Author Topic: Shipyard and Ship Building  (Read 10709 times)

Rainman

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Shipyard and Ship Building
« on: February 02, 2012, 11:40:10 am »
You can design a huge ship, as a meta-virtual blueprint *
Spoiler
(I.e. it's a ship schematic, which makes it a virtual representation from the perspective of in game rather than a "real physical" ingame version. But the "real, physical" ship in-game is still technically only a virtual ship for us players who are outside the game, hence meta-virtual. And yes, this was a very convoluted and unneccesary tangent, which is why it's a spoiler. In short, Inception much? :P
  but you can't then just plop it down into the game as an actual ship and go to town then and there. As the others have mentioned, there'll be a lot of factors, in particular the need to procure sufficient resources and parts to actually build what you've designed, that will make the construction of a ship take some time. From what I understand/have heard, the planned assembly drydocks will have a more or less set build rate- this means that even if you have all of the mountains of metal and circuitry and other whatnots you'll need for a finished ship, a larger vessel takes proportionally longer to build even with the accelerated build rate of a drydock. So truly jaw-droppingly massive ships will take an age to build, and as mentioned might even exceed the build area of the drydocks that are available in the game.

(Excited and inspired spiel coming, skip down to the bottom of the post if you want the TL:DR version)

In which case, you'd need to build your ship in sections and then assemble a construction crew to weld them all together properly (or weld it together by yourself), which would, frankly, be really awesome if you ask me. (Devs, can you make that happen? Pleeeeease? *puppy eyes*) Not only does it ensure people can't spam Huge-Huge ships, but it also means there's actually extra player time and work/effort beyond just the linear increases involved in making a bigger ship, and follows how such large things/megastructures are/would be/have been made in real life. The International Space Station wasn't drydocked, it was prefabricated as a jigsaw puzzle of modules which were built individually, sent up individually, and then assembled together once they were all in orbit.

The other factor is NPC fabrication. IIRC, the devs have mentioned plans to have generic/default ships which a player can buy from NPCs, with the in-game assumption that these generic and mass produced vessels have already been built (or at least manufactured as a some-assembly-required prefab kit) by the NPC organization you're buying it from. These, you'd be able to pay the appropriate sum of credits/materials for, (possibly more than it would cost to build such a ship yourself- capitalism and all, plus it incentivises player-made ships). However, you wouldn't have to wait for it to be assembled, or if you did it'd be for significantly shorter of a time, because it's been NPC-prebuilt, and so you'd have it very quickly and be able to use it right off.

It's the difference between designing and building a powerful custom car in your garage, and going down to the local car salesman and buying an ordinary sedan you get to drive off the lot. That way, if a player *needs* a ship quickly and is willing to sacrifice the better performance they might be able to get out of a scratch-designed craft (but with a longer wait/build time), they have that option, with its attendant benefits and drawbacks. It also ensures that players who aren't very good at designing ships themselves can still get something out of the game, since if they aren't making headway trying to build something from the ground up, they can settle for buying a stock ship.

Not to mention that the way the game is planned to work, absolutely nothing save time/materials/build requirements is stopping a player who needs a ship NOW but still wants to get good performance out of it rather than just "decent" to buy an NPC-made generic vessel and then tweak the hell out of it with after-market customization.

EDIT: Also, what with the market for those prebuilt ships amongst players who've just started the game, have an urgent need for a new vessel but don't have the time/materials/interest to make it themselves... If there's an extra cost beyond what it costs to fabricate a Generic when you buy from an NPC, this also creates fertile ground for an emergent player-driven market in, amongst other things, those same generic ships. Knowing that cost favors player-made versions, enterprising players could get into the business of building exact "knockoffs" of the generic vessels available from NPCs, and then make a killing selling them to players who Want A Ship Now for a cost that's more than the ship's build cost, but less than the NPC Marked Up cost. Such an arrangement benefits both buyer and seller- The Player 1 seller makes a tidy profit, and the Player 2 buyer saves money buying the ship from them. Price gouging is also impossible because the NPC's marked-up price sets an absolute maximum for player-market price; the builders can't drive up costs like in other MMOs because then nobody would buy from them because they could get it from the NPC shipyards for cheaper.


