Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 91
04-08-2009, 09:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrangian View Post
The problem is there are several episodes where the WHOLE crew is not on the bridge or even a part of the story. So someone (even if you limit this to members of the bridge crew) will be left out of the game play some of the time.
This is one area (among several including ship destruction and character death) where the lines will have to be blurred for playability's sake.

Quote:
So this paragraph here is tantamount to saying - "They can do it, I don't know how, but they can". You've offered nothing.
All I'm saying is what we already know or can assume in this paragraph. Other than the bridge the rest of the ship is optional and how it's handled isn't nearly as important to a successful multiplayer ship design. Elements can be incorporated but needn't be.

Quote:
The fun thing about being Worf is that you know when you press buttons X, Y and Z that you've done something. Because of Woft's years at Starfleet Academy and his years of on the job training he has a keen knowledge of what he does. Of course Worf lives in a fictional universe and when Micheal Dorn presses buttons X, Y and Z nothing really happens he's acting the script moves the story along not his actions.

Relaying scripted information (because it is a game and unfortunately games do not have infinite resources or interactions, even the best games have a limited number of interactions) is not game play. It isn't even really RPing.
We're going to be on away teams and haven't ever handled a phaser in real life either. It's a game, man, elements can be abstracted or tailored for functionality while still conveying the essential content to express the experience. I doubt any station will perfectly recreate the actual functions possible in the series but they should look the part and convey key information in a way people familiar with the series can relate to.

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And now we have the key word (in red) SIM an MMORPG is not a sim and never the twain shall meet.
They have and they will. Pirates of the Burning Sea may not be a full tall ship simulator but they do take into account wind and inertia/momentum and reloading times and boarding actions and port blockades. SWG's space from JtL is a pretty nifty space sim, expecially the multiplayer ships, but there's no content in space so space withers except for PvP on some servers. Sadly, multiplayer ships aren't very good at PvP being gigantic targets full of crew who'd be better off manning a flight of snub fighters.

As time goes on, and games become more developed and better aimed at specific markets, simulation of a setting's key elements will be what determines whether that game gets an audience or not.

That said, all simulations aren't made the same. Some are unduly complex and could do with more abstraction. That's the art of it though. Knowing which details are essential and which just add noise and busywork and unnecessary complexity to a design.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 92
04-08-2009, 10:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OddjobXL View Post
This is one area (among several including ship destruction and character death) where the lines will have to be blurred for playability's sake.
But to blur it in a more acceptable method by just making everyone a captain is wrong... it might not be your cup of tea, but that alone does not make it wrong.

Quote:
All I'm saying is what we already know or can assume in this paragraph. Other than the bridge the rest of the ship is optional and how it's handled isn't nearly as important to a successful multiplayer ship design. Elements can be incorporated but needn't be.
This is what you said -

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So the bridge should be the main focus of the design. Other elements can come later as the developers figure out how to make them "functional" (which is the plan now, evidently), be used primarily as mission locations (as they are now) or just be for entertainment purposes (like Ten Forward, the Captain's Ready Room or the Observation Lounge but potentially including Sick Bay and Engineering and The Holodeck as important locales players might like to visit for their own reasons).
Unfortunately you've not solved the problem. The bridge cannot provide constant (let alone engaging) content for a full PC bridge crew. This is the problem, yet you dance around it and avoid admitting it. Are there people who might be willing to over look this problem? Sure, are there enough to make a successful MMO out of it? No.

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We're going to be on away teams and haven't ever handled a phaser in real life either. It's a game, man, elements can be abstracted or tailored for functionality while still conveying the essential content to express the experience. I doubt any station will perfectly recreate the actual functions possible in the series but they should look the part and convey key information in a way people familiar with the series can relate to.
You didn't read what I said. Standing at the bridge pressing buttons (without a knowledge of what they do) is not the same as firing phasers without a knowledge of them in real life. Relaying information to a PC captain to decided on orders is not the same as firing a phaser.


Quote:
They have and they will. Pirates of the Burning Sea may not be a full tall ship simulator but they do take into account wind and inertia/momentum and reloading times and boarding actions and port blockades. SWG's space from JtL is a pretty nifty space sim, expecially the multiplayer ships, but there's no content in space so space withers except for PvP on some servers. Sadly, multiplayer ships aren't very good at PvP being gigantic targets full of crew who'd be better off manning a flight of snub fighters.
Have you played in the multi-player ships in JtL especially the fairly new gunboats. That's not multi-player ships. That is people sitting in turrets while another person flies the ship. Have you watched Trek there are no gun turrets, gun target is not manual it is done by computer.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 93
04-08-2009, 11:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrangian View Post
But to blur it in a more acceptable method by just making everyone a captain is wrong... it might not be your cup of tea, but that alone does not make it wrong.
Where did I say everyone being a captain is wrong? Didn't I say that singleplayer ships, the exact same ones we'd use for multiplayer, should be the first consideration? Why yes I did. Multiplayer ships can come later on and should be seen more as a diversion than as a cornerstone. Though I will admit I think they'll eventually become by far the most popular way to go it's not practical to design for that assumption. In any case players will be spending more time in singleplayer mode than in groups simply because their regular crews won't always be available.


