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The Galactic Line

A topic by Craig P created 1 year ago Views: 1,923 Replies: 109
Viewing posts 1 to 32
(Edited 1 time) (+2)

Tech demo available at https://craigp.itch.io/the-galactic-line

A few people have tried to talk to me about this game, but YouTube and Twitter are terrible places to hold a conversation! So I'll use this forum, and hopefully we can talk about it here.

It's about building space ships, but it's more like The Sims In Space than anything else. You're more likely to chat with or take samples from aliens, not shoot at them. I'm hoping for a very Star Trek feel. Classic Trek, I mean.

I'll post updates here, but I really want to talk in detail about this stuff, not just passively spam video updates. It's not really ready for a download, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially regarding details of game design, ship construction, or mission management.

Although I've posted some stuff on itch.io, I've never used the itch.io forums. I decided to post here rather than somewhere else because if people are going to have to sign up for something to talk to me, signing up for itch.io seems like the most useful. Anyway, let me know if I step on toes or do something wrong.

Anchor Video that Describes The Basics:

Other Videos About This Project:


Can this have certain combat elements to it because maybe there is alien life and you can't negotiate a peace treaty

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

or you are a Xenophobe and screw anything that is not from Earth. lol

(+1)

Combat is certainly possible. Like in classic Star Trek, there's combat. It's just that it's not the only thing happening, and the Enterprise isn't a combat-only starship.

A lot of the combat and conflict in this game would have to revolve around the idea of stealth. It's more like submarine battles than ships of the line slugging it out: can you figure out where the other ship is? What if they do a microwarp and pop up somewhere else? It doesn't seem like combat should happen at close range, like in most space ship combat games. It seems like it'd be more fun to sneak around an asteroid field trying to lock in your enemies without being exposed yourself.

Turn off your cooling vents to keep your ship from being noticed in infra-red. Use cold-gas thrusters instead of the much more efficient plasma thrusters. Get information about where the enemies will patrol, or where their stations are. Hack their systems before you even try to fire on them. Establish a laser connection to a turncoat, but don't get spotted...

One advantage of this is simulation speed. Because the other ship is not close enough to render on-camera, we can use a variety of shortcuts. We don't have to do things like real-time deformations, calculating crew injuries, precision AI piloting, etc: those only have to be done to ships in your fleet, ships nearby enough to see them. Therefore, we could do big battles with hundreds of huge ships - since nearly all of the ships can be displayed as schematics or icons instead of simulated in full detail.

cool, electronic warfare is something that seems to be missing from most "combat" oriented games lately. Since this is not going to be "combat" oriented, then I guess you can do it without much reprimand, lol. Will there still be the ability to make ships of the line?

I'm not exactly sure. I mean, the tech for it certainly exists. You can just build a ship with armor, guns, ECM, and whatever kinds of shields I implement. But once you get to a crew of more than four, the game is optimized for blended-role ships that balance multiple missions at the same time. Restricting yourself solely to a combat role might be pretty boring.

Ya of course, Having a ship that just does the Pew Pew going on a humanitarian mission for some planetary disaster is not going to do much to help the people in need. You could still fix the issue by just blasting the planet away along with the whiny needy residents ;).

Say that a governing body needs a escort for one of their not so pew pew ships. The section of space they are traveling through is a lawless place, known to have some nasty pirates. If they use one of their warships it might Upset their neighbors, since this nation has a habit of being more on the Hawkish side of things.

Escorting is definitely a common mission!

of course, space game with no space pirates??? WTF

I also think it could be cool to have a mothership with minimal armament but have small fighters be released and they are what attacks so you still have the Sim-Speed advantage.

Sure, I had fighters in the video! I didn't really talk about them much, but small ships certainly exist!

One issue with fighters is simple: losing a crew member is generally pretty bleak. These aren't nameless numbers, they have names and interact with each other. I might make some kind of slightly magical skinsuit or super-hardy cockpit or something...

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oo oo !! ship build-Pilot recover vessel. ejection system with life support system that last x amount of time or if your space Soviet Union, screw that he can have a bottle of water and oxygen tank hahahaha!

What is you thoughts on Fleets? meaning, Ships that do a function (Diplomatic transport-communication, espionage and counterespionage, Fast and maneuverable) and support vessels (depending on the mission, Hospital ship, cargo transport, defensive combat ship (?), ETC.) as force multipliers.

I know you are stating this is a Ship building game, but what about Space Stations? Could be used to introduce people to building and balancing functions.

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The focus of the game is on the crews and the missions through the filter of the ships you build. Each ship and crew have a story to tell, and missions to go on.

In my mind, asking about fleets of ships is the same about asking about neighborhoods of houses in The Sims. Coordinating several ships at once seems like it'd make it hard to feel each ship's story, but there's nothing against having several ships, switching between them, moving crew between them, and so on. Like in The Sims: you don't manage two houses at once, that'd be a mess, but you can throw a house party or go visit.

