4X Space Mod

Using Elemental to create a new space / sci-fi strategy mod

By on June 8, 2010 4:55:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Goontrooper

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I envision using Elemental to create a new, true 4X space strategy game, in the mold of Master of Orion, Imperium Galactica, Galactic Civilizations, or any other past giant of the genre. I'd like to use this thread to discuss the feasibility of using Elemental to create this kind of mod.

I've been very excited about Elemental, and excited about the possibilities for mods. With a few notable exceptions, most of the mod ideas I have seen have focused on various Fantasy themes, which makes sense considering that Elemental itself is a fantasy game. However, I have seen little talk of non-fantasy mods. Since Elemental is in some ways inspired by Master of Magic...why not a mod inspired by Master of Orion and other space strategy games?

It has been years since we had a new, high-quality space strategy game, 4x or otherwise. This is a real shame, since it used to be a much larger genre. Stardock's own Galactic Civilizations has become the new flagbearer of the genre...Gal Civ III is probably years away. There are still a few other titles out there, but not much that can really match the great games of the past. Instead, we have been seeing light / action strategy games such as Sins of a Solar Empire and Sword of the Stars, fine games in their own right, but not 4X games by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Essential Features

Explore: The mod should give the Player a sense of exploration, with the galaxy full of mystery and wonder, with interesting things to see and do. Research should be interesting with room for discovery, not just a linear "Lasers 1 advanced to Lasers II.' The galaxy's backstory should leave room for discovery and exploration.

Expand: Players must be able to build new colonies, space stations, etc.

Exploit: Players must be able to discover and exploit resources on planets, asteroids, and deep space.

Exterminate: Space and Planetary combat must be very detailed and reward both strategic planning (research, design, etc) and tactical / operational execution (battlefield control).

and perhaps...

Experience: The 5th 'EX' brought in by MOO3, the great failure of the genre. This was a fairly poorly defined feature relating to empire management and other areas. I can see various ways it could be repurposed, perhaps to include the 'experience' of a 'living galaxy.'

 

Elemental Mods

I believe that Elemental could handle eveything needed for a quality 4X/5X space strategy game. It has most of the essential elements built into the game already, and my reading on mods leads me to believe that a talented team could do quite a bit to modify the game to fit the needs of a space strategy game. The main areas that I think would need special work are as follows.

 

1. Multiple Views: A Space Strategy game should include several layers, starting with a Universe / Galactic view that covers the 'game world' whether that be a local cluster of stars, a spiral arm of the Milky Way, an entire galaxy, or whatever. This would be view that players would likely spend the most time in, managing their empire as a whole. After this, there would be a System view where players could look at individual solar systems and see the various planets and other stellar bodies. Finally, there would be a planetary view for looking at individual planets / asteroids / colonies / etc. This concept could be expanded to break a Galactic view down into Sectors, and then to Systems within those Sectors, and a Planetary view could be broken down into regions, or other different views...but I see Galactic, System, and Planet views as the minimum. Alternatively, the game could be played with one primary view as in Gal Civ II, with planets and asteroids visible on the Galactic map. Creating 'space' on the map would be similar to water in an Elemental Map, with 'land' as various planets and other locations. This would be the area that would potentially require the most work, but would be most essential to turn Elemental from a land and water based game to a space and planet based game.

 

2. Space Units / Ground Units and Combat: This shouldn't be very difficult since it will be similar to Water / Land units in stock Elemental. We will need to create space ships / fleets that behave as needed. Faster than light travel will be needed...how will this be handled? One universal tech for everyone (FTL engines for ships? Wormholes?) or multiple tech paths (ability to create various ship drives, warp gates, whatever). Fleets will need to fight fleets, and fleets will need to be able to transport armies to planets for invasions. I picture tactical or auto resolve fleet combat, and tactical or auto resolve ground combat.

