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  1. #31
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    No FPS, please

    Hi!

    My absolute favorite game was the predecessor of Aquanox which was called "Schleichfahrt" in german.
    I never played the Aquanox games as I found them completely implausible.
    The reason being, that the ships where behaving like in a FPS shooter.
    Having one of the developers arguing that one should not be upset about this because ships could be able to be as maneuverable in the distinct future made me even angry, because that made the ships even more maneuverable as torpedos. What a joke....
    What finally sold me on this kickstarter project was simply the fact, that you claim not to follow that silly FPS approach.
    Cudos to that!

    Additionally I like the ideas of the others to include the environments properties like current and pressure.
    Another thing that could be quite useful is taking the various grounds into account. Like when you are near a ground that consists of sand, you could swirt it to find come cover. That would obviously not work on rocky ground of course. But in an underground canoyn firing on the canyon walls could break off rocks that damage the following ship.

    An Idea for an attack tank (chould be another submarine as well - I don't mind) would be to be able to hide in sand and sneak slowly like some fish do to catch their prey.

    I also think it would be great to get damaged when colliding with stuff. In "schleichfahrt" you could "bump around" as you'd like and that did not feel so good though. So maybe you could consider that in a higher level of difficulty (like Beginner (no damage on collisions) - Advanved (medium damage) - Pro (devastating damage))
    Last edited by gentledepp; 27-08-2015 at 16:36. Reason: Additional ideas

  2. #32
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    I read carefully all the ideas and particle liked nonoguy's idea of exploring the underwater bases as an person and interact with environment/people and why not expand this to also fighting like a 3rd person rpg/shooter(like a Fallaut character).
    In my opinion this will make the game more interesting, you will have underwater ships fights, invade the base, exit from your ship and continue the mission as an person.

  3. #33
    Registered User OnyxIdol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharr View Post
    I read carefully all the ideas and particle liked nonoguy's idea of exploring the underwater bases as an person and interact with environment/people and why not expand this to also fighting like a 3rd person rpg/shooter(like a Fallaut character).
    In my opinion this will make the game more interesting, you will have underwater ships fights, invade the base, exit from your ship and continue the mission as an person.
    I don't think that's viable, because you would basically have to program two completely different core gameplay modes.
    Last edited by OnyxIdol; 28-08-2015 at 14:04.

  4. #34
    Registered User Gamlet's Avatar
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    Hi NorbertDA!
    In various locations, are located terminals with audio news, they may also broadcasts over the air. This can be useful for finding quests and to add a feeling of free explorer and adventurer.
    The wise man always stands firmly feet on the ground while his head is in the riad ... in paradise.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnyxIdol View Post
    I don't think that's viable, because you would basically have to program two completely different core gameplay modes.
    They say that want to create a revolutionary game who "game unlike any other out there, and you can truly impact the development of the game early on" .... so this is a nice addition, 2 in 1

  6. #36
    Aquanox Producer NorbertDA's Avatar
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    @gentledepp

    If you re-watch my Stream when we played Aquanox 2, you can see that I agree with the ship behaviour that you describe. I agree entirely that the ships should behave more like a submarine, and we're certainly explore this a lot in Aquanox Deep Descent.

    You can see what I am talking about in our recent stream here (at 00:18:00 and onward)
    http://www.twitch.tv/digitalarrow/v/13215460

    We are already exploring the swirling up of sand and it's impact on gameplay, and I love the idea of the sand hiding!

    For the bumping into stuff, you can see my comments again, in the recent stream at about (at 01:09:00 and onward) - also, make sure to check out part at around 01:11:30 and on about ramming into other ship and ramming gear ideas we have (still early to be fixed, but it's an idea we're tackling!)
    http://www.twitch.tv/digitalarrow/v/13215460

    --

    @Tharr and @OnyxIdol

    Aquanox Deep Descent is a game within which we focus primarily on combat with your ships. First person combat (or any kind of combat on stations, would mean an entirely different gameplay/game than what we have with the ships as OnyxIdol wrote. While it would be an interesting thing, it would mean we'd indeed be creating 2 games at once, and we don't want to jeopardize the ship combat for a half-hearted FPS on-station combat. We think it's a better approach to focus on the ships.
    Check out the Aquanod Deep Descen Kickstarter! Thank you all for your support!

    ~Digital Arrow Producer & Lead Designer

  7. #37
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    Interior of the bases

    While I understand the idea behind not making an FPS mode as it might make the game lose focus, what about a stationary FPS mode, like when you are in the base, you can not only see the room from a third person perspective, but also from your character's view.

    You can't move, but you can look around the interior of the ship from that position. That way people could admire the design of the ship, from the floor to the roof, instead of just the doors floors and walls and anything that is not behind the camera.

    Would this work?

  8. #38
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    How to vote for stretch goals in KS ?!?!?

    I saw the idea on the KS site but how and where can you actually vote for stretch goals in the KS ???

  9. #39
    Aquanox Producer NorbertDA's Avatar
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    @MadaoBob

    That's an interesting approach to the situation. We could give it a thought, as that's not a combat approach indeed. You will already be able to look around in an FPS view when inside your own ship's cockpit!

    @Bearhug67

    If you are a Backer for the Kickstarter, you can get invited into the Backer-only forums, where the Voting is done. Please see this Update on our Kickstarter page for the details:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/1331497
    Check out the Aquanod Deep Descen Kickstarter! Thank you all for your support!

    ~Digital Arrow Producer & Lead Designer

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorbertDA View Post
    @Bearhug67

    If you are a Backer for the Kickstarter, you can get invited into the Backer-only forums, where the Voting is done. Please see this Update on our Kickstarter page for the details:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/1331497
    Thanks for the quick reply Norbert.
    I have to admit that the way how to get to the voting reminds me much of the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' scene were Arthur Dent was told how he can find the papers for protesting against the road bypass through his house.
    Quite awkward and well hidden.
    If you hadn't told me I wouldn't have found it. that should have been posted on the KS site or at least into the very first update backer mail.
    Now I wait for being allowed into the backers forum to vote.

    Congratulations for succeeding with the KS.
    I am looking forward to the new game and hope it implements not just fictive but existing new technologies like gravitational propulsion systems like for torpedos and maybe even subs and not just older tech like mines on chain.