If you build a hospital ship, you're going to be taking on medical missions - usually several at once. If you have a cargo transport, you may see the opportunity to take on a medical mission, but then why not pass that on to the medical ship? Why not take a vacation on a space station that you also built? Why not run cargo to a planetary base that your friend built? While you're there, why not interact with that crew?

I don't have concrete plans for how to handle multiple ships, but I can't help but turn towards Star Trek again. Most of the time, it was just one or two ships involved in the plot. Any time there were more ships than that, something incredibly huge was going down and the individual crews weren't as important any more.

Space stations are certainly possible, they're really just a cut-back version of starships. However, since they require vast amounts of hab space, there is a question about how to display them. Space stations are probably stacked vertically, and when you want to see who is in which rooms, that can be difficult to display. Hm!

How are crews going to function? will it be like "x amount are Engineers, X amount are Scientists, X amount are Medical, X amount are Command or Team Leaders, and X amount are Combat"? Or will it be more RPG like "Crew member A has X in Engineering, X in Science, X in Medicine, X in Leadership, and X in Combat"?

I swear I am done asking questions for a bit now lol.

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No, I'm really happy you asked, because it goes into more depth than I wanted to in the video. (It was already ten minutes long!)

Obviously, some crew members are better at some things, but since the point is to have adventures with the crew, each crew member is a person, not just a set of stats. Maybe you're even having fun, naming them after friends or something.

The way they're managed is important: it forms the heart of the mission system, and it forms the heart of how they interact with each other.

Crews are generally divided into "teams". While each crew member has specific duties to attend to, such as maintaining the engines or staffing the medical bay, they can be put on any team without affecting that. Each team can take on one mission. So if you see an opportunity to scan planet BX9, you not only have to fly the ship to it, you have to assign a number of crew members to the scanning team. If you have other missions, you'll have to decide who to move to what team. Do you pull that geeky politician out of the peace mission? Will you reassign an engineer that was working on upgrading your engines?

Team members all affect how well a mission goes, augmented by the ship's systems and the layout of the ship interior. Basically, if there is any mission-related furniture near their assigned bunk, they will get a bonus. For small ships, that might just be incidental. But for large ships, you could have an engineering team of 80 people and carefully lay out the "engineering section" so that everyone is within a few steps of a maintenance station, toolbox, etc.

Teams are also important for "chunking". Humans aren't so good at keeping track of things when there are very many, which is why households in The Sims tend to stay small. Teams give us an opportunity to make most situations happen within a team. You have a crew of 50? You don't have to remember 49x49 relationships. Instead, you just remember the five engineers, the six politicos, the three medical staff, etc. The game itself will tend towards socializing within teams rather than between teams, so it should be possible to stay comfortably "aware" of even large crews.

ok so here's a thought and another question. A feature that allows customizing the organization of crew Hierarchy. with this of course you'll need a interaction buff debuff system. so like putting a guy in charge of 20 people is not going to be as effective as having him in charge of 6 people divided into 2 teams.

What is the player's interaction going to be in the game? So far it look likes building and flying the ship, as well as mission choosing and desicions.

The player builds (or chooses) the ship, the interior, the crew. The player chooses where to go, what missions to take, who is on which teams, who sleeps where, and you can directly tell crew members to do specific tasks/social things, either for its own sake or to affect a mission/another crew member. There will probably be other things - direct piloting, wandering around the interior of the ship, etc.

This is a bit deeper than it sounds, because there are a lot of conflicts, options, and loops. For example, as three missions progress, a beginner might be faced with a conflict as two of those missions require going two different places to advance/complete them. A more advanced player would see it coming, and allocate teams differently or pay special attention to one team to make it advance a little faster, meaning the two requirements fire at different times and both can be completed. An even more advanced player might choose to give one of those missions to another ship and take a different secondary mission for this ship, one which can be completed by traveling to the same place.

Similarly, secondary missions such as thruster optimization, training, upgrading computers, establishing local connections (both personal and technological) will add more play for high-level players that want to optimize. If you start upgrading your thrusters now, you'll have an extra 30% thrust when you go to land on the planet to finish off the scouting mission, which will make that both easy and fast...


Anyway, that's what I've been thinking. It's still a little nebulous.

so I had another thought on this topic.

