Various base design considerations

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Re: Various base design considerations

Postby MaxShields » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:16 pm

Ilaliya wrote: As for size... I'm kind of split on this. I'm of the design opinion that you don't want to add elements that detract (or don't support) the core fun. It would be cool to have different footprints for modules, but I wonder if that really adds anything to the gameplay. We'd probably have to playtest that, unless anyone feels super-strongly.


There could be a couple considerations to look at for size. The first is simple aesthetics. With a bunch of square modules with walls that box everything in, it could be hard to believe that the tiny 10,000 point hangar module can actually handle that 50,000 ton merchant marine barge when only four crew members can squeeze in at a time. Perhaps square modules can be merged as they are built and have internal walls torn down to provide an open concept?

The other consideration will be movement dynamics for shipboard events. I suspect that each square module will end up being a choke point for events aboard the station, and will eventually lead to repetitive game play, particularly for combat, if there is no opportunity to open things up a bit. This would probably reduce the utility of bringing ranged weapons onto a station because of the very close quarters at which all the action would take place.

Image

I also imagine that it would be easier for the user to build structures like the one above if there are a few more tools to in the box. Of course, Minecraft does demonstrate that people can still go crazy and achieve incredible things with a bunch of simple cubes stacked together.

It will be fun to test!

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Re: Various base design considerations

Postby MaxShields » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:18 pm

PensiveElephant wrote:Will there be corridors?

Have you considered modules larger than 2x2 or perhaps linking same-type modules if they are next to one another?


Great minds think alike! I took too long to write my last entry, so I missed your post. I was thinking the same thing.

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Re: Various base design considerations

Postby PensiveElephant » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:58 am

I think you nailed it with "repetitive" Max - in a design sim such as Starbase Command the more design freedom one has the better. I don't know what kind of plans have been set out for the importance of traffic on the station, but the ability to control the shape of rooms is crucial if it plays any part.

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Re: Various base design considerations

Postby MaxShields » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:46 am

A few ideas for base or equipment traits, should you decide to go down that path:

Hangar Queen: Technicians suspect that this equipment does not actually want to be used. It breaks down far more frequently than its counterparts, and needs much more TLC to keep running. Just the thing to keep overworked and under-equipped maintenance teams happy between missions.

Superb Design: Inspired by the master engineers of New Zurich, this item can take a licking and keep on ticking. Brilliantly-designed, it takes far less care to keep in functioning order, and any procedures can be quickly accomplished thanks to the clever layout of its internal components.

Terrible Design: Who knows what the designers were thinking when they slapped this machine together? Perhaps they were too busy watching a hilarious rerun of the Zglorgal Brothers? Whatever the reason may be, this item takes for ever to take apart, maintain, and reassemble thanks to its innards' ridiculous layout.

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Re: Various base design considerations

Postby MilitantLobster » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:21 pm

MaxShields wrote:I see power in terms of a grid with a total power supply that will supply anything connected to that grid. The grid need not be a single continuous grid throughout the station. The player could choose to create compartments that are each powered by separate reactors, but I think limiting by range is extremely gamey, particularly over the small distance that small-medium bases would cover. The Death Star on the other hand...

The capability of the power grid to handle demand could be divided across two tiers. Low and High power. Each module could come pre-wired with a low power grid that can automatically supply power for lighting, basic life support, and simple systems. High power systems would need dedicated conduits as you propose. High power systems could include weapons, shields, and certain key life support or high end science systems and sensors. The more the points, the larger the power conduits needed until you progress into absolutely needing Jeffries tubes (which I really like the idea of) or service corridor modules that will help distribute power, data, and life support, facilitate maintenance, provide rapid transit of material and personnel without hindering the base's main functions, etc.


I think you have a good idea here, but you may be on the wrong track. Take a look at how power is produced today. A power station produces energy, which is brought up to high voltage for long distance transmission. When those wires terminate at either an industrial or residential area the power is transformed into the appropriate voltage for those needs. There aren't two sets of wires, some that go to your house to run the blender, and others that go to a factory to run huge machinery. The same transmission wires serve both high and low power needs.