    I would also love to see not just human enemies but the environment itself reminding the player how extremely hostile the place is, e.g. implosion danger after structural damage is not addressed soon after damage to pressurized areas.

    Some features could be maybe just optional as too much realism can hog down the game fun for some, e.g. visibility through lights which doesn't go very far instead of enhanced VR projections based on active and passive sensors like sonar and microphones which are the true 'eyes' of this hostile, crushing darkness.

    I also hope that falling objects like rocks, wrecks, etc. fall realistically slower as they would on the surface as this would allow additional battle tactics like some already mentioned with creating falling debris.

    Another aspect I hope for is some good sound editing, giving the game some nice, eerie sound effects which you would expect to hear quite differently underwater then in a much thinner 1 bar atmosphere.
    Please don't ruin the games to give the game world canned sounds which are made for surface battles.
    Like a atmospheric soundtrack is sound everything for a game in this environment. Abyss was an excellent example, never forget that eerie scene were that sub imploded.

    Well, just my five cents of thoughts to the game. I am confident that you guys make a great, atmospheric dense game and not just give us a sub fighting game which sounds and feels like a fighter jet simulator above the ground.

  11. #41
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    Neveer mind the backer forum access

    I just canceled my KS pledge. So you can take me off the backer forum permission list.

  12. #42
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    Light,

    I am a native german speaker, but in order to reach the non-german speaking playerbase as well I will go with the english board here.

    I have taken a look at the suggestions (and concerns) in this and the german suggestions thread and would like to add a few suggestions as well as discussing some of the existing ones. I hope you will appreciate at least some of them.

    Warning: This might end up as a wall of text, I will try my best to keep an easily readable structure though.

    Pre-mission/between missions

    • No focus on endless dialogues, the story is partly told in the missions freeing up time for the player to explore the station for side quests and trading/modifying equipment. I liked the way Schleichfahrt and Aquanox 2 did this.
    • The right ship for the job. This was really great in Aquanox 2. There were missions where certain ships or equipments were better suited for the job. The other games had this, too. But Aquanox 2 did it best. The infiltration missions kept the starter ship viable in later missions, time limits made it neccesary to choose faster, less well armoured/equipped ships instead of your badass bomber.
    • Storage is expensive. With the story progressing the players collect lots of stuff they will not always need. It needs to be stored. While working for your employer they might pay the bill for storage, but certainly not for the five hugeass bombers you collected on the side. Managing your equipment, its storage and expanding how much you can store at once would make sense (i.e. by obtaining your own freighter or frigate class ship to toss it onto).
    • Ship presets. Even with fully modifyable ships players will have their preferred combinations. They should be able to save and store those to easily switch between them or restore the after a mission that required a different setup.


    Gameplay

    • The "arcade tactical approach". Sometimes arcade gameplay is mistaken for people gunning each other down in quick action matches where the fastest trigger action, the biggest gun or the most spam wins, but arcade just implies simple to get into controls and gameplay. So as long as counting torpedoes and carefully planning the right weapons setup feels natural for the player it can still be part of an arcade feel (I consider the Counter Strike series to be an arcade game and public matches tend to be plenty arcade-y, yet many players -including me- consider it to have great tactical depth).
    • Semi-realism at it's best. Aquanox tried binding the output of bigger, energy based guns to the output of the generator. I suggest building on that and adding a "Condensator" to the generator that governs how much energy (how many shots) can be stored for your guns and turrets to use. Software could also govern what system gets priority in low-energy situations.
    • The difference between movement types. "Strafing" using thrusters is a feature that was only introduced in Aquanox. It makes sense to have such a feature in an underwater scenario. It would be interesting to see ships capable of strafing and ships who are not, given that those two can coexist. Especially larger bombers and other big ships would not be able to easily strafe anyways, and would thus require to either build up speed and do attack runs instead of strafing around targets or stay in one place and tank any damage that is dealt to them.


    Modular ships and equipment

    • Modular is not always modular. Frankly speaking, Schleichfahrt ships already were plenty modular, better in some ways than it's sequels were. Given, it was not visible on the hulls but the multitude of equipment permitted various approaches on various situations. Any planned modular system should first take a look at what this game did right and try to work from there. It is especially important to make sure modules do not become "extended skins" by being too similar in function or that certain modules become the "only pick" for certain ship types.
    • Start with the core. For a modular system to be feasible you need good core components (a ship's "main hull") and standardized hardpoints that permit the equipment to fit onto the ship (the ship is built with the equipment in mind). At the same time the equipment should be designed so it can be easily fit into a ship with limited space do it's job properly (the equipment is built with its task in mind).
    • Primary and Secondary. I was not too impressed with the weapons trailer on Kickstarter. Torpedoes are implied to be spammable and guns are completeley exposed to enemy weapons fire. I have to agree with a voice in the german thread that weapon placement for all ships should be reconsidered. Also, turrets, or "secondary weapons" as they were called, need some rethinking. Details will be listed below.
    • Turrets are for defense. Smaller ships like Scouts and Bombers have their primary armament to attack enemy ships and do the "brunt damage". It is not the duty of an automated turret to support gunning down the guy you are already shooting at, they are meant to defend against enemy torpedoes and/or ships getting into your blind spots. Corvettes and frigates can have turrets for attack duties mixed into their defensive armament, something that could be governed by installing the right software (see further below).
    • Needs more gun. Someone stated that weapon slots should permit to install one big bad gun or multiple smaller guns, permitting the player to choose between huge damage but having to plan and aim your shots or less damage but being able to just rain down hell on the enemy. I like the approach. It also fits well with original guns like the "Vendetta" series. It lets early ship designs be limited to certain weapons and setups and delivering the player a reason he can work with by telling him that the Doom Mortar is just too big to fit into a Toiler.
    • Keep it feasible. I said that early ship types should be feasible throughout the game, but how if the early scouts cannot put on the big guns you get in the late game? First off some weapons might have "sized down" versions to permit them on smaller ships, or into turrets. Secondly early guns in the game need to stay feasible in lategame situations. In addition to balancing the different guns with one another early game guns could recieve "software upgrades" that permit minor improvements to close any gaps in performance.
    • Always keep your revolver close. In Schleichfahrt you could choose the size of your torpedo magazine by buying a bigger one and installing it. In Aquanox the size was determined by the ship (which made more sense, of course). I would suggest a combination of both plus one or two extras. Installing a revolver magazine will considerably reduce the time it takes to load a new torpedo, or to switch between torpedo types. But it will reduce the size of the magazine by a certain percentage (round down to the next full number). In addition, some ships can strap torpedos directly onto the hull, with obvious risks and disadvantages involved.
    • Do I have a point? The way hardpoints can be equipped needs to be uniform for all pieces of equipment. It needs to be defined whether a hardpoint permits "any" equipment to be installed or is restricted to certain pieces ( cockpit, guns, torpedoes). Does creating a turret on your ship just require a gun and targetting software or do you need a "turret carcass" to hold the gun? Does installing a better sonar require a cockpit upgrade?
    • You can find it on the "Play Store". Why would every upgrade to your ship require new hardware? Maybe your sonar will already work a lot better if you upgrade the software attached to it? Maybe you can fix that overheating issue on your guns with hotfix 1.1? Maybe a new HUD software lets you resize the viewable area on your 3D map so you can better assess your surroundings. Maybe turret upgrade 2.0 will permit you to tell the turret "kill incoming flash sharks first" or "ignore unguided torpedoes".


