Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Racial and Ship Bonuses

Something that went in yesterday, but I haven’t put final data in for, is bonuses for individual ships. The actual ship designs are handled by the player (although the game ships with one sample design for each hull), based upon a range of ship ‘hull’s which determine how the ship physically looks, it’s size and base cost and base power production.

The thing is, given that frigates are roughly the same size as each other, I need reasons that a player picks frigate hull A instead of B, etc. So that is where ship bonuses come in. There are currently five different bonus types, Shields, Armour, Integrity, Speed and Power. So if a ship has a 20% power bonus, any power plant modules on that ship produce 20% more power. The Integrity bonus increases the hit points of every module on the ship.

This system us augmented by additional ‘racial’ bonuses which I’m applying to every hull in a fleet, so all the Alliance ships are getting a 10% armour bonus, for example. Hopefully this means that the different races will tend to use different tactics, and play to different strengths.

The individual ship bonuses will encourage the player to pick specific ships for a task, so one frigate might have a big power bonus, and thus be a good choice for beam lasers.  Another might have a speed bonus, and thus be more use for flying out first to intercept the first wave of enemies, and so on. It also means that a player who prefers armour over shields will tend to pick specific hulls within a fleet. In theory, it also means that when you see the enemy fleet coming, you might eventually get a feel for which what strategy he has gone with by looking at the ship choice (you can’t see the module load-out of enemy ships during battle).

This is the current theory and hope anyway, I haven’t spent enough time configuring fleets and playing full battles yet to get it all tweaked.

3 thoughts on Racial and Ship Bonuses

  1. I think that a 3v3 ship battle video is in order. Record it and post it on youtube to spread the word! This game is looking awesome and people need to see it. Just something simple would suffice.

  2. Oh I’m building up to it :D I want to be happy with how it looks, and need to spend some time picking a decent battle. I might get it done tomorrow…

  3. Another reason players could choose between hull A and hull B would be so they could tell different designs apart in combat.

    In Master of Orion 2, I would pick a hull design that reminded me of the ship’s purpose. A ship with powerful weapons meant to hang back and shoot from afar will have a ship model that looks like a cannon. One meant to go in close with lots of short range weapons to take down incoming missiles will have a curved half-circle front. A ship with lots of missiles will have a craggy front that looks like it has missile bays.

    As long as the bonuses look like they fit in with the model. A ship with a speed bonus should look like it actually has additional/larger engines on the rear. A ship for extra power could look like the rear portion where the power core is has more volume to it, while still falling in the same size category. Armour and Integrity could look like they’re more hardened hulls, like tank, and one with a weapons bonus could look like it has lots of extra surface area for weaponry, such as having weapon pods. Instead of making the weapons 20% more powerful, allow for 20% more room for weapons.

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