Brainstroming for OrxonoxV2
this Page is for collection ideas on how Orxonox should be. Any information displayed here comes from the IRC transcripts.
The Journey Begins
The player start on a mining base on Ganymade doing some industrial espionage for a rival company. due to some misstake, he gets confused with one of their pilots, put into a cockpit and off to save some sort of mining convoy which is under attack. Arriving at the convoy the player has to decide if he wants to continue to work for his employer - thus attacking the convoy, and destroying his wingmen in the process - or switch sides and fight with his new friends, and defend the convoy.
We'll use something a bit dramatic…
Fractions and Their Balance
There are multiple fractions in Orxonox and each has their own agenda. The player has the freedom to work for them, but by doing so he might anger another fraction. (i.e working for company A improves you standing with them, while it decreases you standing with company B, as you worked for a rival company.)
each fraction has it own equipment which can be bought by the player. with better standing, the player will get access to better equipment or special item that fraction has to offer. on the other hand, a poor standing causes that fraction to stop selling you their equipment.
What fraction will exists in the game, and what their goals are.
There are two major gas mining cooperations, Company A is based on Ganymede and Company B is based on Callisto. As they both base their mining operation on Jupiter, direct rivalry is inescapable - it event tends to open hostilities, if those two groups are in the same room.
There is third mining company, which does not really worry about that little conflict that goes on near Jupiter. They specialized in metal mining in the asteroid belt. It is not known, how much resources they process, but it is told, that their resources exceed that of the military - and the military is even dependent on them - that no one officially opposes them. Some people even call them the space mafia.
Spaceships and Equipment
they player may choose from a set of different ships, which are offered from the different fractions. those ships distinguish themselves though a set of attributes, such as (but not limited to) shields, acceleration, manoeuverability, number of weapon slots, amount of ammo, cargo space.
Each ship is composed of a set of attributes - which are not much more that the different components, that belong into a ship. There is a minimum for each attribute, which describes what is needed to keep the ship running, and maximum, which describes, what the ship can handle. We give the player the freedom to upgrade further, but i will not improve the ship, as it cannot handle the better equipment. (Imagine a ferrari motor in a trabbi, or a p4 processor coupled to an ISA bus, I does work, but the limitation is not the component itself, rather than the architecture around)
Engines: manoeuverability and after burner efficiency
Shields: shield strength and recharge rate
Armor: how much damage the hull can take, before the ship falls apart, or the electronic fries
Reactor: amount of energy available to energy weapons, and its recharge rate
Computer: Sensor efficiency, scan times, missile lock-on times
All components are exchangeable, and can be taken along, if the player decides to buy a new ship.
Weapon Slots and Missiles
Those two attributes cannot be change themselves, but a ship can be more dangerous by carrying heavier/better weapons and missiles. Following the concept of Freelancer, that a ship has a certain number of weapon slots which can - what else - carry weapons. The power of the weapons that can be installed is directly dependent on the size (read level) of the reactor (sure you can install big guns on small reactor: having to wait 10 seconds after each shot is not much fun, is it?).
Missiles are heavily limited guided (homing, heat-seaking, or otherwise "intelligent") weapons, which can do serious damage, used properly. (the starter ship has approx 4 missile slots, a heavy fighter approx 10, and a missile bomber approx 20). While in the beginning only a missile per slot is allowed - the rest is to expensive - at higher level some missile pod become available (read 3-4 missiles per slot). There is one exception to that rule, and that is the dumpfire missiles pod: it contains 20 non-guided missiles which are rather pricy, and thus available from the beginning.
Weapon effectiveness and shields (bonus)
Weapons and shields follow a scissor/stone/paper principle. Weapon type A does normal damage to shield type a, double to b, and half to c. analog for type B, normal to b, double to c and half to a; conclusively type C does normal damage to c, double to a, and half to b. (i.e two ship, same base stats, shield and weapons of same strength, #1 equipped with weapon A and shield a, #2 equipped with weapon B and shield b =⇒ #1 dealing double damage to #2, while #2 only dealing half damage to #1, it is pretty clear that #1 is going to win.)