    HUD and stuff

    • I spy you with my HUD. Since visibility is limited by the cockpit design and the HUD should not clutter it on top of that the information on the screens should be limited. The preview pictures shows cockpits with 3 to 4 smaller LCD screens. The player should be able to change what each screen shows amd maybe even their number. It would be great to include a button that activates the mouse curser ingame so the player can just click on the screens to cycle through the information displayed. This way a player can choose which information he deems most neccesary in a certain situation.
    • Gun or no Gun? Should my equipped gun be visible on the screen? I suggest that one of the LCD screens in the HUD should display all neccesary information about the eqiupped guns and the available torpedos. If a ship design permits a glimpse at the barrel through the cockpit it would be a nice addition, but the ships should not be designed specifically to show the guns on the HUD.


    Okay, I think I wrote enough for today. I might talk about specific weapons old and new next, but first I need to unwind my brain.

    Until then, have fun writing down your ideas. I hope we all can help improve the idea.

  13. #43
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    Lightbulb Men,these are the facts as i understand them...ONE

    So...Happy development...i suppose.
    (i'm not very good at introductions lel)

    I really hope this game will end up being the gem that i always wanted.
    Just to put it out there,i haven't played archimedean dynasty but i have watched reviews...
    I always thought aquanox 1 was the best game in the series,turns out I was wrong as AD seems a lot more realistic
    (aka more enjoyable for me)
    Although I think subs should be able to strafe,it should be just to try and avoid fire (or maneuver in caves and stuff, so large ships can barely strafe)
    So strafing should be really slow.(and torpedoes should be a lot faster and more maneuverable)
    Teleporting...its a childhood fantasy of mine (having a spaceship like sub that can teleport)sooo… yea.

    Well,those were just some introductory suggestions...let the suggesting begin!

    1.Game aesthetic:
    I REALLY HOPE YOU KEEP THE BIONT AND ENTROX SHIPS LOOKING LIKE IN AQUANOX 1.
    You want to make them pilotable (entrox) fine *starts screaming in happiness*...just keep the trilobite looking entrox ships the way they were,and add new ships to express your creativity.
    My entire childhood i have waited for an aquanox sequel where i could get hired by entrox and pilot the mighty executor...instead i got that fail called revelation with its horrible prototype cthulhu ship.
    Other than entrox and the bionts i feel like you can figure out whats best for aqua.
    I believe in you guys!!!

    2.Open World:

    -Its all about random side missions, go to an entrox base->accept some randomly generated missions->get a loyalty card->get in an executor->*EXPLOSIONS*.

    -you could make a trading system, some simulated economy(if neopolis has some of its extractor facilities destroyed by another faction they have to rely more on buying their resources,and they go to a mini war with the attacking faction so you get a job offer to help with retaliation etc.)

    Make missions have an accept timer,if it expires and you don't get the mission it will happen anyway but with an npc getting the job instead
    (This makes it so that you can stumble across the random missions anyway, and decide to help out, as can npcs decide to join your missions and lend a hand, for money, or out of their own will)

    example: you are docked to a random base, you pilot a mighty phobocaster, you see an alert of a mission that's ready to expire...damn the base will be attacked by pirates...nah my PBC is way too good for these chum...30 secs later you are in your customization menu in the hangar, The engineers just finished mounting a new set of double engines on the PBC (in just 30 secs...wow) now it looks like an x-wing, double F*** YEA...wait, an alarm is sounding...the voice tells everyone to board their ships to help defend...damn...i should have accepted the mission, now I’m left to defend the base for free...
    You get in your ship and launch...damn...2 pirate frigates and 50 fighters against the local population and a single
    tech-bomber, none of the poor civies stand a chance...good thing i have 2 torpedo Racks full with 12 big bang torps and several flash sharks, I might have to use all of them just to get out alive...but first let’s use our new twin railguns.
    (i really hope you bring the Phobocaster back as well, QUADUPLE RAILGUNS F*** YEAAAA!!!!)

    -in order for the expiring missions to work,time has to keep going even when you are in a base or cap ship.
    (Just add a pause button where you can still order stuff in a base while time is frozen.)
    Also hangar modifications should take some time (add a skip to completion button)so you can't just change your ship entirely and accept a mission that's close to expiring

    -missions could vary in purpose: defend a ship, destroy some ships, attack a building or installation, capture a life pod that's still inside its ship, assassinate a guy without being detected(more on stealth later),rescue an animal(or capture it),attack a cap ship, dispose of minefields, deliver stuff(and get attacked midway),join a fightclub, defend from bionts, get contacted by the bionts and listen to what they offer you(a biont ship for some "services"),etc.

    -make an affiliation screen where you can check your relationship with all the factions (including the bionts and schax)
    hmm...i wonder how can you befriend the schax...maybe make a telepathic translator(with biont tech) and help them eat nuclear reactors lol.

    -anyway, make the factions have dynamic relationships a.k.a. they want total control for themselves so they befriend each other and then backstab each other and go to war.