 

3. Expanded Civilization Options: One area of Elemental that I think is going to be lacking is the area of civilization traits / civics / whatever. I think Alpha Centauri was one of the first games to bring this in, and it did wonders for the game. I'd like the mod to allow for this area as well, with the ability for decisions to be made that change the way governments, societies, military, etc. operate. I see this being setup similar to the Civ IV civics screen, with various penalties and bonuses for any given option. As an alternative, this could be expanded in the Empire / Race design section to become a basic, unchanging characteristic of an Empire / Species. I don't like this though because I prefer options for changing things during a game.

 

4. Multiple Species: This has been one of the most hotly debated areas of Elemental. I'm not sure if the Elemental system is at a 100% no kidding final solution yet. I've always preferred more detail, especially in fantasy and sci-fi games where the existence of multiple intelligent species is one of the hallmarks of the gameworld and gameplay. Regardless of where Elemental ends up sitting, I would like the mod to reflect the differences between various species, and to allow for the development of a multi-species, multi-cultural galactic community. I want different species to migrate around and form colonies, with some colonies eventually becoming multi-species either due to conquest, peaceful integration, or because the location is a 'neutral ground' such as a trading hub. Related to this, I'd love to see some kind of galactic community as a possible creation, such as a multi-empire / multi-species alliance (Space Empires V had the bare bones start of this, and it showed real promise) or something like the Citadel Council in Mass Effect. Something like the UN in Civ games. The more that the different empires and species are brought together, the more interesting the conflicts and interactions will be. Creating situations where wildly different species interact is one of the hallmarks of sci-fi.

 

I have tons of other ideas for using Elemental, but this thread has gotten long, so I will stop for now...this is of course a very basic, bare-bones concept at the moment, because I want to focus on ideas for using Elemental before getting into the details. Let me know what you think!

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June 9, 2010 12:12:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I definitely like this idea. I also believe this is a entirely possible mod. For some reason I remember Brad stating that the game could basically be made into a entirely different game with the mod tools. So I again I like this Idea and this needs to be done!

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June 9, 2010 2:22:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I really appreciate the friendliness towards modding that has been taken in the design and execution of this game. As far as space mods go, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri immediately comes to mind due to the amount of hours I spent playing that game. SMAC would have to be turned on it's head to take advantage of the RPG aspect of E:WoM. On the other hand, depending on how flexible the modding is, maybe it could be done.

I'm eager to see how E:WoM, this, and other mods pan out.

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June 9, 2010 2:26:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting weez2mo,
I really appreciate the friendliness towards modding that has been taken in the design and execution of this game. As far as space mods go, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri immediately comes to mind due to the amount of hours I spent playing that game. SMAC would have to be turned on it's head to take advantage of the RPG aspect of E:WoM. On the other hand, depending on how flexible the modding is, maybe it could be done.

I'm eager to see how E:WoM, this, and other mods pan out.

On the plus side, Elemental will already have terrain morphing mechanics, so formers will be much easier to implement!

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June 9, 2010 3:53:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. Multiple Views: A Space Strategy game should include several layers, starting with a Universe / Galactic view that covers the 'game world' whether that be a local cluster of stars, a spiral arm of the Milky Way, an entire galaxy, or whatever. This would be view that players would likely spend the most time in, managing their empire as a whole. After this, there would be a System view where players could look at individual solar systems and see the various planets and other stellar bodies. Finally, there would be a planetary view for looking at individual planets / asteroids / colonies / etc. This concept could be expanded to break a Galactic view down into Sectors, and then to Systems within those Sectors, and a Planetary view could be broken down into regions, or other different views...but I see Galactic, System, and Planet views as the minimum. Alternatively, the game could be played with one primary view as in Gal Civ II, with planets and asteroids visible on the Galactic map. Creating 'space' on the map would be similar to water in an Elemental Map, with 'land' as various planets and other locations. This would be the area that would potentially require the most work, but would be most essential to turn Elemental from a land and water based game to a space and planet based game.

I looove the idea of having the different points of view based on scale, but - please someone correct me if I'm wrong - I suspect you'd run into issues with the map system being one of the hardcoded aspects to the game? I have no clue how moddable that aspect is even if we were to factor in the use of Python/XML.

