Monday, September 03, 2007

Game Diary Summary - August

I hadn't worked on the game for a few days but last night i was able to add the weapons and missile tables. I've decided to slightly change how missiles work by adding a Tracking value. Basically, once the enemy is found using radar, the missile operator has to maintain a lock by rolling the Track number. I can also add abilities that will give bonuses to the roll.

I was out of town most of the weekend, but I managed to create two new tables (shields and armor) last night. Now that I've added the "tracking" value for missiles and radar, I thought about changing the radar table to include more types; however, i may leave it be for now and add those later if deemed necessary. I'm very much aware of all the time this is taking and all that's left to do.

I wrote some prose to go at the beginning of the starships chapter. It relates to the Prologue of the Alexander the Prince story. I'd like to add prose to the beginning of each chapter: this is pretty standard on many roleplaying games.

After adding the Tracking stat, i need to clarify it since you need to use separate track both radar guided and heat seeking missiles. It's not hard, but I need to make sure I don't miss something.

I'm trying to rework the radar/heat signature and how all that works with missiles. I want to reduce complexity but maintain variety.

I completed all the charts for starship construction except software. I still need to go through and recheck everything but I should be able to work on the Examples section this weekend if i have time.

I worked some on starship software: it's a little different than robot software since starships don't have skills. Basically, starship software will simply be various "abilities" to improve component functions: for example, increase targeting or radar range, etc.

Started work on the starship examples section; trying to organize how the stats will be shown. Also, the examples themselves will be organized in groups: civilian, military, pirate, and drones

For examples, starships need to have their stats displayed, but I'm not happy with anything I've come up with. It needs to look organized and logical, but easy to find the info you need. Also, I need to create more starships to fill out the different sections (see previous post).

I didn't include anything on crew and accomodations (other than the minimum crew), so now I'm totally lost about what to do if the designer wants additional people on the ship (ie: staterooms). If i use slots, you really don't get very many staterooms unless i make them small slots and that doesn't make sense.

Okay, I came up with something but it's not idea: basically, you can use medium slots which act as a multiplier of the min. crew number, based on whether the accomodations are cramped, standard, or luxurious. Hopefully this will work.

Over the weekend I finalized how I'm going to show the stats for each starship and I also created another freighter. I noticed, however, that I need to look at the STL again: basically the premise of having only a STL engine instead of a FTL engine is size and fuel requirements. Right now I don't think there's enough reason to pick a STL over FTL.

I've three ships to the rules including stats. It's actually kind of time consuming to add the info from my spread sheet into the game, but I'm plugging away at it. I've also written descriptions for some of the ships. Speaking of which, for some of the ship names, I think I'll need to change them. I had used some standard animals names, but I think it would be more immersive if I create made-up names and then describe what they mean. In other words, name them after an animal and describe that animal.

I renamed several ships: I used the original names and then looked for foreign (non-English) words that related to the original. Then I wrote prose describing the "animal". For example, one ship was called the Albatross so I did a search on the word float. I found the Japanese word Kassou and wrote the following description: "The Kassou is a flying reptile with a wingspan of nearly 3 meters. It glides along pockets of hot air raising above the Devil's Oven region of Aldorus and, except for mating and laying eggs, spends its entire life airborne." I tacked that prose to the end of the ship's description to give it more depth.

Also yesterday, I added three more ship stats to the rules.

I created descriptions for all the of the ships I currently have complete.

I created a new cruiser (Duchess Class), but I have two concerns: the cruiser only had essentially one additional weapon compared to a destroyer which is quite a bit smaller (although the cruiser also had a drone bay). This leads me to my other concern: I think the larger ships have too many hit points, which combined with not having that many more weapons, will cause combat to take forever. I'm thinking about combining some of the smaller sizes (having two hulls instead of four) so that I can have a smaller increase in hit points. I need to do some combat testing first before I'll really know for sure.

Btw, the Duchess Class raised a design issue: is it better to have a ship with more fixed weapons (which are smaller) or fewer turreted weapons (which take up more space)?

Yesterday I created three more warships including the Overlord Class Juggernaut (the ship Tagus III had in my graphic novel).

I'm redoing some of the weapons to include larger ones for big ships. This means, however, that I'll need to go back and see which of my pre-existing ships are impacted or not. I still need to revisit the hit points issue as well.

Okay, for V. Small, Small, and Medium, I've cut the number of hulls from four to two. I've also reduced the Hit Points for Hulls Large, V. Large, and Huge. With the new weapons, I think the hit points are more sane now. We'll see during testing.

Yesterday I redid the weapons on the ships to reflect the new heavy weapon sizes. I'm also working on the missiles table to reflect anti-missile attacks.

Last night I updated the rules and tables for the missile and weapon changes.