    Example:
    Neopolis (or whatever its name will be in this game) befriends entrox but when they become strong enough they mount an assault against entrox energy facilities (I will personally massacre every one of them for that)
    So those 2 go to war and so, depending on your affiliation,you can accept missions to strike against your friendly faction's enemy.
    When one of the 2 succumbs to the war, their economy tanks (due to warship production and loss) and the remaining ships get converted to transports and economy centered ships in order to rebuild over the ruins of their former empire.
    If such wars happen random huge battles could spawn in certain areas of the game world with 10-20 cap ships duking it out and small fighters , bombers and corvettes assisting and defending them.
    Those battles would be marked on the map along with the participating sides...and so civies could assist in the battles for a large affiliation boost with the faction they help(and consequences regarding enemy faction affiliation.)

    This could be a way to boost relations with the bionts...if you attack your fellow humans,
    the bionts will become friendly for the duration for the battle and will contact you afterwards (Be aware that at the bionts hate everyone)
    So you will lose relationships with everyone by helping them...so what’s the bright side???
    FULL BIONT ARSENAL AT YOUR DISPOSAL crafted by them especially so that you can pilot those ships...
    Wouldn't it be boring to have enemies all around you and have biosynthetic organisms as your only friends???
    Well...no, why?
    Because somehow using your brain as a catalyst the bionts manage to reactivate the last remaining part of their last hope...the survion.
    And now you can call for help from your fellow bionts just like you could if you were employed by any other faction.
    The bionts, more powerful than ever and using their synthetic wisdom they decide not to exterminate the humans as gratitude to you and the other human npcs that decided to join them.
    And as such the bionts start to improve their relationships with the human factions by offering services (transport,resources,etc.),but not technology.
    Thing which the humans want, and as such the humans steal some biont tech, reverse-engineer, blah, blah, and now the humans are just as powerful as the bionts...the only advantage that the bionts have is the impossibly gigantic survion mk2 that has the largest front mounted cannon in existence capable of destroying a small moon if charged for long enough.
    I imagine the cannon would be comprised of the front half of the ship that opens up when the gun charges with 2 railgun like rods sticking from the top and bottom of the ship.

    Sooo...isn’t the survion a little op???
    After all, it sports a beam cannon that can fire continuously for several tens of seconds and obliterates anything in its path.

    Well, as I see it, the survion was the bionts last hope of survival (as a space-faring race) they maybe found the earth a long time ago when they were being attacked by some unknown terror that they fled from, so they sent the survion to the lush green\blue planet called earth as a last resort.
    But by the time they arrived,the humans dun diddly f***** up and destroyed the planet
    (Reason why the bionts were so aggressive in the first games was anger, as their survival was now even less probable due to the retarded humans)
    So the mk2 survion works on the same tech as the original space ship so its Particle accelerator turrets are not made for underwater combat (they don’t do s***)
    the only PA that's powerful enough to work under water is the planet killer cannon (that takes weeks to charge in order to destroy a planet)charging it several minutes only lets it to fire several tens of secs and can obliterate cap ships.(not bad really)but it can only fire once in a blue moon so its reserved for the most dangerous capships in a battle (and has a ridiculous collateral damage range around the beam).

    Well, that was really long... but that's a list of suggestions about the open world
    (So make it more like a better X series but underwater and with better combat and customization a.k.a. drop the campaign story and integrate it in the open world so that certain missions are story related but you have to wait for them to pop up from time to time)

    3. Owning property

    You could make it so that you can buy capships or build\buy stations but it’s not 100% needed.
    Just owning a couple extra ships as computer controlled wingmen(which means you can remote control them),or computer controlled Drones (also control-able) that are really fast(torpedo speed)but have little in terms of weaponry (so send some to an enemy bomber to take out its turrets or engines then snipe it from behind)
    Hmm...maybe owning a flagship as a mobile HQ would not be a bad idea, your flagship would differ depending on your employer: EnTrOx Gigantic Trilobite with twin side engines, Survion mk2 for bionts, creole girl for...dunno.
    Or your very own customizable capship if you buy it with your own money.(the non-freelancer capships could have their hardpoints and hangar ships customisable but not their aesthetics)
    Maybe you could order your factions ships around depending on your rank in the faction...
    Some 3d rts elements maybe? your choice...

    4.combat

    6 DOF combat with relatively slow ships (really fast torpedoes and drones) torps can only be evaded by shooting them, turning off main engines and strafing with RCS so they lose lock, or buzzers.

    Drones can be shot down by the maneuverable fighters but only point defence turrets can shoot them down when engaging bombers or larger ships (PD turrets come in Continuous Beam ,Gatling gun and Plasma gun variants and any other that you come up with...)

    Ships use a hardpoint system: light hardpoints can switch weapons mid-flight aquanox style while heavy hardpoints can only be re-purposed in a hangar(so that 5000 kg railgun of yours will not be exchanged that easily)

    Turrets can also be in light and Heavy variants and can mount all weapons that go on normal hardpoints.
    Normal hardpoints start as fixed but can be swapped for gimballed versions(for a fee)

    Now...this is really serious, if you want a simple fps game, ill be disappointed.
    If you want a more of a good looking\feeling sim game then you can implement a fire control system

    Play "Starshatter:the gathering storm" to get an idea of a “realistic 6DOF sim”, its free!

    What I'm saying is that combat should be done at longer ranges. Torpedoes should accelerate as they fly and become harder to evade the farther you are from them.

    Also a type of torps should be short range and have thrust vectoring but, you know, short range and stuff and have a low payload due to wide angle seekers taking space and stuff.

    There is no need for instrument screens such as sonar screens and sensor interfaces but, for example you could mount a long range railgun (long range as in 10-12km).
    But your passive sensors can’t see that far, can they?
    So you either send scout drones to report enemy locations or turn on your high power active sensors.
    These make you visible to everyone that has a line of sight to you but if say, an enemy does this, you first receive a warning and in a couple of seconds your computer determines the emitters position. So if you just ping once, you get intel on ship positions but the enemy doesn’t know where you are yet.
    (if they are smart they turn on their active sensors and start searching for you)
    But active sensors should only see ships in a front cone and yet emit in all directions, so you would have to stay near a cave wall or other object to stop the emission from going everywhere.