However, even in the worst case scenario that is hardcoded in such a way as to make this plan difficult to do within a single map, I could still see it working; but at more of a campaign level, sort of akin to how Spore played out in stages (only this would have actual depth and fun to each of the sections ).

Player begins at the planetary level, perhaps even at a smaller tribal or at least single continental level (tiny-ish map). Progresses then to the whole world (small-moderate map) if we did start smaller next.

Might then expand to local space; Solar System mayhaps? (small-moderate map, but space tiles) Given that I know we'll be able to have triggers that load into a different map and then back again (from the April 20th Modding Preview dev journal) we could even perhaps make it such that each of the habitable planets have their own playable map. Or instead it could simply be that the threat is coming from just outside local space, and we have to take control of all the planets, with the outer edge planets becoming increasingly more difficult to hold onto against whatever the force is.

Next could be a galactic map, or perhaps if you wanted simply a sector of the galaxy (moderate-large map either way). Again with the aforementioned technical ability to load into maps and back again, this part of the campaign COULD involve other solar system maps and combat at that level, but I think we'd be reaching into the realm of the rediculous playthrough timeframes if we did this all the way through. So perhaps at the Galatic level you'd just be building on Solar Systems directly depending on their resources/planets available etc.

Then! Depending on prior choice, Galactic Map or even a Universal Map (Large-Huge map). After seeing the deep space hubble shots, having a rather densely populated universal map certainly isn't out of the question. And yet again, if desired, could drill down on each galaxy -> system -> planet.. But whoo boy the overhead for the player!!

One concern to consider would be how to differentiate the play styles sufficiently from System -> Galactic/Sector -> Galactic/Universal, so that it doesn't feel like the exact same play over and over.

 

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June 9, 2010 5:15:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Essential Features

Explore: The mod should give the Player a sense of exploration, with the galaxy full of mystery and wonder, with interesting things to see and do. Research should be interesting with room for discovery, not just a linear "Lasers 1 advanced to Lasers II.' The galaxy's backstory should leave room for discovery and exploration.

The branching techs could be easy to do depending on how the techs are able to be set up with prerequisites, for example, researching the "Laser" tech in the "Civics" tree unlocks "Inertial Confinement Fusion" in the "Civics" tree, which allows you to build a type of fusion power plant, which increases industrial efficiency(+50% to construction facilities or something), as well as unlocking "Military Lasers" in the "Warfare" branch, which allow you to equip very basic lasers on your ships, but for each time you make a laser based breakthrough, it gives you a set of mutually exclusive directions in which to advance your Technology, each incurring different boni.

Expand: Players must be able to build new colonies, space stations, etc.


Exploit: Players must be able to discover and exploit resources on planets, asteroids, and deep space.

Not sure how you'd get these to work unless it's possible to have a map layer dedicated to each planet and starsystem/sector of space.

 

1. Multiple Views: A Space Strategy game should include several layers, starting with a Universe / Galactic view that covers the 'game world' whether that be a local cluster of stars, a spiral arm of the Milky Way, an entire galaxy, or whatever. This would be view that players would likely spend the most time in, managing their empire as a whole. After this, there would be a System view where players could look at individual solar systems and see the various planets and other stellar bodies. Finally, there would be a planetary view for looking at individual planets / asteroids / colonies / etc. This concept could be expanded to break a Galactic view down into Sectors, and then to Systems within those Sectors, and a Planetary view could be broken down into regions, or other different views...but I see Galactic, System, and Planet views as the minimum. Alternatively, the game could be played with one primary view as in Gal Civ II, with planets and asteroids visible on the Galactic map. Creating 'space' on the map would be similar to water in an Elemental Map, with 'land' as various planets and other locations. This would be the area that would potentially require the most work, but would be most essential to turn Elemental from a land and water based game to a space and planet based game.