Quote:
Unfortunately you've not solved the problem. The bridge cannot provide constant (let alone engaging) content for a full PC bridge crew. This is the problem, yet you dance around it and avoid admitting it. Are there people who might be willing to over look this problem? Sure, are there enough to make a successful MMO out of it? No.
There's no satisfactory way in words I can describe how this plays out if you haven't experienced it. I've played SWG PoBs, HSPACE console driven space sims and FASA's tabletop RPG. I've also played games with NPC crews where it's not hard to envision or wish for players to be sharing the experience with like Silent Hunter III or, as we're discussing in the main forum, B-17 II.

You'll have to wait and see for yourself. Or not. It may never come to pass.

Quote:
You didn't read what I said. Standing at the bridge pressing buttons (without a knowledge of what they do) is not the same as firing phasers without a knowledge of them in real life. Relaying information to a PC captain to decided on orders is not the same as firing a phaser.
I suspect I'm still not following you. Reading information from a console, out loud, and inputting new responses to that console as ordered by a captain is confusing? How do you think people in multiplayer games, sims and MMOs alike, coordinate tactical maneuvers? The flow of information and coordinated response is crucial whether you're playing Eve Online or Falcon 4. What's the difference between a squadron or fleet and the bridge of a starship?

Quote:
Have you played in the multi-player ships in JtL especially the fairly new gunboats. That's not multi-player ships. That is people sitting in turrets while another person flies the ship. Have you watched Trek there are no gun turrets, gun target is not manual it is done by computer.
Yes, but that doesn't make an SWG PoB not a sim. In HSPACE, while on my ship gunners were technically in turrets, it was a text-based game so they coordinated their firing actions on a console. The nav station was a console. The pilot's station was a console. Engineering was a console. And we used a ship's intercom to communicate and coordinate actions by typing. This was real time. FASA's RPG handed out cards to everyone at the table, except the captain, and the flow of dialogue from the players to the captain and back as he tried to coordinate actions was pitch perfect. Maybe that was just our group but I recall being amazed by how fun and dramatic it all was.

Now if I scanned in those old pads and described the simplicity of the system you'd probably say, "Balderdash! How could that possibly be entertaining?!" Maybe not with the balderdash part.

However the overall effect was gripping and dramatic. Any part in isolation, not so much, but the gestalt was magic. You were on the bridge.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 94
04-08-2009, 09:47 PM
It might be worth reiterating (or maybe not, but what the heck) that if the ability for players to fill specific bridge roles on one ship is implemented as an optional feature, then that says something useful about the appropriate requirements for player bridge crew content.

Maybe player bridge crew content doesn't need to be designed to push itself at players who might otherwise complain, "I'm bored! There's nothing to do!" because the only people who'll willingly show up to play a bridge role other than ship's commanding officer are the ones who'll want to be there in the first place. They're not likely to be heard muttering, "Bored now!"; these are gamers who are more likely to be saying things like, "Whoa! I get all these sensors and laboratories to play with? Cool!" and "We've got a few minutes between missions -- I wonder what I'd find if I did an internal security scan?"

In other words, the most likely consumers of bridge crew content are going to be players who are already predisposed to enjoy sharing a bridge with friends. They're already thrilled to be there; giving them functional ship systems and interesting things to do with those systems is a bonus, not a requirement.

That reduces the degree of difficulty considerably, I'd say.

And if the space game is designed so that there's generally little time when players are flying around with no specific task before them as part of a mission or episode? Even better.

If there's almost always some relatively high-level thing to do in space -- solving a puzzle, finding an artifact, defending the ship from hostiles, discovering a lost world, transporting interesting NPCs hiding a secret, mapping a new star system, or escaping a trap, for just a few examples off the top of my head -- then that goal can be decomposed into specific tasks for players to perform according to the division in which their character presently serves. In some cases, these will be solo tasks ("scan the mysterious vessel's cargo holds for a canister of fleabaggium" or "perform a tactical analysis on that mysterious vessel to boost our chances of hitting in case it turns hostile"). In some (preferably many) cases, these will be tasks that call for cooperation among two or more bridge crew officers ("develop an anaesthetic gas the holographic Tac officer can administer that will knock out the intruders who've taken over Engineering" or "outfit the CO with a neural amplifier boosting her already-incredible charisma in order to fast-talk some hostile aliens").

Either way, the point is that perhaps it's not a requirement to crank out so much player crew content that no one playing a bridge crew officer with other players could ever possibly get bored for a split second. Perhaps only some such content is necessary, for those times when players who want to be sharing a bridge with friends aren't using these starships and their cool systems to tell their own stories.

Just a thought.

--Flatfingers
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 95
04-16-2009, 10:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatfingers View Post
Either way, the point is that perhaps it's not a requirement to crank out so much player crew content that no one playing a bridge crew officer with other players could ever possibly get bored for a split second. Perhaps only some such content is necessary, for those times when players who want to be sharing a bridge with friends aren't using these starships and their cool systems to tell their own stories.
That's exactly what I've been trying to say.

I just want the opportunity; I don't need mini-games or some sort of special content to occupy my time. But instead of saying "You can operate your own ship at any time, and you will be using NPC crew members most of the time, but you can man a station on another person's ship any time you want," Cryptic is saying "You MUST operate your own ship at all times, and use ONLY NPC crew members."


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