I see two options for laying out power on the Astrobase scale.
1. You have high power conduit running throughout the base, connecting to each module, laid out automatically when a module is built. A transformer (upgradeable tech?) would come with each module to provide power at the appropriate level (high vs low vs both). A good base layout would provide redundancies in power transmission to key areas, as could dedicated power lines run by players.

2. A low power grid running throughout the base powers lights, fans, outlets, etc. This is provided straight from the power station. A high powered conduit runs to your shield and weapons systems, research facilities, etc. The low power stuff would be behind the drywall, and would just work, as far as the player is concerned. High power conduit would be laid out automatically along the shortest route with the option of laying in redundant paths. These are the lines that could be cut by an attacking force to cripple key systems during battle.

Both options could be presented as considerations on the tech tree, or one could be picked as the standard. I think that the 1st option is more analogous to actual power distribution (on a nationwide scale) and would be more likely to work in real life. It would have higher costs up front, but would require fewer generators on larger scales. Option 2 would probably experience brownouts the farther you get from the station, especially as heavy machinery cycles on and off. It would be a cheap initial option while the base is small, but as your base grew you would need more power stations to prevent these issues.

Additional thoughts on Astrobase power distribution:
1. Losses in power over long distance transmission won't be much of an issue due to small size. This just means you don't need to increase voltage as much as a modern terrestrial system. However, power produced still would not be appropriate for all uses without a transformer.
2. I really like the idea of being able to manage redundancies in crucial systems, but I don't want to have to draw conduit to every single module. If I build the thing, obviously I want it powered. Just let me add in some backups.
3. Transformers could have a couple levels of effeminacy to be researched. The cost of this research could include the cost of upgrading extant systems or current systems could be chosen for upgrade by the player, focusing on big power sinks first.
4. "Smart Grid" technology should probably be available, probably as a researchable piece of tech. A Smart Grid would allow modules to function with less energy overall, and would help prevent overload events such as blackouts and brownouts.
5. Upgrading power cables would be cool, not to allow more power to pass through, but to make them harder to cut/hack and/or to make them more efficient.

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Re: Various base design considerations

Postby MilitantLobster » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:34 pm

Ilaliya wrote:As for size... I'm kind of split on this. I'm of the design opinion that you don't want to add elements that detract (or don't support) the core fun. It would be cool to have different footprints for modules, but I wonder if that really adds anything to the gameplay. We'd probably have to playtest that, unless anyone feels super-strongly.


My two cents:
I like the idea of different sizes/shapes of modules, especially the option to visually connect like modules. If you have three adjacent barracks why not have them connected?

Someone, somewhere threw out the idea of observation decks. These could be crazy shapes that attach only on one axis which would keep your 3D structure nice and square. Say you have a circular deck, like a large plate. The diameter is 6 units. The outer wall is all windows, you can't attach another module there, and you don't want to block the view anyway. You put your connections in the ceiling and/or floor. When placing new modules adjacent (but not connected) to the observation deck, it takes up a 6x6 square. You could also have a deck with just one connection that would essentially represent a terminal of your base (dish shape with glass walls and ceiling, 3x1 curved piece with entrance on inside, windows on outside).

If we're playing with gravity generation, have the option to turn it off in there for a weightless experience!

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Re: Various base design considerations

Postby Ethan » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:28 am

Will there be corridors?

Have you considered modules larger than 2x2 or perhaps linking same-type modules if they are next to one another?


There are advantages to having different sized rooms, if you want to think functionally.

Barracks/Security Facility- This would need to be a little larger. Your troops need room to maneuver while doing training.

Habitation- These would be fine to have small single- or double-occupancy rooms, or large dormitories. This could also be considered a later-game luxury for having more private quarters

Maintenance- These could be smaller shops and closets

Hydroponics- It would make sense that these could be made into larger areas to produce more, rather than having multiple small rooms.


These were just a few examples that came to mind, and I'm sure arguments could be made for having 2x2 modules, especially if you wanted to consider structural integrity or things like that.

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