The way I imagine what you describe here would have the star systems be on a "cave/underwater" layer with the ability to build "cities" in very specific locations in that layer. Asteroid mines would be similar to the current plan for disconnected resource gathering buildings in the base game in that you send out a "settler" unit and they build an asteroid mine that provides ores to your civilization

2. Space Units / Ground Units and Combat: This shouldn't be very difficult since it will be similar to Water / Land units in stock Elemental. We will need to create space ships / fleets that behave as needed. Faster than light travel will be needed...how will this be handled? One universal tech for everyone (FTL engines for ships? Wormholes?) or multiple tech paths (ability to create various ship drives, warp gates, whatever). Fleets will need to fight fleets, and fleets will need to be able to transport armies to planets for invasions. I picture tactical or auto resolve fleet combat, and tactical or auto resolve ground combat.

4. Multiple Species: This has been one of the most hotly debated areas of Elemental. I'm not sure if the Elemental system is at a 100% no kidding final solution yet. I've always preferred more detail, especially in fantasy and sci-fi games where the existence of multiple intelligent species is one of the hallmarks of the gameworld and gameplay. Regardless of where Elemental ends up sitting, I would like the mod to reflect the differences between various species, and to allow for the development of a multi-species, multi-cultural galactic community. I want different species to migrate around and form colonies, with some colonies eventually becoming multi-species either due to conquest, peaceful integration, or because the location is a 'neutral ground' such as a trading hub. Related to this, I'd love to see some kind of galactic community as a possible creation, such as a multi-empire / multi-species alliance (Space Empires V had the bare bones start of this, and it showed real promise) or something like the Citadel Council in Mass Effect. Something like the UN in Civ games. The more that the different empires and species are brought together, the more interesting the conflicts and interactions will be. Creating situations where wildly different species interact is one of the hallmarks of sci-fi.

I think it'd be benificial to have each species have its own tech trees that allow them to be distinct from the rest of the races. Regarding FTL travel, unless the lore behind your galaxy establishes that there was a precursor race that left information on how to achieve FTL (eg; Reapers and the Mass Effect fields from ME), each species should be able to make a decision on how it wants to go about FTL travel, be it jump drives, towing warpgates to new stars to set up a network that allows fleets to jump from any warpgate to any other warpgate within reasonable range, or, for lack of a better term, "Mass Effect" drives that lower the mass of the object so that it can accelerate past light speed with normal thrusters, but that decision should be mutually exclusive and once you make the decision on what form of FTL travel you want, the other choices should either be deactivated, or become prohibitivly expensive to research.

Not sure about how multi-species colonies would be able to be modded in if they decide to make the cities in the base game one race only, even if you conquer it, but I'm sure something would be figured out to get it to work.

 3. Expanded Civilization Options: One area of Elemental that I think is going to be lacking is the area of civilization traits / civics / whatever. I think Alpha Centauri was one of the first games to bring this in, and it did wonders for the game. I'd like the mod to allow for this area as well, with the ability for decisions to be made that change the way governments, societies, military, etc. operate. I see this being setup similar to the Civ IV civics screen, with various penalties and bonuses for any given option. As an alternative, this could be expanded in the Empire / Race design section to become a basic, unchanging characteristic of an Empire / Species. I don't like this though because I prefer options for changing things during a game.

I'm all for having changeable, I guess I'd call them empire ethics traits, as long as one isn't any better or worse than the others. If I want to have a power hungry dictatorship, I don't want to be inherently gimped against the guy who decides he wants to be the Federation of Planets, and neither of us want to be gimped against the guy who chose to have a hive mind code of ethics. And if I decide that my citizens would be best used to fire the power stations that provide boni to my factories, I don't want to be at an insurmountable disadvantage against the guy who encourages his citizens to be artists and scientists.

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June 9, 2010 5:54:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Naithin,

Might then expand to local space; Solar System mayhaps? (small-moderate map, but space tiles) Given that I know we'll be able to have triggers that load into a different map and then back again (from the April 20th Modding Preview dev journal) we could even perhaps make it such that each of the habitable planets have their own playable map. Or instead it could simply be that the threat is coming from just outside local space, and we have to take control of all the planets, with the outer edge planets becoming increasingly more difficult to hold onto against whatever the force is

.Next could be a galactic map, or perhaps if you wanted simply a sector of the galaxy (moderate-large map either way). Again with the aforementioned technical ability to load into maps and back again, this part of the campaign COULD involve other solar system maps and combat at that level, but I think we'd be reaching into the realm of the rediculous playthrough timeframes if we did this all the way through. So perhaps at the Galatic level you'd just be building on Solar Systems directly depending on their resources/planets available etc.

