Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I thought I'd start a thread for people to post their suggestions for improving ship bridges.

I believe there is a lot of interest in making bridges more functional, and also adding more customizable elements to them. Here are my own suggestions:

Make the Captain's Chair an Interactable Object
The Captain Chair is a very important element of the Star Trek universe. Make our Captain's Chair interactable objects so that when we get near it, we can select the option to sit in it. The emot sits are hard and goofy to work. Allow the computer to position us pleasently in the chair.

Allow Sector Space Travel while on the Bridge
One idea is to allow you to set courses while on the bridge, and travel while on bridge view. Obviously, you might not be able to allow player steering, but there is no reason that if a system is selectable as somewhere to set a course to that you couldn't do this from the bridge. This could also allow for better travel graphics, such as a viewscreen with the starfield at warp.

Give players a Ready Room
While a lot of other ship rooms is a must (see below) the first thing added should be a Captain's Ready Room. I've seen many of these bridges have small hallways and half-corridoors, so you could easily allow for a small ready room in the same instance. Allow for it to be somewhat customizable, in terms of type of desk, couch, wall decorations, etc. These items could be sold in game, be awarded as mission prizes, or even c-store purchases.

Allow for bank, mail, and exchange access if in orbit of a space station.
When a person has visited the bridge from orbiting a space station, allow one of the consoles to grant access to bank, mail, and the exchange. This will reduce station clutter, and allow some people to chill out in private while still getting their equipment sorting done.

Let players select which officers are at which station.
My delta bridge has a first officer's chair, which is insanely cool, but my first officer isn't sitting at it, my helmsman is! Let us position our senior officers at the consoles that we'd like them at. Let us also choose for some to stand idle nearby. Let us opt not to have random crewmmebers, or for those crewmembers to be in our uniform of choice.

Add an Observation Lounge for Fleet/Senior Staff meetings
Give us an observation lounge much like the one where the senior staff met on TNG, or the ward room on DS9. This would be great for fleet meetings. Let the chairs be interactable and auto-sit. Let us also call in members of our senior staff to walk in and take a seat. Give us custumization choices.

Let us go to Ten Forward
In the tutorial we begin in the ship's bar/Ten Forward. Why is that room no longer able to be visited? Let us return to this place, again for use with fleet meetings, etc. Let us pay credits to not only customize, but to choose what type of food and drinks can be ordered. Create some groovy galactic views for us to marvel at.

Create Missions Where Our Ship Gets Boarded
We've seen some great missions where we fight onboard a starfleet vessel which has been boarded. There no reason those sets can't be used in our own ships. A standard coridoor can be used for most ships, which interior colors changing depending on the ship. During non-invasion events, let those coridoors be acessed. In fact, let us send out a distress call if boarded and let our fleetmates/friends beam on board to help the security party.

Finally, let us give our Senior Staff titles such as "Chief of Securty" and "First Officer" etc.

Many of these suggestions are RP oriented. But ina game such as this, encouraging roleplay and adding elements which can be customized is one of the keys to long-terms play. Many people will tire of an endless grind, but some of those players will stick around if they can hang out with friends on their personalized bridge.

What other suggestions do people have?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-07-2010, 07:26 PM
no doubt in my mind that they will eventually expand the ship interiors
especially when you consider they have maps already set on ships

eg. assimilated cruiser a few cosmetic changes to that map and you
have a viable ship interior. (hmm i think ive mentioned it before lol)

i like your ideas espesh about the bridge officer positioning and sitting
in captains chair
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-07-2010, 08:41 PM
There have always been plans to improve ship interiors since they decided they wouldn't be ready for launch. Don't worry, the dev's have it planned and will have it in motion in due course.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-07-2010, 08:43 PM
BRIDGE AND INTERIOR ACCESS IDEAS: The basic model of starship combat, mission complexity and drama, and unexpected action is already there to enjoy. But we need more Star Trek crew interaction- the Star Trek shifting of crew expectations and abilities that result from the drama that we so often loved in the original movies. This article is how I propose to implement it.