    So the more you ping (or set the active sensors to continuous pulse) you get more detailed info such as.
    First ping: number of ships in detection cone(which would be about 45 degrees) and general angle relative to you
    Second ping: enemy is given a 180 degree search "cone" in your general direction, you get enemy ranges and sizes
    (even now the enemy doesn't know if you are hostile or not so they don't mind you much, unless they are in high alert.)
    By now you can engage the enemy as you know what ships are out there, and you have their ranges, so your on-board computer can calculate a lead indicator position, but you don’t know which ships are civies and which are enemies, friendlies broadcast private IFF data so no problem there, but civies and freelancers don’t, so you can just ping a third time
    Third ping: you get complete data such as ship aspect in relation to you, ship bearing and ship range, full 3d coordinates of the enemy, now enemies have a 45 degree search cone for your ship.
    So if the enemy knows about your relative position and they also have active sensors.
    Then what does sniping give you?

    Well, not many people keep long range cannons on their ships, as they reload painfully slow, they take up a heavy hard point(which are rare), hold only 1 round in the chamber and they take a long time to charge up(charging is part of reloading process)
    Sure autocannons have clips with several rounds, and some have ammo belts but those have a lot shorter range than single shot charge guns and deal a lot less damage.

    And why keep a single shot railgun on a precious Heavy hardpoint when you can mount a torpedo Rack filled with several cruise anti sonar torpedoes that are as close as you get to anti sniper duty(other than counter sniping)

    Anti-sonar cruise torpedoes when launched are extremely fast, have extremely long range and have a huge damage output.
    But they require their target to keep their active sensors on to guide towards them.
    Even if it’s just a ping, ASCT's can lock onto its source and fly using inertial guidance until they are within 1km(the activation range can be changed by the pilot)range from their target, where they switch to active sonar guidance and *BOOM* no more snipers.

    BUT! As in any good game there is a but (yes I know how that sounds, lel)

    ASCT's can be countered.
    As your advanced ship computer can keep track of your location perfectly (I blame magic)
    And keep track of the sensor return positions also perfectly (god damnit magic!!!)
    You as the sniper can engage your target, relocate, and engage again, pinging every now and then.
    And if the ASCT's don't come close enough to you to detect you, you won’t go boom.
    you can also use terrain as cover(hide behind a rock, pop above, shoot, go back until you see the ASCT pass around you)just wait in cover until you are sure that no more ASCT's are incoming or you will be boned(the enemy can spam ASCT's just to keep you in cover until they come into engagement range)

    If all of those aren't enough you can also blind fire ASCT's and hope they home on something when they go active
    but you will have to set the range of activation manually and ASCT's are actively guided(they emit sound) so everyone with a line of sight will know where the ASCT is when it goes active, meaning that if you want them to have success you must judge the optimum activation range yourself (lower activation range=better chance to find a target and more time for people to get out of the way, longer activation range=surprise attack unless the enemy is pointing his high frequency sonar in its general direction at which point he already is aware of the incoming torpedo)

    end of post 1...lel
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  14. #44
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    Two

    HF sonars are optional sonars that are part of a towed array, a medium sized buoy like device that occupies a Heavy hardpoint.
    (you also have an HF sonar on-board but it’s very weak ~2km range, while towed array: ~5km range)
    TA’s can be launched like a big torpedo, and guided using the map, towed behind your sub or simply dropped somewhere, they are your second pair of disposable underwater eyes(the array can be recovered by calling it back, it’s a drone after all)
    The array can detect objects of even the smallest sizes (including ASCT's and passive torpedoes)
    (Passive torps don’t give out a warning but have low detection\lock-on range)
    Your active sonar can be set to HF mode, but your on-board HF sonar is directional (forward facing) and has shorter range when compared to the towed HF, which is also omni-directional, the towed array can also be used as a decoy for ASCT's.

    The tactic is as following:

    You make a small sniper’s nest somewhere

    You send your TA some 500m to your left and set it to jamming mode(it emits a powerful continuous signal).
    This scares animals away and jams enemy sonars(the only Detectable and lockable thing is the TA)
    so seeing the returns from the TA and getting full info of the enemy, you engage them, shoot twice and destroy two fighters, but then your TA gives a warning...an ASCT is within 5 km of it and coming its way, so you order it to switch its sonar to “HF-only”(no active pinging) while you ping your on-board sonar
    So that the torpedo targets your sonar emission instead and heads towards you...the advantage???
    You can see the torpedo\es from several km away from you (the TA HF sonar tells you where they are) and so you can shoot them or hide from them(an ASCT is designed to be a surprise attack and so if you can see it with an HF sonar while its guidance is not active yet you can evade or shoot it from afar)
    The ASCT’s are actively guided, so turning off engines doesn’t work, only buzzers will save you.
    ASCT’s I imagine would look like SDB’s (small diameter bombs, look it up, they are AWESOME)

    sooo if you have a TA you can evade all ASCT's?

    Not if the launching pilot is smart enough,
    He can tell the torp not to ever reassign targets which means you can’t trade the incoming torp with the TA, so the TA will have to use its small RCS engine to get away from the torp, thing that it cannot always do, sure it can hide behind the environment, if it has where, but unless you place the TA manually, you don't have great precision when you tell it to relocate, and as such it might get hit by the torp.
    The enemy can fire 2 ASCT's, one that reassigns targets and one that doesn't, so when you pull your little scheme
    you will have a torp coming for you and one for the TA...are you willing to take an ASCT to the face and shoot down the one that’s going for the TA, or are you too afraid of death and you'll hide waiting for the TA to blow up?

    all of the possible outcomes depend on the environment, player experience and enemy difficulty(which should be dynamic, as in, you can find an enemy that is too bad to hit you with a shotgun point blank and one that will kick the a** of an entire army single-handedly)

    That sounds like an equal fight between sniper and ASCT's.
    Though an even more difficult task is sniping a sniper that is sniping you while you snipe
    [Insert meme here]
    It’s pretty much a pinging fight. You ping and shoot and the enemy does the same, the one that wins is the one that sets his sonar to continuous and predicts the enemy’s movement the best.
    (Or the one that runs away and hides behind a rock waiting for the enemy to come and investigate the disappearance of his foe, at which point he pops out from behind the rock and discharges all 4 railguns into his opponent even though it only takes only one to kill him, you know, no kill like an overkill.)
    You could fire a di-pol mine (a kind of mine that teleports near the opponent and starts seeking him)
    It can’t teleport inside its blast radius due to limitations to the di-pol system regarding teleportation near significant solid masses but it will seek the closest enemy and destroy him unless he outruns it or shoots it, so what are the advantages of those in a sniper battle???
    No way of detecting teleporting objects, unless the enemy has an HF turned on, he won't know what hit him (unless the mine superpositions in front of him...massive fail, that right there)
    di-pol mines also fit on Heavy Hardpoints but have low ammo due to large payload and the fact that spamming those almost guarantees that the enemy dies(unless he has PD turrets that auto target mines)the drawback is that you need an enemies position to lock onto (a sensor return) and the mines take ridiculously long to lock on to that position, superpositioning you see, it’s not easy stuff, you need a lot of computing power to send that mine to the enemy and not to Forneus...you dont want the mine to end up near Forneus, trust me.