EMP and electronics
Mentioned above, but not really described, are ship electronics. those electronics can handle some "damage" before the circuits fry. Instead of been dead in the water (rather dead in space), some fallback system jumps in, which provides basic functions. the ship is still steerable, but move like molasses - a good time to have a chat with your trusted mechanic. As this happens pretty often in midst of combat, it good to know, that weapons are still available, but only those assigned to a "primary" slot - and even those have a rather limited functionality - and don't expect any missiles to work, you computer is fast enough to help you during a docking manoeuver, or for simple jump calculation, but target tracking - dream on.
Each weapon does some emp damage, thus damages the electronic. but normally those weapons are much faster through you hull than they fry your computer. on the other hand, there is some specially designed emp weaponry which "only" damages the electronics, rather than the hull.
Ship Improvement Each ship can be improved in a number of ways. the easiest way is doing this but spending money on engines, shield-emitter, generator, weapons and/or missiles.
Module Slots and Software Upgrades Each ship can be equipped with a limited number of modules, which makes it individual. These modules have an unique capabilities, and can be upgraded to become even more powerful. Such modules may provide cloaking, auto-repair, shield-batteries, missile-jammer, high-precision jump-drive. These modules can only rarely be bought, an if at a awful prices, look out for them when shooting down enemies, one might lose one…
In parallel there exist software slots, which can be used to improve the effectiveness of the onboard computer, but alas it has only a limited space left… Improvements may include auto-targeting, improved navigation, turret control…
Software and hardware can be improved, provided the player has enough money, and a "workshop" is available. some improvements may only be done at certain fraction. So be careful no to anger to many to early.
Travel and Distances
Keeping a balance between realism and playability, the player has 3.5 different types of propulsion at his disposal.
Combat engines are used when the player is engaged in a fight. The speed may be improved over a short time, by using the afterburner.
When engaging the cruise engine, the weapons system gets automatically turned of to provide enough power to the engines. The cruise engines are use for sublight travel, an in most cases to reach the next hyperspace entrypoint.
Hyperspace engines are used to get fast from one spot inside a solar system to another. a simple fighter lacks the power to do interstellar travel. Imagine Hyperspace like a large maze of slippery streams (sometime hyperspace gets called slipstream) though which the pilot has to manouver to get to its destinations. fortunately Points of Interest (spacestations, plantes, moons) are marked with locater beacons to make it easier to navigate.
Weapons and Combat System
each ship has a set of weapon slots which can be equipped as desired. the weapons are grouped into energy-based, and ammo-based weapons.
the combat system will be based on scissors/rock/paper in conjugation with the shield systems that can be found on every single ship.
To make our lives a bit simpler, every ship has one "ammo container" whose "slots" can be used as the player desires for missiles, mines, projectiles (for non-energy-based guns). different types of missiles occupy a different amount of space in the ammo cache.
Cruise Disruptor and Hyperspace Mine
Those two devices are not really weapons as such, but they are used to temporarely inhibit the possibility to travel at cruise speed or in hyperspace.
The cruise disruptor is a high-speed missile, which gets upon inpact the cruise field to collapse.
The hyperspace mine is, as the name suggest a device which gets triggered on proximity of a ship in hyperspace. When triggered, the mine overloads, and creates a field which destabalises the locate hyperspace. Due to security protocols in the ships hyperspace engines, an emergency drop to normal space is executed immediately.
Last but not least, we want do include a FPS mode. I must admit that this will not happen in the next half year, as we want to move the spaceshooter to a playable level.
One idea is to give the player some sort of skills, which can be improved provided that a trainer and enough moeny is available. It is not much more than a concept so far, but have a look at DeusEx? or System Shock to get an idea…