The interior missions and gameplay would take place while traveling between your departure and destination points. Usually at slow warp like warp 1, or warp .5- I noticed that if you travel at these speeds it often takes a long long time to arrive at your mission destination. Of course you can always pause your ship's movement as well. Perhaps pausing your ship could open it up to random pirate attacks while you are performing interior ship tasks (increasing the drama and excitement- interrupting certain tasks and making it more fluid).

Ship warp travel time is the perfect opportunity to go inside the ship and engage in the interior ship tasks and options. These interior tasks could eventually modify ship and crew abilities enough to affect the outcome of the mission. To obtain the desired modifications that result from ship interior tasks, you would need to slow down or pause your travel speed, and enter the ship before you arrive at your destination for each mission.

Moving to the ship interior would be implemented by accessing the option menu and clicking "Go to Bridge" or a similar successor to that option. Once you are zoomed into the bridge you can select any officer. From there, each officer would have a number of options to choose in terms of his conduct. The actual ship interior architecture could initially begin with the basics: bridge, engineering, medical, ten forward, crewman's personal quarters, captain's ready room, and holodeck. Eventually, each ship could be expanded to have its own unique interior architecture for those Trekkies that have a penchant for exploring and getting to know their peculiar vessel. The player could have the option to travel the through the ship in the old fashioned way and meet crew along the way, or zoom right to the particular room you want.

The interior task options would be social interactions with other crew members or other options relating to overall gameplay. Here are a few ideas regarding the options. Generally, it is important to game stability for each individual option task to have only a small impact on ultimate mission performance. But, performing MANY of these tasks could end up having a substantial impact on the outcome of your ultimate mission due to the significant ship modifications that could result by the time you reach your mission destination. (This would also happen to allow for substantial replayability within the game- you could replay missions after performing a different set of crew options for your crew inside the ship during the interwarp travel phase to your mission destination). Each task would have typical effects, but also there can be a small chance of a unique unexpected effect on your crewmember (for example, you decide to take a crew member to ten forward, and because he has tendencies to drunkenness decides to stay there rather than man his station when battle begins!). The surprise reactions to option tasks could especially occur during the initial phase of the game for any particular crew compliment, as the crew gets to know itself and its surroundings.

Some option tasks would be unique to each individual officer, while others would be common to all officers. You could switch between officers at any time during the phase while the ship is warping to its mission destination. Here are some specific task ideas:

COMMON OPTIONS FOR ALL CREWMEMBERS:

1. Get to know another officer (playing poker, getting a drink at ten forward with the crew member, developing friendship/romance, etc..). Using these options could have a substantial modifier effect when the ship reaches its mission destination. For example, a drink in ten forward could raise the moral of these crewmembers, while at the same time reducing their coordination or removing some of their special abilities when the mission takes place (because they are inebriated). Also, getting to know another officer before a mission could allow for a temporary new ability for each officer that is shared from the other officer. These social interactions could create for themselves unique games within games. For example, you could have a poker table, and invite the different crew members to play. While you play poker, the crewmembers are sharing their abilities with each other so that each member is enhanced or negatively affected in some way by the time of the ultimate mission.

As the crew uses the get to know each other option more, this could substantially improve ship and crew abilities for the long term (over many missions). But there is a risk to this. If an officer is lost or dies, there is a negative effect on ship and crew abilities that is proportionate to the level the crew knew each other. This negative effect would last long term through multiple missions, but would gradually improve over time. The more officer briefings you have (see below), the more the whole ship crew could feel the loss of an officer.

2. Research computer database on mission particulars- Having an officer perform this option could somehow make him perform more efficiently during the ultimate mission, or perhaps have the unexpected effect of scaring the crewmember so much he refuses to perform the mission!