    So how do you visualize your enemy?
    After all, you can't see him 20 km away…
    (Distance that an ASCT covers in mere seconds, around 10-12 secs)
    sooo how do I see the sonar returns???
    1 out of 2 ways, either you have a dedicated popup menu that displays everything you would ever need to know about what the sonar is seeing…
    or you have a HUD overlay that shows the sonar signal propagating ala “X:rebirth scanner mode” alongside ghostings of the detected ships.
    At first the ghostings look like blobs then they get bigger or smaller depending on ship size, and a small label appears under each of the blobs indicating ship type and range, then the ghosts turn into the models of the actual ships and you get name label, ship type label, affiliation, etc.(the progression happens with number of sonar pings)
    The HUD should also make it look like the ocean is brighter when the active sonar is functioning continuously...just to give you a sense of awareness. (the continuous mode gives you live information of the targets but also gives your position away instantly)


    So what about close range combat???

    Heavy hardpoints: Shotguns, torpedo racks, Heavy rotary autocannons, Heavy Beam cannons(pulsed or continuous), mine racks, TA's, deployable turrets, heavy autocannons(clip and belt fed),heavy shredders, heavy versions of light weapons really


    Light hardpoints: plasma guns(gatling, semi-auto), small autocannons(beltfed,1 or 2 barrels that fire in succession)
    shredders(kinetic weapons with ridiculous fire rate that fire in short bursts and have very limited ammo capacity)

    Shredder description: a box like weapon (rectangular) with a large opening on the front, has 10 ammo belts hanging onto its top and outer side(relative to submarine),cooling vents\slats cover its outsides, has no other significant aesthetic features which signals its simplicity,
    When firing it creates a gigantic muzzleflash with sparks and fire coming out of its cooling vents, that occupy almost the entire screen(it only fires for a maximum of 2 seconds a burst)after the burst is finished the weapon is glowing red having just fired 2000 caseless compact kinetic rounds each just 2mm in diameter.
    Such small rounds shouldn't pose a threat to a submarine, but when propelled by what is pretty much the railgun cousin of the gatling gun, the speed of those projectiles makes sure that the enemy is ripped from the atomic level up, as the small pellets melt into an atomic paste due to kinetic energy being transformed to heat through friction, against the enemy hull and still, a lot of energy is left to propel this paste through the hull breaking the atomic bonds that keep the it together.
    Seems like a wonder weapon...but when you can only fire one 4 times before running dry you must really prioritize targets.
    (4 times if you only get the standard ammo load, you can unload your other ammo types and add more ammo for the shredder, or use cargo space to cram more ammo for it)
    Good thing it has the same range as an autocannon and is just about as accurate, just set your computer to compensate for the ridiculous recoil and you'll be fine.
    if you thought that ammo and burst length is a problem get the heavy version, it comes with improved cooling and integrated ammunition storage(like all heavy weapons do) so you don’t have to keep the ammo in your cargo hold.
    And even better it can fire up to 10 seconds a burst but can only fire for 20 secs in total. (this time no more cargo tricks)
    Sadly the heavy version does less damage due to hardware limitations.*cough* balance *cough*

    So I Talked about weapons but not short range combat in general...It’s like in archimedean dynasty or aquanox, point, shoot, try to stay behind the fighters and dodge enemy turret fire...subs are rather slow, so no 1km range dogfights.
    Most of the battle would happen while approaching the enemy with torpedoes and railgun fire everywhere
    When you get close the fun begins but most of the enemy ships long succumbed to torpedoes and cannon fire.

    if you wanted you could stretch the di-pol technology even further and say that fighters can speed up to jet fighter speed for short amounts of time by compressing space around them so they can boost around the battlefield in order to escape or attack enemies, so 2 fighters could engage di-pol "slip" and dogfight in this accelerated state where they strafe much faster and moving forwards happens at great speeds (you will need gimballed weapons in order to keep up with the enemy in this frantic state and it would only hold for several seconds at a time)

    So, long range tactical combat with cruise torpedoes and railguns: check
    Short range combat: check

    4. interface

    DO NOT MAKE SUBS HAVE GLASS COCKPITS!!!!! IT’S PREPOSTEROUS!!!!
    (hmm... complicated words here, damn)

    X:rebirth screen and cameras combo "blue moon cockpit" if you want cockpit decorations or struts, fine but looking at the ship from third person and seeing a giant glass dome on it makes me explode in anger,that goes on spaceships aswell
    there are no glass windshields in space, AND THERE SURE AREN'T THERE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE DAMN OCEAN WHEN YOU ARE ALSO BEING SHOT AT WITH AUTOCANNONS AND TORPEDOES...phew...I really hope ships in this game have visible cameras that change focus and animate once in a while, if you have something that looks like a glass cockpit but it’s made out of armor instead, i'm all ok with that.
    The reason behind my point about screens inside the cockpit is that I loved the HUD in aquanox 1 with the floating panels and stuff...in here I think that you could simulate a cockpit position using camera feed pretty well, so when you look to your sides while piloting a phobocaster you can see its giant engines but if you look towards the back your POV switches from the nose of the ship to the side of it, so you can see behind and the body of the sub which also becomes semi-transparent so with this technique you have 360 degree awareness and all of this is done with hull mounted camera magic.
    And if you have screens instead of a window you can make transparent popup menus come up on the screens
    And even a small cursor to select options with and designate targets for your turrets, drones and gimballed hardpoints.
    And no hologram magic involved.
    I really want a system management menu like in elite:dangerous where you limit engine thrust in order to not come up on passive sonars, manage cargo space, manage weapon fire modes and presets, check temperatures, hull and subsystem integrity...basically take everything that elite:dangerous does to ship system management (including sensors, emissions, etc.)...and add a form of damage system, aka right engine is damaged past 50% better turn it off so it doesn't blow up, light Hardpoint 1 damaged past 75% no more gimballing and\or weapon switching, etc.
    I really hope that those little popup menus can allow us full control over not only our ships systems and sensors but also our allies, drones, owned AI ships, etc.
    May we be able to manage our fleet and empire just from those menu's.
    May we be able to slow down time in order to designate targets for our ship and order our allies with ease.(and watch the shredders fire in slow motion *tears up*)

    and one last thing for this post...
    even if we have the pov where the cockpit is I really want you to keep the way you see weapons in aquanox 1 and 2