Maybe the mod should start at this level instead of the "develop Civilization" level, at least for the base 4X space mod anyway. If people express an interest in having the full blown Spore TBS version, then it might be worthwile to look into adding the "develop Civilization" level.

Building off my previous post, the Galactic map would be the map the player starts on, with a single planet claimed in a single solar system. The star systems would each have their own "cave" layer, and each planet in the system would be able to have a single "city" on it (allowing for multi-species controlled star systems), which you can then "explode"(as mentioned in the modding preview dev journal) to the planetary/colony view to build improvements. This allows those who want to attempt to go to another star system without building up their economy/industry/research to allow them to produce FTL capable objects (see my previous post for examples of possible FTL modes). It also provides for intra-system trade routes, for example, trading raw materials from Mars to Earth, and finished goods back to Mars.


Quoting Naithin,

Then! Depending on prior choice, Galactic Map or even a Universal Map (Large-Huge map). After seeing the deep space hubble shots, having a rather densely populated universal map certainly isn't out of the question. And yet again, if desired, could drill down on each galaxy -> system -> planet.. But whoo boy the overhead for the player!!

One concern to consider would be how to differentiate the play styles sufficiently from System -> Galactic/Sector -> Galactic/Universal, so that it doesn't feel like the exact same play over and over.

A Multi galaxy map could work, but I wouldn't go more than 3 or 4 galaxies, having each galaxy be a "cave" layer, and Star systems are "sub-caves", and so on, depending on the capabilities of the engine. I really don't think you'd need a larger scale than that, otherwise you do start getting to campaign scales.


 


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June 9, 2010 6:11:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

When I read the title of this post, I though of swashbuckling steam punk with magic. I guess not many dare to change the "tried and true" formula these days, efforts need to sell to the masses.

Except Stardock of course ! I hope I gave an idea to someone...

Yay for BETA 2 soon, like everyone here!

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June 9, 2010 6:25:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Steveo,
When I read the title of this post, I though of swashbuckling steam punk with magic. I guess not many dare to change the "tried and true" formula these days, efforts need to sell to the masses.

Well, there will need to be something done with the magic screen, I'm just not entirely sure how I'd integrate it. Although, personally, I think your idea would be better suited for a non-space based 4X.

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June 9, 2010 6:33:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ah, I was thinking Spelljammer (D&D in space). Not steam punk granted, but an interesting fusion of ideas none the less.

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June 9, 2010 6:48:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

See, I read "swashbuckling" and I conjure up the image of boats on the high seas. I suppose there could be a way to get it to work, but I'm just not creative enough to imagine magic and high technology in the same setting.

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June 9, 2010 7:58:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the feedback.

 

I think the various 'views' for different galactic, system, and planetary screens should be very doable, considering that they have said you could do things like different 'views' for an individual city. I'm not sure how easy or hard this will be to mod, but it sounds like it wiil be possible.

 

I think a 4X space mod would best handle a single galactic or sub-galactic scale. There are billions of stars in any given galaxy, so the room for possibilities are really endless. There could be millions of star systems with planets in our real galaxy.

 

One thing I didn't touch on yet was the source material / background. There are dozens of cool sources for backstories, and I have thought about trying to do a mod based on Mass Effect, Warhammer 40,000, or another cool source. I'm still not against something like that, but it may be better to start fresh and design a gameworld and background that are customized for a 4X setup. Otherwise, you end up constrained by the limitations of the established background.

 

For technology, especially space travel, I really like the idea of having different possible technologies, but that may prove too complicated. It may be easier to settle on one method (super FTL drives, wormholes, gates, whatever) and have that as the standard. The gameplay will ultimately drive this decision, ie: can the maps / views be setup in a way to allow for different space travel techs, or will the constraints of what we can mod decide what will be possible.