3. Go to crew quarters- Resting up before a mission could have certain benefits.

4. Unique tasks that arise from time to time- As the starship travels in warp (or even while it is paused in space), and you are in interior mode, different task events could arise (the converter in subsection b is down, needs repair; this part of the computer could use maintenance, etc...) and the officers can decide whether to perform these tasks, or ignore them to do other things that they enjoy (like social interactions etc...). Each decision to repair or do something else will have an effect on the ability/modifiers of the ship and crew once the ultimate mission destination is reached.

5. Holodeck! Of course, you can't forget the holodeck. Take an officer (and his staff) to the holodeck, and create a unique holodeck mission according to your own player selected parameters. Beating these player created missions could have positive and negative effects on the crew member's performance and mission success.

6. Have chosen officer perform a crew briefing- IF you have a particular officer brief the entire ship crew (i.e. in ten forward) on how to perform under his command during the mission, you could somehow modify the crew's abilities according to the officer's skills. This effect would wear off after each mission.

7. Announce and hold a party at ten forward- the Captain of the ship could send an subspace communication to all ships announcing a celebration in ten forward, along with the expected time of the celebration. Benefits would accrue to the ship (more credits, more skillpoints) as a result of holding the party and forging these important diplomatic and starfleet connections. The extent of the benefits would depend upon the number of players that actually show up at the party. Unique crew tasks could also arise during the ten forward party.

8. Reach out to other ships in your sector- You can send a subspace communication to any ship in your sector, hold a rendevous with the particular ship, and temporarily share crew skills and abilities for the mission- or even temporarily swap crew members for the mission!

9. Conduct security drills- This would have the obvious effect of enhancing ship capabilities. It could have both long and short term benefits. Drills would come at a cost. Conducting drills would turn off other interior tasks for the player while the drill is being conducted.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-07-2010, 08:44 PM
A FEW SUGGESTED TASKS UNIQUE TO THE CAPTAIN:

1. Go to the Captain's Ready Room, contact the other side, and either conduct diplomacy or make threats. The captain could conduct diplomacy with the enemy he is about to face in the mission. This task could have both short and long term effects in the game. Perhaps the Captain develops a reputation as a skilled diplomat, or alternatively as warlike and uncompromising. You could also develop the reputation of being extremely partial to a certain enemy, and slowly have your ship (and crew) go rogue! Starfleet would become more distant to your ship, and you would be able to forge friendships and obtain benefits from an enemy- perhaps even converting completely over to the other side and participating in more and more of the enemy's own unique missions. You might even face mutiny from certain crew (especially new green officers)!

2. Encourage or Discipline Officers. Officers could slowly become lazy or incompetent as time goes on. Using this task would bring the officer back up to his full abilities (or even make him worse in his duties if your discipline is either too psychologically overwhelming or too lenient). Administering discipline could either be performed privately in the Captain's ready room, or publicly on the bridge or some other area of the ship. Depending upon the discipline you impose, the severity of the discipline, the kind of discipline, and the crew member's unique personality, certain effects on the crew member, and even the entire crew (after all- the crew gossips about who the captain is disciplining!) would result.

3. Have the option of putting the ship on yellow or red alert at any time- Having yellow and red alert on has benefits, but having them on too much can have certain negative consequences as well.

The particular ship tasks you can come up with are basically endless. The game could continue to be developed with ever more ship tasks and even more unexpected results from these tasks. Again, these interior tasks would have a mostly temporary effect that lasts only during the unique mission (i.e. the effect would end once your ship reaches a particular mission destination and performs the overall mission task at that destination). There are some interior tasks that would have long term overall game effects (i.e. the more you get to know other crew members the better the crew will perform over time, and the worse it will perform if the ship loses an officer in combat).

REACHING THE EXTERIOR MISSION DESTINATION:
Once you have warped to your mission destination, you would then have the option of commanding the ship from the inside (probably available only in solo mode since it would be hard to implement with other players in the game), or in reverting back to ship exterior mode for interspace mission play as it is now.