So, to TL:DR summarize:
*Ships in the game will originate from being either NPC made or Player-made.
*NPC ships will intentionally be relatively generic and middle-of-the-road, so that a well-made player-built ship will outperform an equivalent NPC ship in an overall evaluation.
*NPC ships are much quicker to obtain and could be bought purely with cash, but cost more than the raw price of their construction, and as mentioned aren't peak-performance designs.
*Player-made ships only cost the sum of their required materials, but the player has to procure those resources themselves, and player-made ships take more time and effort to build
*Particularly if large ones exceed drydock size constraints and have to be built in sections, then assembled.
*This dynamic enables the natural development of a player-driven economy wherein business minded players build generic ships, which they can sell for less than the NPC manufacturers do, but still turn a profit.
*NPC vendors' set prices enforces that players set fair market prices on their knockoffs.
*The greater supply of NPC-vendor ships and probably sellers vs cheaper player-made copies ensures that NPC vendors are not totally redundant.
*Players who dislike or aren't good at scratch-building ships, or want a ship quickly but don't want it to be mediocre, have a third option; buy an NPC generic or player-copied generic, and then spend the time and resources it takes to soup it up, which is a great middle-of-the-road option.
*Collectively, this covers all the possible routes players could wish from having no ship to getting a ship and having it do what they want, in a way that has reasonable, balanced, and inherent rather than artificially enforced pros and cons to each method.


Edit Zerebo: Split of topic: http://forums.blockaderunnergame.com/index.php?topic=597.0
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 07:24:25 am by Zerebo »
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Matz05

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 06:51:36 pm »
Err... wow...


YEEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : :D

Welding sections, shipbuilding (or module building for space stations/etc.) as a business, the problem of starter ships solved...

Maybe some NPCs (including ones hired by players and ordered to buy/sell based on certain characteristics?) could even have an "entity shop" tab where you can see player-made stuff that has been sold. A fly-through (editor but read-only?) would be needed to ensure the prospective purchase is what you want, and a search-able/tag-able description would be great.

"<Show: damaged, armed, 200-500 ton> Ooh, that cruiser looks in good shape... Is the internals OK? <view> Hmm... few holes... needs a new port gun, but that's a DeathMatic 450 chaingun, right? I can find one... <buy>"
Quote
Posted By Alaric on 28 Jun 2011 04:54 PM
...it doesn't matter, I making space ships!

MrVorgra

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 07:11:16 pm »
To solve the issue of welding ships together or shipyards being to small -

I give you and infinite size and variable-speed Construction Yard. Also easyier on your computer and looks Like a Giant 3D Space Printer  http://forums.blockaderunnergame.com/index.php?topic=359.0
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 08:35:23 am by MrVorgra »
Real Men drive vehicles without knowing how fast they are moving or how much fuel remains in the tank.

Strait Raider

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 08:25:47 pm »
Hmm... That link isn't working for me, Vorgra.

I love the idea of being able to assemble large components of a ship in space, but as a workaround until we are able to combine multiple entities into one single entity, I would suggest fabrication units that float freely in space from a nearby factory or barge of raw materials in order to fabricate a ship of effectively limitless size. If you've ever played Conquest: Frontier Wars you'll know what I'm talking about. Ships are frequently many times the size of the construction yard, so they deploy small ships to do the actual construction.

As for the economics of ships, I wouldn't say any stage in the shipbuilding would be 'free' persay but rather a marginal markup is made at each stage to account for profit.

For example, consider that resources are harvested, the harvester then applies a 10% 'markup' over what it costs him to harvest the resources when he sells it to get his profit, the processor adds a 10% markup over that when he sells it to the fabricator, who produces the product for the dealer at 10% markup, who then sells it to you at another 10% markup. Combined, that makes 146% increase in price over the base cost to harvest the resources.

Within this system for example, if you can strike a deal to buy a ship directly from the fabricator, you would get your ship for only 133% combined markup.

Once we are able to add one entity to another, perhaps there could be either an decrease in cost or an increase in speed for entities that could be constructed completely within a 'drydock'. This could provide savings for those willing to assemble their large ships 'by hand'.

The other reason I really want to see us able to assemble multiple entities together is so that I can create a giant Franken-ship out of parts of my demolished entities. :D
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 10:48:37 am by Strait Raider »

Alaric

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 05:27:45 am »
Is this the thread/post you were trying to link to, Vorgra? Your URL tag is a little funky there...
Quote
<Czorio> The bittersweet embrace of the Alaric is the only embrace I'll ever know.
<Gabriel> Because Alaric robbed your pleasure...
<Aaron> I feel dirty. Alaric, pls hold me.
<Terah> I don't guess when it comes to you Alaric, I just assume you are always watching...

MrVorgra

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 08:32:53 am »
Oh it seems my Link is has to much Awesome flowing through it, Ill fix it... Sadly  :'(

It would be awesome to tape together broken ships to make and epic, scary and menacing derelict Ship/Floating fortress.....