Was playing CK2 (crusader kings 2 by paradox), and had something Click when I was looking at my guys character sheet.
http://puu.sh/o1YEL/b706ef2648.jpg
I don't know how to get an image to show with the text so here's the link

So you have the character sheet your guy or gal is the big circle, the the little circle to the right is the significant other, and the really small circle to the bottom left is nobody important to this.
  1. The numbers in the red box are your character's stats
    • your characters Base value in each category (hard number, never changes)
    • The effects of your character's Traits (blue box)
    • the Effects of your character's Focus (lime green box)
    • the results of your characters ambitions
  2. The numbers in the yellow box are your country's stats
    • your character's stats
    • you significant others stats
    • you advisers stat in that field (diplo advisers diplo stat is taken but not his Martial stat, Martial advisors stat is taken but not his diplo stat http://puu.sh/o2064/43724d054a.jpg)
  3. Blue/indigo box is your character's traits http://puu.sh/o20nc/65c79578ff.jpg
    • given through events (you fall off your horse you become injured, or choose and option when dealing with criminals that is considered just you gain the just trait) this trait can be lost or changed
    • or given upon birth (your family line has a "DNA" type that has Quick trait, giving a increase to the char. stats) these traits can not be lost
    • these add soft numbers to the base stats of the character (stat is lost when the trait is lost)
  4. purple circle is the character's education
    • This trait is like the others, But is an educational trait that can increase or decrease or stay the same based on the actions done by the character (Martial education can be scaled up by leading in a lot of battles)
  5. green box is the character's ambition
    • This is a goal to meet like amass wealth, where once the character has 500 gold they get a +1 hard number to there base Stewardship (red box) http://puu.sh/o21m9/ede5727527.jpg
  6. the poorly colored lime green box is the character's focus.
This is not just for the Player all the AI characters have the exact same options and pursue these options. There is also a relationship system between the characters but that would take a ton of explaining to just make sense of it lol.
I am going to leave it open to discussion on how and what could be implemented instead of saying what I think would be cool lol.
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Well, fundamentally the situation is similar in a crew. Each crewmember has specific aptitudes and a few notable friends/lovers/enemies. But there are also a few differences between CK2 and this.

One is that none of the characters are kings. The captain of a starship or even the admiral of a whole fleet isn't a king. It doesn't make sense to simulate random non-player characters on other ships, since their behavior doesn't affect the universe much.

There is a question about the nature of civilization in general. I don't think it makes much sense to even simulate a space nation in this kind of game. Instead, it makes more sense to drive all of this using opportunistic role-filling.

For example, the game rolls up a mission opportunity. You see that there is a medical mission. The type and severity and all of that are algorithmically determined, and then the game simply slots in the major actors, usually people and factions you have met before.

The pirate captain that escaped two months ago is back - not because she was simulated into the scenario, but because she's in our bank of available characters. This time she's one of the ones being affected by the plague, not a villain like she was last time. The affected world is... BX9, a world we scanned a few months ago. Etc, etc.

There is room for some simulation, but it'd be over the course of the mission rather than in the spaces between missions. The pirate captain doesn't really exist unless she's part of a mission. BX9 doesn't exist unless it's part of a mission. I mean, you could go hunt these people and places down, maybe, but they're not being simulated until something like that happens.

How things unfold once the stage is set, that would involve some simulation. There are opportunities in that. For example, the pirate captain is a pirate, even though she's on the planet's side today. That could result in tensions. As you work away at your medical mission, the tension rises and, unless you take on a mission to lower that stress, it could explode as the pirate captain decides to just take over the planet.

But that stuff is still hazy. As actors go, it's important to realize that the "off stage" characters, places, and things are simply gone. They're not simulated at all. Instead, they're just pulled into the missions as slots become available, and some tenuous backstory explaining why is slapped in automatically.

(This also makes sharing them/syncing universe states between players really easy.)

Actually what I meant by AI doing such things would be the crew and only the crew, I guess I should explain how this works in my head lol.

so you have your Captain, he has base stats in each of the fields

you have #2 (like the Wife but ... not the wife... ya, no) he has his base stats, his advice is based on his base stats

then your crew member that is assigned to lead a department (diplomacy, medical, the pew pew is combat so on and so forth)

So it rolls all these guys stats into and overall state that represents the ship's ability on this task

EXAMPLE TIME! :)

you are negotiating a trade pact between two planets, your captains diplomacy stat is 5, #2s is 3, and the Coms officer is 6. you have a total of 14, which affects the chance of a deal or the result of the deal (a lower diplo will make a deal for 1 year of trading with no essential items, while a higher will give a deal that last 5 years with essential materials being traded)

I guess what I am trying to get at is how the stats of the individuals affect the overall ship and the involvement of them in missions.

The traits, ambitions, and Focus type things add some personality to the characters and gives an interesting mechanic to play with to improve the ship's capabilities.

I also get that you are one guy and this is some complicated math things, why I didn't want to go so indepth with it since its not super important compared to the rest of the functions of the game.

Well, you're lumping a few things together that are worth thinking about separately.

If you want to just consider how stats affect the missions in the game, that's pretty cut and dry. The team you create for that mission (which might include your captain and first mate) would be the ones making progress, and it would certainly depend on their stats - in addition to facilities aboard the ship.

Right now, as a prototype, each mission has a number of points required, and a level of difficulty that divides the number of points you try to put into it. Missions frequently also have phases.

If you were going to scan BX9, you might need 30 points at 2 difficulty. Scanning missions require scanning hardware, such as the antennae I've already put into the game. Those antennae create 1 point per day on their own. If you had one antenna, it would take 60 days - each day you'd add 1 / difficulty to the total. At the end of that time, you would move into the next phase, which would probably require landing on the planet and doing more stuff like that down there.