Finally, the player would have the option of never going to the ship interior at all, and completely ignoring this aspect of game play. If the player decides to do this, mission abilities will be modified automatically for each mission (simulating the crew's interaction despite the fact that it was skipped in gameplay).

Thank you all for your support! Keep this threat going with your own ideas for tasks. Hopefully Cryptic sees this and will respond accordingly.

Here are a few more ideas for ship interior gameplay:

Mutiny

Depending upon your diplomatic actions as captain (as conducted in your ready room), how severely you discipline your crew, and other factors, the ship could have a mutiny risk bar indicating how annoyed the crew is with the captain. If you are especially rigorous in your discipline, drills, and traitorous in diplomacy, one of your officers could organize a mutiny against the Captain. You can reduce this risk by buying new crewmembers at a starbase (which comes at a cost in both credits as well as reduced crew training and capabilities), or by being more cordial in your interactions with the crew.


General Ship Policies:

Each ship could have its own established general internal rules and regulations that the Captain can choose and change at any time. For example, ten forward closes promptly every night at 22:00 subspace time (this raises crew ability, lowers morale, etc..). You could also change ship rules to alter the percentage amount of time your crew spends studying, conducting leisure activities, and spending on shore leave. Essentially, you could alter the schedule of all or parts of your crew. All of these would of course have positive and negative modifying effects over multiple missions.

Different Drinks and Food at Ten Forward

You can have different drinks and food at ten forward that have different effects on player performance. As you travel through space, more food types with more abilities become available from the replicator.

Officer's Quarters Ability Development

Unique abilities can be unlocked and become available soley by spending time self-training in the officer's quarters.

Player Death

There should be an option for permanent ship and officer death. Perhaps even the captain himself could die in combat and one of the officer's take his place. This raises the stakes in the game, and makes it more challenging. When the option for officer death is unchecked the player would be allowed to respawn as now. The possibility of officer death also allows for more interesting officer interaction (i.e. when an officer dies that often interacted with his fellow officers and the crew, the crew would be further demoralized).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-07-2010, 09:17 PM
I approve of many of these. I wanted to do more on my bridge and give my officers titles and make them work better on my bridge than they currently are. I hate seeing my second science officer sitting there doing nothing, or my first officer in a stupid position with the lowly ensign taking a seat.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-07-2010, 09:31 PM
I like your ideas OP.

How about a hydroponics bay. We collect plant speciments on our exploration missions and it becomes a kind of minigame, unlocking titles and perhaps decorative furnishings that would be appropriate to a park type setting. That way as we collect plants and place them in our hydroponics bay, we complete sets and unlock maybe a little bench or small meditative fountain or street lamp type device. This would also have the additive affect of encouraging exploration.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-07-2010, 11:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picard777 View Post
BRIDGE AND INTERIOR ACCESS IDEAS: The basic model of starship combat, mission complexity and drama, and unexpected action is already there to enjoy. But we need more Star Trek crew interaction- the Star Trek shifting of crew expectations and abilities that result from the drama that we so often loved in the original movies. This article is how I propose to implement it.
Could not agree more with this.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-07-2010, 11:31 PM
Should be able to play golf on the viewscreen (j/k)

Need a programmable holodeck(genesis engine??) except for escorts, ready room, private quarters, assign area's friends can visit without an invite, shipboard missions, have internal schematics display the ship we're actually in rather than some random shape, allow us to set some aspects of ship layout, have the viewscreen show where we are without the wierd nebula/sunset/tinted cloud backgrounds

Shipboard pvp with the option of setting an entry price and offering an inventory item as a prize
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-07-2010, 11:42 PM
Great suggestions. While it will definitely take time to design ships interiors (and to make them meaningful), a few additions to the bridge like an access to the "bank" (call it the cargo bay dammit, I don't stock tribbles and phasers in a bank !!!!) and the ability to set a course to a system would be more than enough to make me spend more time on the bridge.

Cryptic, this is EASY to do dammit ! You can please a lot of players with VERY LITTLE DEV TIME here.
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