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June 9, 2010 9:14:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Goontrooper,
 

One thing I didn't touch on yet was the source material / background. There are dozens of cool sources for backstories, and I have thought about trying to do a mod based on Mass Effect, Warhammer 40,000, or another cool source. I'm still not against something like that, but it may be better to start fresh and design a gameworld and background that are customized for a 4X setup. Otherwise, you end up constrained by the limitations of the established background.

Do what you want with it, I'm just using the Mass Effect terms because it's the simplest way to explain how I see one variant of FTL working.

Quoting Goontrooper,
 

For technology, especially space travel, I really like the idea of having different possible technologies, but that may prove too complicated. It may be easier to settle on one method (super FTL drives, wormholes, gates, whatever) and have that as the standard. The gameplay will ultimately drive this decision, ie: can the maps / views be setup in a way to allow for different space travel techs, or will the constraints of what we can mod decide what will be possible.

The main problem that I can see with having mutiple forms of FTL is getting the AI to 1)Choose a type and 2) use them effectively.

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June 9, 2010 6:52:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Goontrooper,

I think the various 'views' for different galactic, system, and planetary screens should be very doable, considering that they have said you could do things like different 'views' for an individual city. I'm not sure how easy or hard this will be to mod, but it sounds like it wiil be possible.

Aye, but what they were saying is that on the main map you could have a city represented by a single tile, which when you activated it (likely by moving your sovereign over it) it would actually load into another map entirely where you depict the city in more detail with custom tiles.

So it isn't that you can do a strategic zoom ala SupCom/Sins, which is why I suggested it the way I did above.

Doombringer has a good point about maybe skipping the planetary levels though unless it was super desired; because it adds a huge tonne more work for the modders to craft those tiles and gameplay aspects, for what would ultimately occupy only a very, very small portion of the players time with the mod.

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June 9, 2010 10:48:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Get enough people together and we could do galciv 3 before Stardock  

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June 9, 2010 10:50:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

double post

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June 10, 2010 6:27:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So what other things would people like to see in a mod?

 

Quoting DoomBringer90,

Quoting Goontrooper, reply 11 

One thing I didn't touch on yet was the source material / background. There are dozens of cool sources for backstories, and I have thought about trying to do a mod based on Mass Effect, Warhammer 40,000, or another cool source. I'm still not against something like that, but it may be better to start fresh and design a gameworld and background that are customized for a 4X setup. Otherwise, you end up constrained by the limitations of the established background.


Do what you want with it, I'm just using the Mass Effect terms because it's the simplest way to explain how I see one variant of FTL working.


Quoting Goontrooper, reply 11 

For technology, especially space travel, I really like the idea of having different possible technologies, but that may prove too complicated. It may be easier to settle on one method (super FTL drives, wormholes, gates, whatever) and have that as the standard. The gameplay will ultimately drive this decision, ie: can the maps / views be setup in a way to allow for different space travel techs, or will the constraints of what we can mod decide what will be possible.

The main problem that I can see with having mutiple forms of FTL is getting the AI to 1)Choose a type and 2) use them effectively.

 

Heh...well...if I did do this mod, I would certainly do what I want with it...but yeah, I have Mass Effect in mind as one of the inspirations for what I would like to see, along with more classic sci-fi universes such as Star Wars and Star Trek. The key thing is to create a gameworld that meshes with the gameplay.

 

As for the FTL-related issues, agreed - it might be better to stick with one form of travel. Multiple types would be cool, but the gameplay has to come first.

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June 15, 2010 7:25:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Dangit, you "stole" my idea on using different "cave" layers as solar systems, planets, etc.   

 

In addition to the Urak future mod, I've been thinking up some details for a new MoO3 mod, in terms of a space and ground combat system, economics, etc., and if this idea gets more detailed, I'd be happy to share some of these if wanted.

 

Peraonslly, I'd go for planets as the lowest layer, and use the planetary maps to allow for large scale ground battles, different resources on different sections of the planet, As well as mechanics like placing farm and factory type areas (Similar to MoO3 DEA's, or Galactic civilizations planet quality buildable squares)

 

I'll be interested in seeing how these ideas develop.