However, that's with minimal attention. If you assign crewmembers to make the most out of the antenna, those specs can change. Right now it's set up so that the antenna will reduce the mission difficulty when manned, so manning it would cut the time down substantially depending on the relevant trait on the crewmember and how many stat-boosting items are near her bunkroom.

In the prototype, contested missions such as negotiations and tracking down enemy ships would have both sides run with the same stats, but inverted. That is, from my side the mission has points and difficulty, and from your side it has difficulty and points. The more progress I make, the higher your difficulty becomes, and visa-versa. Then, when either side reaches a specific number (100?) they win, and it's easy to tell how far ahead they were when determining the outcomes.

I haven't settled on this 100%, and things may change some, but you can see how it works in essence.

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o I see, i think. I am talking about a consistent progression. You finish a mission, and it produces an output and the story goes on. whereas when the mission is complete that is the end of the progression along that story line. the only output is the effect on the crew?

Why would that be? All the outcomes can be easily saved. Characters saved to be seen later; planets altered by whatever happened, saved to be visited later; factions changing their opinions of each other...

Senpi your mighty wisdom is beyond my megaer understanding LOL!

Well, it's all hot air until it's programmed.

Added piloting. It's probably not going to be very common to need to actually fly your ships, but I wanted to get all the maneuvering thrusters vectoring realistically and stuff: even if an AI is flying, I wanted it to feel real. No sound effects, yet, and definitely placeholder particle effects.



I like the ship creation idea, if the opponent ships are created with the same system, could you salvage their components and attach them to your ship after a battle, and also use their tech to increase your tech level? I think having lots of tech levels would be good or maybe 6 major ones with sub categories, so if you got tech that was too far ahead of your own then you wouldn't understand or be able to use it until later in the game. I know you said it's not a combat game, and it should be really hard to take down another ship. I was disappointed at the amount of stuff you could recover from another ship in FTL.

Well, my idea is that if you can salvage components from outside your tech level, you'd probably want to build a ship around them. But ideas on that front are still pretty foggy, haven't gotten that far - but, for sure, integrating another ship's parts would be a major undertaking on par with building a new ship.

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I thought of a question or two:
1. What do you think the scale will be like? This can be as general or specific as you want of course, I'm just curious. Is this in a sector, a quadrant, a galaxy, a universe?

2. You mentioned in a concept video that sounded very similar a while back the idea of specially player-tuned modules, etc, and it seems like the idea has migrated away from that over time - which is fine - is that correct?

Thanks, and as noted I am interested to see where this goes. I'm sure I'll have more questions in the next few days or so ^^

There's no reason to settle on a specific size at this point, but stars will definitely have to be algorithmically generated. If there is a multiplayer component, that will probably determine the specific size of the universe. In single-player, I'm not sure it'd matter once you get to more than a hundred stars.

I don't really remember the concept video you're talking about, but this does feature a lot of player tuning. I've simply buried it a little: you scale a module to make it bigger or smaller and, at the same time, that changes its parameters. You can also do some module-by-module tuning, such as the way cooling fins deploy, but it's not super-complicated: the challenge isn't to get the ship to work, it's to have a really interesting ship.

The interiors are another story, there's definitely a lot of customization there.

I have been wondering the same thing about scale. Was not sure how to ask without typing a book.

and I think I found that video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE6BQh-bBwA&ab_channel=CraigPerko

Oh, yeah, that's a different prototype entirely. That was a prototype I wanted to make building the ship quite complicated, and in this game I want to make it easy but flexible.

I'm not sure if I answered the scale question: if you think I didn't feel free to pester me.

you kind of alluded to what you wanted to do, I'm not sure how you are going to do MP. I would Love to see an Open 'world' on a Galaxy scale where you pick a star system and terrestrial body to orbit around to build you space station(of course you can move it to a new location at a cost or so). Where you pick is important, you build along a trade route you get more transport, escort, pirating/privateering missions than the other mission types.

The building system is neat as it is, but a common issue I run into with SE (space Engineers) is how restricting it is. It's fun to place blocks and mess around but now 1000 hours in I'm looking at several hundred ship builds that pretty much all do the same thing. ya one Might be fighter and the other a transport or a repair ship, but they all have the same power output to reactor ratio, the same thrust to thrust ratio. Nothing is unique, my repair ship welds slower than his but moves faster. woot, would it not be cool if not only does it move faster but it boosts the resistance to damage types due to the welding style? it may take longer to weld but the ship stronger than stock models. Or ( and I think you talked about this in one of your galactic line vids) the targeting computer in my turret has a reduced fire rate but high accuracy.