    I want to somehow, through computer image editing magic, for the weapons that I have mounted on my ship to stick out from the corners of my screen and when I turn the camera to look at them, the computer should change the pov to a sort of a gun mounted camera where i can inspect the beauty of those guns and the hull of my ship
    the pov should be like a ghost that flies around the ship and staying really close to it and when you look forwards the computer should combine video feed from different cameras to give you the weapons sticking out the side of the screen look(that would be the lore at least)

    and when I look at these guns I don’t want to see fantasy stuff I don’t need plasma shooting antennas or lasers that look like blue blobs (lasers are beams, something many games don’t digest too well due to gameplay reasons as beams would be hitscan making aiming them easier, bla, bla)

    When I see guns I want to see this:

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    There is also concept of a railgun (vague concept of Survion Mk2...yes it should look like a giant railgun) an image of my favourite ship design that I'll kill to see comeback in this game(along with the Phobocaster)
    The art of that large mech is to show off how a muzzleflash is truly well made especially the proportion between the gun and the flames (sparks included, always)

    The pics of the guns are there to show how awesome real life guns can look when not enclosed in the hulls of their vehicles (just like they hang on the side of subs in the aquanox games)
    I really think that seeing a 7 barrel RAC being fed by one of those heavy duty 30mm ammo belts while the muzzleflash occupies half of the screen and a continuous stream of bullets just pours out of the damn thing with the only thing you can hear is that loud slightly muffled *BRRRRRR* sound would be a dream come true, please make this happen guys.
    BTW this could be an aesthetically pleasing simulator which means you must excuse aesthetic realism, so weapons can have giant animated (particle) muzzleflashes(particle muzzleflashes look good in slow motion especially if they contain many sparks),guns hang on hardpoints outside the ship(impractical but AWESOME),the ocean…well I think the ocean should be dark anyway…
    Torpedoes should leave a large bubble\jet trail behind them(and have folding wings)
    Subs should NOT have visible Propellers…instead large engine pods as in the predecessors and RCS should look like cavitating puffs (space RCS underwater) cavitation happens when water is pushed against something really hard (a propeller with high RPM) or in our case pushed out of small nozzles at high velocities.
    (Cavitation is the process of water turning into steam and making bubbles because of high pressure\friction caused by a solid mass, this heats the solid mass past 100 degrees C causing it to wear out and the water to boil around it, as we know IRL kinetic energy is lost through friction with a material, and converted into heat) so our aquanox subs being much faster than real subs would mean that not only do the engines cavitate, but the hull of the ship as well. Meaning that low and slow is the way to go in stealth (turn down engines and go as low as possible, as cavitation is dependent on ship speed and depth. The deeper you go, the faster you can move without cavitating)
    Cavitation makes a LOT of noise and as such sonars can see you from many miles away if you cavitate (aquanox subs cavitate ALL THE TIME!!!) this is why you must turn your engines down and stop the cavitation if you don’t want to be detected(RCS cavitates as well)
    If you want to see how RCS looks like in space search for the Russian Soyuz docking (the Russians have more footage of RCS than the Americans do)

    I really believe that you guys can make a great game
    I made this post not to try and patronize you but to give you my notion of what aqua should be like
    you can pick some ideas from me and many more from the rest of the community and you will have a fan pleasing game, add some of your ideas in the mix and you will have a little bit of everything, for everyone.

    I didnt want to say this but I really need to scratch this itch....
    PLEASE MAKE THE BULLETS IN THIS GAME MOVE AT HIGH VELOCITIES
    i'm sick of sci-fi games making projectiles nothing but crawling blobs on the screen just like torpedoes were in aquanox 1, the vendeta gatling had projectile velocities that were acceptable (if in doubt make bullets even faster than that)
    Heck in my vision of aqua ASCT’s can cover 20 km in 22-25 secs depending of acceleration rate(not realistic but terrifying to see incoming, which in a combat game is fun, and regular torpedoes are much slower)

    If I have made any logic gaps and\or missed something *inevitable*

    Please point it out and ill correct\explain.

    And if the devs are blown away by my awesome description of aqua...
    I’m almost always in front of my computer so I can make further suggestions...lel
    Well I wish all of you that read this post (and everyone that doesn’t) that you have a nice successful life span…
    ...
    ...
    ...
    K bye!
    (I'm not very good at outros either)

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  15. #45
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    Light,

    I took my time reading Drake's posts and thinking about some ideas of my own. I would like to present those... well, right now .

    Weapons/Equipment:

    The ideas found here are based on systems described in the manga "Arpeggio of Blue Steel". I recommend the read to anyone interested in marine warfare (interest in manga is optional, but helpful ). Also it is not focused too heavily on "fanservice", which is a plus at least to me . If you are interested in implementing those ideas make sure to contact the author. I am sure he will just love helping you, seeing how he also is into "dystopian future naval warfare".

    Sound cluster Torpedo: This torpedo can be seen in action for the first time in chapter 12. The basic principle is that the torpedo releases a cluster of mini-speakers that create a field fo noise that makes any sort of sonar-based detection impossible. In the manga it is possible to detect ships on the outside of the field while connected to the torpedo by creating an unobstruced area with a changing pattern.