 

 

 

 

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June 15, 2010 9:18:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I always wanted to make a modern Starflight...........one of the early space exploration games.

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June 15, 2010 9:36:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Seems like a lot of work to essentially just remake GalCiv2. It would probably be easier to just make a GalCiv2 mod and tweak a few things to your liking as that game already has everything you are asking for. It's not like it's an old game or isn't mod friendly.

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June 16, 2010 1:56:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm still planning on doing my Space Colony mod. A little different from what you want, but you're welcome to borrow assets that you want as they get done, not that I'm any good at it at this point.

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June 18, 2010 11:23:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sanati,
Seems like a lot of work to essentially just remake GalCiv2. It would probably be easier to just make a GalCiv2 mod and tweak a few things to your liking as that game already has everything you are asking for. It's not like it's an old game or isn't mod friendly.

It's still a lot of work, and the GalCiv2 engine doesn't have the capabilities the elemental engine will.

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June 19, 2010 12:26:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sanati,
Seems like a lot of work to essentially just remake GalCiv2. It would probably be easier to just make a GalCiv2 mod and tweak a few things to your liking as that game already has everything you are asking for. It's not like it's an old game or isn't mod friendly.

 

No offense, but thats kinda silly...like saying that Elemental is just a lot of work to remake Master of Magic or Age of Wonders.  I enjoy GC2, but it has always lacked certain things that I wanted in a 4X game. GC2 got better and better with each expansion, but there are certain things that would be handled better by the Elemental engine, from what I have seen so far. The main thing that GC2 has to offer is the robust ship designer...but I want to ship designs to really matter, not just serve as eye candy. Since Elemental has tactical battles, we can make that a reality to a much greater degree than in GC2. This is just an example of course....there are lots of things we will be able to do with Elemental that simply are not feasible with GC2.

 

Quoting SolarBall,
Dangit, you "stole" my idea on using different "cave" layers as solar systems, planets, etc.   

In addition to the Urak future mod, I've been thinking up some details for a new MoO3 mod, in terms of a space and ground combat system, economics, etc., and if this idea gets more detailed, I'd be happy to share some of these if wanted.

Peraonslly, I'd go for planets as the lowest layer, and use the planetary maps to allow for large scale ground battles, different resources on different sections of the planet, As well as mechanics like placing farm and factory type areas (Similar to MoO3 DEA's, or Galactic civilizations planet quality buildable squares)

I'll be interested in seeing how these ideas develop.

 

The more ideas we share, the better. I'm eager to hear what others would like to see in this and how they think we can do it.

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June 19, 2010 12:39:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A lot of the ideas here sound nice but can the Elemental Engine handle it?

The idea of "layers" with solar systems being like their own map/cave type setup sounds cool but can elemental engine do that? I recall a discussion a while back on who MoM did the planes as a way to get around the memory limitations. And when the idea for that in Elemental was suggested as a way to do caves I thought the Devs said that the engine didn't support that cause they didn't like the idea of planes.

I know the idea of explorable caves has been suggested and discussed a bit on the forums but is it actually possible cause thus far we have seen nothing of that and the Beta scedule doesn't seem to indicate such a features is in the works.

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June 19, 2010 11:00:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

From the OP of the modding preview dev journal

It depends on how much you want to do.  The key tools are included with Elemental.  The ability to make a map/level and then load it from your mod and load additional maps/levels in  your mod and go back makes it relatively easy for someone to make “dungeons” or have cities be a simple icon that when they go into expands into a full blown city.

In the event that the engine isn't powerful enough right out of the gates to allow the mod to work the way it's envisioned, I'm sure we can remove the ground maps, and have solar systems be the farthest in you can zoom, and bring them back when the 64bit version comes out.

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July 6, 2010 6:15:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If elemental allows designing map with point to poin movement. Maybe yes

If the only maps you can design are square maps like in galciv, forget it.

For me, the square map in galciv was illogical and a complete turn off.

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