You may be able to avoid the "its too complicated" issue by giving a base module that gives just straight stats. (it just gives power x1, where as someone who has played for a bit needs a specific build for a ship, so gives power x3 with a 30% increase radiation output) very RPG like but RPGs are fun

another trick would be the ability to adjust the effects even further (3x power 30% radiation increase, boost the power higher radiation lower the power to 1x 0% radiation)

I know that players will be able to share ships and crews, for sure. It should also be relatively easy for players to have mission outcomes mirrored across universes, allowing them to affect the same galaxy... but they wouldn't necessarily be able to see each other.

I don't know how much realtime multiplayer there will be. Realtime multiplayer is a bit tough to do. I'm building the framework to be as "network agnostic" as possible, so I'll take a stab at adding in live multiplayer later in the dev cycle... but in honesty, that sounds like a "Galactic Line 2: Electric Boogaloo" feature.

Regarding uniqueness:

The reason your "slightly faster, slightly poorer welding" ship feels boring and samey is because it's being measured in terms of those flat stats. Rather than make the stats ever more complex, I want to measure your ship's uniqueness in other ways. Specifically, in terms of the missions it takes, the crew it grows, and the history it has.

For example, as missions come along you'll find that a faster ship has opportunities to accomplish missions about racing from place to place, while a ship that has a more effective repair crew will find opportunities to accomplish missions featuring larger or more devastating damage.

The two will slowly diverge as you take missions your ship feels comfortable with. In a few months, the fast ship will be rushing from crisis to crisis, perhaps even serving as a courier or mid-battle repairer. The slow but more effective ship will be waist-deep in the most devastated sectors, helping to haul whole settlements out of a disastrous asteroid rain...

Would those two ships feel distinct from each other?

I still like the RPG style LOL. but yes this is very cool, it's Unique becuse of what it has done not what its made of.

Making progress on HUDs and systems. Now that those are in place, my tentative plan is to build a bunch of ships and let you hit tab to switch between them, release a prototype you can play with.



Hey! Here's a few questions that are mostly irrelevant, but just stem from curiosity. If you finish this game and release it, what would you call the company? How much (if anything) would it cost?

And sorry if you've answered this one before, but how come you quit your RPG series? That makes me fear for TGL.

There would definitely be a free version, especially since modders would need a Unity project to work from. I might charge for multiplayer, or have some DLC or something. I don't have any names planned.

I quit the RPG series because my hard drive exploded and Unity changed versions, and I got really demoralized. :|

Dunno what TGL means, though.

The Galactic line cuz its TL;WR lol

Charging for multiplayer sounds like a sound way to go (if you are hosting a place to store the data or a official server) do free DLC as well as paid for DLC, that seems like the most un-you bought the game so pay me more for more of the game- way while still getting some credit for your work.

Also, will you be implementing a readable form of ship systems as well as the vishual? like if the battery is at 55% power it shows the bar and a number at 55%, and with the engine displaying what power mode its in?

The HUD is powered by a simple event system, it's really easy to wire it up however you want it. At the moment, I don't want to spend too much time on it, but it's certainly possible to make a readable version. The only reason I might suggest against it is because the stats aren't that important most of the time.

There is a schematic mode you can activate which pops up per-device stats on an in-world canvas, I should probably make those show readable numbers.


OHHH, tGL. Yeah. Hadn't actually thought about the acronym.

Could You leave it as a customizable option then? I like numbers (played to many paradox games) even if they are pointless numbers having it makes me feel good lol.

Well, I will add them to the engineering view. For the ships you build, you should be able to set them up as either sliders or text or both. I can already do that in scene view, it's pretty straightforward.

(+1)

Fun news, there's now a playable tech demo!

https://craigp.itch.io/the-galactic-line

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

WOOT! runs fine as well on highest settings with potato graphics card.

That's great to hear, although I don't expect it to stay that way!

New question that you may have already discussed: (hopefully this posts okay on mobile)

How effective are the maneuvering thrusters at the moment, especially compared to regular thrusters? I imagine they're gamey to a certain degree to make ships feel more responsive since that can be more entertaining to fly, I'm just curious to what degree that is the case, if it is. I don't imagine this isn't subject to change, of course.

Nice question, because I've thought about it a lot!

Right now, the maneuvering thrusters are very powerful, and you could get away with no main engines at all. But the question isn't their power: it's the source of their power. The main engines burn only electricity, while the maneuvering thrusters burn spent reactor fuel and electricity.

The basic idea is that the main engines are a lot more efficient, not a lot more powerful... but the spent reactor fuel isn't exactly rare, so the maneuvering thrusters aren't prohibitively expensive.

I thought this was a pretty good tradeoff. I don't want the ships feeling too sluggish, but I don't want people to rely on maneuvering thrusters too much.

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that's cool! Especially since the usual rationalization of manoeuvering thrusters leaves then powerful and cheap. I really like your solution! Been thinking about something like this in SE. I have too many projects.

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Hi,
i just played the demo.
Here is some feedback on the problems i had with it. Please treat it as an handling-report, not as critique. I know it's a tech-demo, and the system i'm playing it on is far from beeing a gaming-pc.