    While the original idea is quite well thought out it might be too complex for a rather fast-paced game. Thus I have thought about a few modifications to the basic idea:
    • The torpedo is rather slow and unguided. It will travel along it's path, releasing new sound cluster drones every x seconds.
    • The sound clusters will drift outwards, creating a mantle of sound in which it is impossible to use passive or active sensors. Main sensors, turret tracking systems and sonar based torpedoe guidance systems will not function inside, HUD based features like enemy health status or movement tracking are disabled or greatly reduced.
    • In this time the player is forced to rely on his own vision. This also goes for the player who shot the Sound cluster torpedo. Ships on the outside of the field can detect the field, but not what is inside.
    • The travel time of the torpedo is roughly 60-90 seconds. The torpedo can be used as an alternative to silencing devices to sneak past station defenses or to mask your own (unguided) torpedoes for suprise attacks. It can also be used to greatly reduce the firepower of opponents that rely heavily on automated turrets and torpedoes.


    Micromotion tiles: Much like many people asked for, this is a skinning for the ship that greatly reduces it's noise level. In the manga, the tiles are compromised of some sort of simple nanomatrial and shift their positions on the hull to scatter incoming sensor scans, reducing it's "thumbprint" much like modern stealth coating do for airplanes. The main difference here is that the micromotion tiles are a kind of machine that needs to be activated and takes up some (minor) energy.

    It seems that when a part of the hull is damaged the micromotion tiles lose their effectivity, I recommend keeping this disadvantage in the game.

    Passive/Active sonar and optical systems

    Leaving the "borrowed ideas department" and talking about sensors. I just gave two ideas to make players invisible to a system that I never bothered to talk about. How relyable should those systems be, what should or should they not do?

    Passive sound based sensors: Should be found in pretty much every ship and weapons system in Aqua. While passive detection cannot tell you much beyond how big your opponent is and can be disrupted the easiest simply by reducing your noise you make, or creating bigger noise to cover yours, it is especially important in stationary systems that protect industrial or living quarters, where constant noise from surrounding defenses would be a burdon to the general population. More important facilites have defensive armaments with active sensors, but only activate the active scanning in times of emergencies.

    Active sound based sensors: Mostly common on ships of all sizes, they permit a better picture of your surroundings, but also mark your presence to surrounding enemies. These Sensors can only be disrupted by creating loud noises in a bigger area or by micromotion tiles. Using the right software in combination with active sensors permits the player to display information about a logged-on ship in the hud or use the computer to track the opponents course. to help with aiming the guns.

    Optical sensors: Rare and uncommon they are usually part of turret systems or torpedoes. Their range is limited by the visibility in the surrounding waters and can be obstructed by raising dust from the seabed. Strong radiation like it can be found close to the POM cover on the surface will also disturb those sensors. At short ranges however those sensors are unrivalled in precision and cannot be shaken off by any known man-made system.

    Cockpit systems (thanks @Drake TheWabbit for the idea):

    Armored glass: The most basic cockpit design. It permits direct vision for the pilot and is cheap to produce, but only has a limited field of vision. While sturdy and capable of withstanding depth pressure well it is not that suited in combat situations. It can take damage from energy based weapons better than damage from kinetic weapons like the vendetta.

    Metal coated with virtual cockpit: Instead of a glass capsule the cockpit is covered with metal armor like the rest of the ship. Optical sensors are added to the hull to project a virtual cockpit around the player character. This cockpit provides a better field of vision at the cost of "image quality". Also the same limitations as with the "Optical sensors" (see above) apply. These cockpits are often used by military ships to improve protection of the pilots.

    Regarding @Drake TheWabbit and his idea on combat:

    I agree that combat, especially using torpedoes should be possible from beyond the general vision range in Aquanox (the 300odd meters you could see opponents from in the older games). Sensor detection range on more advanced sensors within the game should reflect that (maybe with the possibilty to change the area shown on sonar/3D sensors in your HUD). However I disagree on doing most of the combat on ranges of 5 to 10 km shooting on undistinguishable dots in the blue background and only moping up the renmants at shorter distances.

    The obvious arguement is that the combat in Schleichfahrt and Aquanox was always close up and personal. Implementing the changes as Drake suggested would be a drastic change in gameplay compared to the predecessors.

    Also, it might make sense that more advanced weapons have such a range, even underwater where friction soaks up kinetic energy like crazy, but I think it might make more sense that even those powerful weapons are fired at shorter ranges where their kinetic power is at maximum (and sensor data is more reliable).

    The most likely weapons used at these distances are torpedoes. However the compact size especially of Scouts should limit the usage of those at such ranges. Also many of the more advanced torpedoes in Aqua seem to be built with dogfighting in mind, sacrificing range for maneuverability. It might, however be nice to use a few of your Flash Sharks to disable a central Frigate from safe distances before jumping into a group of enemy ships.

    Of course, those are just my two cents. I always liked the "dogfighting" part of the game a lot, although I agree with many players that the AI needs an overhaul so it puts up more of a fight .

    About "weapons visible from the cockpit" and "great visible effects like muzzle flash etc":


    There are good reasons to mount a weapon on the outside of a military vehicle and good reasons to keep them inside. Modern jet fighters often have their missiles hidden inside the plane not only for aerodynamic purposes but also to reduce their radar shadow. Helicopters and ground attack planes who need to carry many different weapon systems often do so in open pods so they are easily interchangable. Both kinds should be reflected in the game. However I think that exposed weapons should always carry the risk of being destroyed by the enemy. This should not be added solely "because it looks cool".

    I even think this could be expanded on: The player might choose to place an exposed weapon as additional primary gun or secondary gun turret or invest some extra credits in an armor casing, that adds weight on the ship but reduces drag (while manouvering) and increases the damage a weapon might take.

    Regarding muzzle flash: I am not sure a muzzle flash underwater would look similar to what it does on the surface. There is no oxygen atmosphere outside the barrel that a fire could use to spead. Again, instead of implementing it "because it would look cool" I would try to find out how it would actually look under water. Personally I would be more interested in properly reflecting how different kinds of projectiles travel through the water (I know a math blogger that might be capable of helping with both issues).

    @Drake: So you like the Phobos and Entrox ship designs? I was always a huge fan of the Succubus and Succubus 2 designs. Really hope they have a playable design like that in the game again. I am also a fan of the Jumpships that basically compromised the airliners in Aqua. I am hoping that with the new game being a more "free roaming" attempt than the older games we can actually see those jumping in and out entropoints or around the huge cities. Maybe even find and explore a wreckage, stuff like that.
    Last edited by McNtre; 14-09-2015 at 19:41. Reason: Typos etc.

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