions will have an expire date. If you don't complete the mission before it expires, it will have a negative effect on your reputation or Guild ranking.

I like your suggestion of just making the charge time taking longer, which would make jumping while hostiles are around a lot more dangerous. Maybe I can combine this with an increased actual jump time?
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Unless my memory is totally failing me (entirely possible), in Privateer the constant-action stuff like thrusters had their performance reduced by damage, and for things that weren't always running, like guns, they wouldn't always activate when you hit the key/button.
 
Unless my memory is totally failing me (entirely possible), in Privateer the constant-action stuff like thrusters had their performance reduced by damage, and for things that weren't always running, like guns, they wouldn't always activate when you hit the key/button.
Yeah, that's pretty much how I remember it myself. I've programmed the effects of damage like this:

- Guns and missiles will have a longer refire delay (which practically means that they won't always fire, when you hit the fire key)
- Afterburner speed is decreased
- Maneuvering jets will turn the ship slower
- The generator will recharge slower
- Shields will recharge slower
- The targeting display will flash static and it will take a bit longer for missiles to lock on
- Thrusters will have a lower maximum speed

I just think that not always having the jump happen when you press the 'j' key isn't an interesting enough effect for a damaged jump drive...
 

Ijuin

Admiral
How about a random chance of getting the message "jump failure" from the navigation computer coupled with a fifteen second countdown for the capacitor to recharge and let you try again?
 
How about a random chance of getting the message "jump failure" from the navigation computer coupled with a fifteen second countdown for the capacitor to recharge and let you try again?
That's pretty much what I originally had in mind, but I like the idea of a longer charging sequence better, since then you'll always feel the effects of a damaged jump drive. Also, if the risk of a failed jump is proportional to the amount of damage to your drive, it will be almost impossible to jump with a drive that's 90% damaged. I only want jumps to be impossible to complete if the drive is 100% damaged.
 
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