It runs good on my old laptop (Core2Duo with built-in grafics) in 1280x800 up to "Beautiful", in "Fantastic" it starts to stutter a bit.
(While having the browser on as well, sometimes the foreground-objects[e.g. the ship i was steering] were rendered in low-quality for a while.)

The mouse-sensitivity for turning the ship is way to high for me. I had to turn the system-wide mouse-speed all the way down to steer it precise enough to hit one of the moons; with "normal" mouse-settings, moving the mouse about 3-4 mm turns the ship around 360 degrees, if i play Fullscreen on "Beautiful"; on "Fast" it's about 7-8 mm for a 360. In windowed-mode it is about 2-3 times better/slower.


The mouse-sensitivity for moving the camera is, on the other hand, is to slow. On Fullscreen "Beautiful" with "normal" mouse-settings, i had to move the mouse 140 cm [1400 mm] for a 360 turn.


Most of the time, i could not bring any ship to a stop. After the initial acceleration, putting the target-speed back to 0 would not stop the ship. It continued to move on with 0.1 m/s using it's maneuvering thrusters. Eventually this used up all the energy and filled the bottom half of my screen with notifications. But on random occasions, the ship would stop properly.


And it seems, on my pc, all the ship-components seem to work more "nervous" than they do in your demo-video. The flaps open and close more often and the maneuvering thrusters are firing in all directions when flying in a straight line.


I don't know, if these issues are relevant at this early state of development (or at all), but i thought i'd better mention them, just in case.
Anyway, a nice demo. And i like the general game-idea. Good Luck!


P.S. i made some screenshoots showing the different quality-modes and some of the unstoppable ships: here

The blurring is me experimenting with depth of field.

But I am curious why you're having odd issues with jittering engines and huge spins. The camera is too slow because you turned your mouse sensitivity down, the real error is that the ship is spinning too fast. The ships sometimes go a bit splatty when slowing that last 0.1 m/s, but I've never seen them fire up the main engines... I wonder if your framerate is really bad, maybe? I dunno, I'll keep my eye open and think about it.

Good to hear. And yes the framerate here is really really bad. I downloaded an external FPS-Monitor and checked again: On "Fantastic" at 1280X800 i get 4 FPS maximum.

So i turned resolution and quality down until i got stable 30+ FPS (at 512 x 384 px, windowed Quality: Fastest i get 39 FPS) and tested again:

The mouse-movement related issued have totaly vanished. Ship and camera turn just fine.

The "Nervousness" of the flaps and maneuvering thrusters is gone.

But i still can't stop. I continue to move on with 0.1 m/s at full-stop.

Some pictures here

I know how to fix the 0.1 bug, and I'll do some calibrating to fix it at low frame rates. Thanks, you really helped out!

Have a couple of questions in refrence to this video https://youtu.be/lTL15EJ4hVU.

  1. What kind of mission choices are you looking to allow? Side missions, Story missions, Plot decisions. and will they be player driven or "time?" (the mission goes on if the player makes a plot choice or ignores the choice). This is kinda what I wanted to ask but I'm having trouble asking the question I want to know cuz I do not know how to ask it in a coherent manner. if that makes sense?
  2. How complex are you looking to go with the mission variables? In the video looks something like this as a formula
    <mission completion = (time * (Equipment point generating value * character stat value))- Difficulty>
  3. Is there going to be some sort of crew inter relationship (this is more to do with mission specifics)
    -say one crew member does not like one of the people getting married and does not show up to the Courting party thrown for taht crew member?
    (I hope that getting two crew members married to one another is not a mission, that is so unprofessional and always leads to work center issues, lol. but seriously.)

I think I might not be explaining missions well enough. Missions are things that you decide to try to do with at least one crew member. Planning a big lavish wedding was just an example off the top of my head, but it's not that odd: it'd be one or two crewmembers (maybe the two people getting married) spending time planning their wedding, and then throwing it.

The mission framework is extremely straightforward and you know right from the start what you'll have to do to accomplish the mission. Some might have time limits, but the vast majority do not: you want to accomplish them fast because you're burning resources. Because you know everything about the mission before you accept it, experienced players can easily plan ahead and handle a more complicated workload. Beginners will probably micromanage day to day life to try and eke out more points, and that's fine, too.

The outcome of a mission is only variable when it's competitive, which I didn't go into during the video. In a competitive mission, both sides are working towards the same point cap - but as each side gets more points, the difficulty for the other side decreases. In the end, whoever reaches the point cap first "wins", and the difference in points is the amount of the win.

This is easy to do, because the outcome of missions is always very simple. Money or political favor for the player, economic, industrial, political points for a faction. Sometimes a character or planet will change factions. Your personal crew missions are a bit more variable, of course, but it's still mostly just points. It shouldn't be dull: everything in a game is mostly about points, it's just a matter of how it feels to earn them and what their value is.

Sometimes you'll have to choose between mission A or B, but once chosen, the missions probably won't change at all. This should feel pretty solid, because the choice comes up during an explanation of the outcome of the mission, and it should feel like a reward or a raising of the stakes.