Edit - Hazza! the link is fixed, the fix was surprisingly noobish (I feel ashamed, I screwed up something that was to be frank, easy)

and for good measure

« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 08:38:32 am by MrVorgra »
Real Men drive vehicles without knowing how fast they are moving or how much fuel remains in the tank.

theallmightybob

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 09:38:47 am »
Hmm... That link isn't working for me, Vorgra.

I love the idea of being able to assemble large components of a ship in space, but as a workaround until we are able to combine multiple entities into one single entity, I would suggest fabrication units that float freely in space from a nearby factory or barge of raw materials in order to fabricate a ship of effectively limitless size. If you've ever played Conquest: Frontier Wars you'll know what I'm talking about. Ships are frequently many times the size of the construction yard, so they deploy small ships to do the actual construction.


yeah I like that idea alot and it would make things simpler then set size ship yards. maybe you could even buy your own construction drones or increase build speed by paying a mark up to "hire" more drones.
would you buy a toaster shaped like an f22 with an eject button on it? cause thats what i'm going for.

Zero_X4

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 04:53:06 pm »
I like all three, and think that it would come down to personal preference and ship size, assuming we can weld together entities...
I was running towards Engineering when suddenly a massive shudder went through the ship, and the Grav plating went offline as the lights shut down. The ship suddenly ripped in half, sucking me into the vacuum of space.

ChunkofWhat

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 07:25:23 am »
Fighting against poorly-designed npc ships sounds kinda meh :(

It would make the game a little too arcadey.  If you've ever played Captain Forever, you would know exactly what I mean.  Captain Forever is an excellent ship-building and fighting arcade game.  As an arcade game there are a lot of really crap baddies to take out, in this case really awfully designed ones.  It's fun, but from what I've read Blockade Runner is supposed to be a little bit more like EV NOVA (phenomenal series), with a world to explore, missions, narrative, etc.  A world populated by puddies is not believable, and it is not fun.

You've mentioned downloading other player ship designs.  I'm assuming that means there will be a server up for people to upload and download their creations.  It would probably be a not-so-great idea to populate the world exclusively this way, but for the rare npc super-baddies, perhaps you could spawn user-created ships with the most hits (supposedly, the best designed)?  Con: if you wanted stylized factions, this feature would only work for "solo" npcs.

Zerebo

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 10:51:05 am »
I don't think the idea was to have crappy NPC ships. Just about the idea to give the player the possibility to buy ships that are very generic.
I'm sure the different factions will have unique, powerfull and spezialized designs that are just not aviable to the player. (Maybe later as some quest reward)
Otherwise fights in singleplayer would become really boring and there would be no reason to board enemy ships.


blackether

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 11:30:07 am »
Taking a page out out Spore's book wouldn't be such a bad idea in terms of novel content for everyone's game, however, I would think that the devs would want to review each ship to be added to the main game. They could most certainly be built by people on the forum or otherwise (not devs). This kind of input could be very useful in making challenging enemies, as well as helping to test the game.

Additionally, the devs will want to create some more tools for assessing the capabilities of a design without having to actually test it in person. This way, new designs can be weighted against standardized models.

Matz05

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 10:43:58 pm »
And perhaps people can find an NPC design that is actually formidable with a few modifications...
A few reprogrammed repair bots, some surplus parts, and a little capital later...
Instant millionaire!
Quote
Posted By Alaric on 28 Jun 2011 04:54 PM
...it doesn't matter, I making space ships!

Xavierman117

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 02:55:55 am »
I love these ideas! but no-one really cares about my opinions on your opinions. so I'll get right to it.

Player-made ships only cost the sum of their required materials, but the player has to procure those resources themselves, and player-made ships take more time and effort to build
this I don't get/have a problem with. I have NO issues at all with procuring supplies so you can build your ship, but it should Be OPTIONAL IMO.
if I don't have 100,000 tons of steel to build a legacy class, I don't want to have to go and mine it, which also brings up: if we do need to have all these resources to build a ship, how do we store them?
if I have interpreted this wrong let me know. what I read was " you need the raw materials in your possession to build a ship at a dry-dock".
Meh.

Rainman

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 03:16:37 pm »
"Procuring resources yourself" also includes things like "buying raw materials mined by another player," "buying raw materials from NPCs," "Trashing a sufficiently sized pirate fleet and scrapping their ships for parts and scrap metal," etcetera. Just the idea that somehow you yourself have to somehow get sufficient resources into your posession to build the ship, not that you have to mine every gram of iron yourself.
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MrVorgra

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Re: Shipyard and Ship Building
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 09:12:50 pm »
Yes mining every gram should be the way it works, so I can then beat other players into slavery, Mwahahahaha!!!!!
Real Men drive vehicles without knowing how fast they are moving or how much fuel remains in the tank.