In the end, there may be something like "plots" - long-term goals and mission chains that pop up over and over. For example, raising a nation's economic strength, or creating peace between warring states, or journeying to the center of the galaxy, who knows. But that's a longgggg way off. Even without that kind of structure, players will probably create their own long-term goals and choose missions that further it.

A technical update about how the GUI works.


I love GUIs, and this looks simple (I know nothing of code and claim to know nothing of code).

this thread is getting long, I think it's time for a new one. Or at least a way to collapse comments so I don't have to scroll so far, lol.

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Yeah, I already brought that idea up with some of their devs, but I doubt it'll get implemented any time soon.


The game really isn't worthy of a second thread, yet. For now, just hit "control end", I'll post a new thread if I get a solid prototype out.

lol yes but at least you can work out your scroll wheel finger lol. is there not something like a traditional forums or do they only offer this?

Well, I mean, I have a whole forum if you pop over to the Galactic Line shop page and click it, but I don't think I need a whole forum, yet.

But organization! this is soooooooooo messy

Yeah, they really need collapsing threads.

Let's talk about mission design, component cost, and space nations.



Been working on the GUI. This is what it looks like right now.


New tech demo! Get it here:

https://craigp.itch.io/the-galactic-line



WOOT another demo!!! testing report to come ...

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so first thing, when in the first mission, there needs to be a close window button and a button to go back to the mission selection menu from the mission assignment menu. When in mission select, the difficulty needs to be displayed. thanks for the demo, keep up the awsome work!

Yeah, I'm in the middle of struggling with a UI. That one's scrap by now, I've got a bunch of context windows instead. Not sure how to make it feel pretty, though.

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would a file theme work? your management looking over filed reports type thing

did a mock up not the best looking but it gets the point across

http://puu.sh/ofFAZ/92ea14f279.png

Do not know if this works with the way you have set up the GUIs but meh lol

Hmmmmm. The problem is that I'm trying to show data alongside the world view, so you can peek at things while time progresses. But you may have given me an idea.


The UI is going to be the sucky part of the game for a long time, though. :|

Have a question. Is there a Reason that Crew traning missions are only available in star systems and not just a thing you can do?

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Not really, I just don't have a viable way for you to choose complicated things like that, yet.

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On mods and ship components and ships and RAM and other technical stuff!

This lays the foundation for in-game ship creation, since now ships can be saved as very small JSON files.


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Very interesting stuff as usual!!! A bunch of great ideas in there and it's really cool that you've already got it working. On the subject of UI: I'm no expert but I have some experience and overpriced education in the matter, so I thought I'd put in my two cents since you brought it up. Just some general design stuff. I think the bars that show energy and such are okay in terms of form, and perhaps their color scheme could use some love, but its the number readouts that really hurt the overall look of things. That, and the vertical bar for velocity doesn't match the form of anything else... I think what I would do, is group all the number readouts into the top right, and make the velocity bar more like the others, horizontal, rounded, and the same length as the number readouts..... Probably the biggest factor in a design feeling 'right' is consistency of sizes of elements, and margins between them. I will usually take a sort of base "unit," and work from there. In this case I'd take the height of a text element, since their sizes aren't as flexible as an energy bar, etc, and only make other elements sizes and spacing in multiples of that.

One more thought, on color schemes....You might try more saturated colors, and maybe even try straight up white or black for backgrounds. Though, with that said, I don't really know what kind of overall aesthetic you're going for with this. What do you want the UI to say about the world?

Hm, I'll keep that stuff in mind, but the UI I'm working on now isn't in any of the videos, so you can't really critique it yet. The issue is that there are 20+ ship components, 6+ crew and missions, but displaying details about their status is very hard, especially given that I want to keep showing the main game view (the ship) in the background.


I think I have to give up on that. The sidebars I've created can give some overview, but when you want details, I think I just need to take up the whole screen with them.

cool, whats the down side of doing the mods the way you want to do them?

Loading delays. The realtime resource pipeline isn't as fast as the prepackaged pipeline. But I don't think it's going to be much of an issue, especially if we cache common mods on your hard drive as UnityPackages.

What if there is like a LAN Party and your buddy can have a Thumb Drive for offline play with mods you both have on your ships so there is a somewhat speed for gamepla

The problem isn't really the download bandwidth, it's just the fact that you're loading stuff midgame. Like there's that little stutter when you walk out of a house in an FPS, because it has to load up a bunch of new textures? Or how you get low-res stuff for a bit before the high-res stuff loads? That's what we'd see.

This system looks pretty neat, although I did have one question. Streaming the resources in and out to load ships and in gameplay sounds great, but when you're designing a ship and you want all that content available, aren't you stuck loading all of it at once? Unless you're looking at a single 'tab' at a time like SE, I suppose, but given that loading things in takes time I have trouble imagining loading things in and out per tab as a smooth solution.
You appear to be much better at thinking these things through than me, so I'm sure it'll turn out okay, just curious.

When you want to build a ship, you certainly want a full list of parts, but loading a parts list is much faster than loading the parts! You only need the parts fully loaded when you're actively trying to put them on a ship.

That said, most of the time you'll be using similar parts to parts you've already used on other ships, and therefore those catalogs will already be fully loaded.

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so your loading couple of KBs of data for a part you want to use, instead of several GBs of data of all the parts that go along with that one part? I think The division is doing something like this with there "no loading screens". where as you load up once and as you walk around the world it loads that sector you are in and caces the one you left. The only issues I have had with this are falling through the ground and 8 bit graphics for about 10 secs while everything calibrates.

There won't be any "falling through the ground", but you may have low-res graphics or forced-low-LOD modules for a few seconds if the game gets high-quality enough for that.

Another UI tech demo, take a look, tell me if I'm going the right direction and if it's broken on your machine!



Looking great! got two thing for ya. in the item specific menus (the ones that pop up when clicking the button) how difficult would adding buttons be? like add mission for traning servo? second. organising by adding missions or subsystems into categories, and maybe even subcategories? I have mentioned both of these before in the comments on one of your videos.

I'm not sure how I'll be putting missions out there yet - the characters don't even have stats right now. But it's pretty easy. I decided to focus on Ship Components this week instead of crew, though.

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Cool cool excited to see waht you got to show!

Saw the new update video https://youtu.be/niUcBYModa

Was excited then heard you say .... Spreadsheets... and not exciting game play. -.- Spreadsheets are life spreadsheets are love. anyways keep up the good work don't worry about tech demos too much. Typed updates might be better than videos, since you are worried about having to scrap videos if something does not work. have like a monthly video update and maybe weakly typed ones (gives you a reason to use the forums even more!

I don't mind making update videos, but tutorial videos need to be accurate and useful. Update videos take about as long as update posts, so that's no biggie.


We haven't even begun to see the game in these tech demos, so my outreach is really at a bare simmer. Once we have some gameplay, I might get more proactive and worry about it more. Still, the once-a-week tech demos are a nice target to keep me motivated.

ok, also... If can not be Spread sheeted then its not worth your time! all must be quantified.

Well, the game could be modeled by a spreadsheet, but the power of the game comes from the human faces, the giant starships, and the feel of it.

Making progress, slow but steady.


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Looking good! progress is progress whether or not its int he final version.

Let's talk about clothes and the popping off of heads!


What am I working on now? People!

If you want to chat about it, head over to the dedicated forum: https://itch.io/t/22618/technical-talk-avatars



Ship piloting update, I'll be updating the prototype later this week.

New prototype, go play it and tell me if it runs for you!

https://craigp.itch.io/the-galactic-line



Starting on some serious rigging for the avatars.


Customizable characters, playable demo, and a call from Mecanim help!



https://craigp.itch.io/the-galactic-line

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By the way, I haven't stopped working: we're all the way into the "building functional ships in the solar system map".


I've been streaming to Twitch, here: https://www.twitch.tv/cperko

Craig, long time watcher of your stuff, back to when you did your minecraft clone that i intently copied to learn how to do everything. Where did you get/how did you make your planets? I'm working on a project to build out a space style sim and I was trying to go the route that KSP did for building planets of starting with 6 sided quad cubes and then adding detail as you get closer. But i figured i'd ask the master for his thoughts first, and now to see you have a game already with planets in it. Just wanting to pick your brain.


Thanks for all the content you put out it really is very very helpful.

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Sorry, my planets are totally placeholders right now.

I will be using almost a 100% shader-based technique for my planets when I put them in, and I won't bother with creating detailed surface meshes until you're basically on the surface. Shaders are so much cheaper than mesh manipulation!

Craig do you have a patreon or paypal? And is the galatic line up for sale yet? just figured i'd try to support you a bit since I've always enjoyed/been greatly helped by what you've done in the past.

Oh, you can catch me on Twitch ( https://www.twitch.tv/cperko/ ) twice a week, or I post around one video per week on YouTube. I'm making steady progress, although it's not fast since it's a hobby.


Today I had a livestream, polished my interior view transition so you can really get a sense of what's inside your ship. Also made a few more ship components. But I'm still a long way from having a fully functioning game!

Well I'm still curious if you have a patreon or paypal to donate to. :) And after failing horribly at tessellation for planet creation due to my weakness in math/geometry i think i'm going to coalesce around a similar "sim" style game. I can't very well do a KSP alike if I can't make a planet to launch from seemlessly into space lol.

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I'm planning to do a 99% shader solution on the planets, no tessellation or anything until you're very close (landing range).

I don't have any patreon or paypal.

This forum is too unwieldy to post to much, but as a quick update:

New prototype available: the construction kit! https://craigp.itch.io/the-galactic-line

I've been streaming on Twitch a lot: https://www.twitch.tv/cperko/