Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 32
# 531
03-05-2013, 12:07 AM
Warning, long post.

Having just read the thread (yes, all 53 pages -- whew) I would like to add my 0.02 ECr worth. This reply may be rather lengthy -- in section A I'll comment on some of the reference document; in B I'll suggest a few concepts of my own.

[rant on how sci-fi writers routinely screw up basic nomenclature and enshrine bizarre and painful errors forever in canon, followed by rough definition of naval ship classes and nomenclature -- deleted as irrelevant, and for length]

Section A:

Generally I like the reference document, though I do wish to suggest some tweaks.

In section 3.1, add 'Chapel', 'Morgue', 'Computer Core', 'Astrometric Center', and possibly ?I Core' to list of rooms which might be modeled into a ship.

In section 3.2 or maybe 4.7, add/clarify "Currently, each ship deck-map is modeled as several bridges and small / medium / large deck-plans (differing mostly in color choices) per bridge. Each modeled deck is in a separate 'region' of the map. Buying access to premium interiors or changing the layout of your ship just changes where your character beams in, and where the turbolift links to."

"We propose" and it seems like TFtafkaTB (TacoFangs, the artist formerly known as TumorBoy) is on board with this "that each ship-map have only one bridge and one deck-map, with each deck being in it's own 'region' of this map. These deck-maps will be ship specific (although allied classes will be very similar where they are not identical) and the decor/ color-choices modeled on old-style ship maps will be replaced by player customizable options."

While we are on this topic, I'd advocate
1} creating deck-map outlines (basically just solid featureless flat shapes, like one-deck-high horizontal slices cut through the 3-d model of the ship) for every single deck of the ship,
2} putting every deck, fleshed out & accessible or not in it's own region, and surrounding each with a standard (and blank until later development) mini-sky-box.
Making this minimal effort early on means room to easily expand into later.

In section 3.3, I like the idea of an interactive display of turbolift destinations, but the suggested interface looks a little clunky with buttons for the dead-decks on it. My suggestion -- just highlight the destination you wish to travel to, and a description bar at the bottom describes the deck -- to the right of this description bar is the 'Engage!' button. Dead decks do not highlight when pointed to, and cannot be selected -- maybe the destination bar reads 'Too boring to visit', 'Nah; been there', or 'Mostly harmless'.

In section 4.5, please ensure that the suggested missions have several possible good and bad endings, and the correct solution & corresponding good ending are randomly determined when the mission is generated. These would swiftly be ruined if the answer was the same each time through.

In section 7.0, phase 1 we find the listing 'For each major class, correctly-scaled rooms in canon locations/decks with limited palette of carpets/doors/LCARS/arches.' this is essentially a major revamp of existing assets -- perhaps this should be moved to 'anytime before stage 6'. The reason for doing this before stage 6 is simple, at this and later stages we propose building missions on the deck-maps; having the new deck-maps done before the missions are built eliminates having to do the missions for the old maps and then re-do them for the new maps.

In section 7.0, phase 1, add 'correct scale (especially vertical scale) of existing interior maps' -- less work than the original, just moved, milestone; but with large immersion benefits.

In section 7.0, phase 4, move 'Tailor/sliders for wandering crewmen' to phase 1; this is another low-hanging watermelon.

In section 7.0, phase 3, add 'Expand Terrarium & Tribble Farm to include storage for all tribbles and non-combat ground pets'.

In section 7.0, phase 3, add 'Expand Shuttle Bay to include storage for all non-combat space pets'.

In section 7.0, phase 4, add 'First officer sitting in command chair until relieved by captain'; someone has to keep things running while the captain is off gallivanting around the galaxy. While we're at it, it might be nice if the First then walked to their regular duty station.

Section B:

I realize the ships are all works of fiction, not subject to reality checks; but I'd still like to keep some basic principles in mind when laying them out. Ships are roughly divided into four areas --
1} Engineering (power source, motive system, SIF, maintenance & repair),
2} Crew (life support, quarters, food storage, galley, mess hall, hygiene & sanitation facilities, sick bay & morgue, recreation & morale areas),
3} Command (Bridge, flag bridge, emergency bridge, battle bridge, Computer core, sensors, scanners, communications, AI core, security stations, brig, armory), and the most important area of all --
4} Mission (weapons, ordinance storage, shields, deflectors, storage bays, shuttle bays, extended sensors & experimental labs on science ships, hospital facilities on hospital ships, everything else you could possibly name that could be an asset in fulfilling the ships designed mission)

And there tend to be three kinds of dividing barriers between spaces --
A} Torpedo Bulkheads -- armored and heavy structural walls which surround important or volatile areas, intended to stop the further intrusion of damage; very few rooms, passages, Jeffrey-tubes, or conduits will penetrate this kind of bulkhead and they will have provisions for rapidly sealing any openings with sturdy doors;
B} Pressure-tight bulkheads -- designed to limit the volume affected by a hull breach, leak, or even life support failure; has a lesser but still important structural role, may be pierced by passages, but will include a door or force-field to seal them in case of emergency;
C} Privacy bulkhead -- has little to no structural role, freely pierced by rooms and passages, might include lockable privacy doors, sound-proofing and insulation; easily moved or removed when modifying or refitting the ship.

Ideally, I'd like to see the interior volume divvied up as efficiently as possible, within the restraints of canon, into areas that make sense, with partitions that make sense.

While I am wishing, it would be neat if all of the various consoles (except the weapon-specific ones -- those would be only for the defaults weapons) which could be fitted to a ship would be modeled in the ships interior. The idea here is that pretty much every ship is going to be equipped with, for example, a common, mark 0, shield emitter. Installed consoles will change the appearance (upgrade) the original equipment. While walking about on your ship, the equipment which you have spent so much time, effort, and money on will be visible -- and you can impress visitors to enjoy their oohs and aahs.

On a more practical note, some PvP ship-board content could revolve around sabotaging or defending a particular console; or the attackers could be 'raiding', just doing as much EC worth of damage as possible, with the running total of damage inflicted adding to their victory conditions -- higher mark number & rarer consoles are obviously more valuable.

I should mention that there were some ideas floated about warp cores and other concepts on this thread. Generally I favor the idea of adding anything that makes players and ships more customizable and unique -- and I'd really love to see anything implemented reflected in the ship interiors.

One idea I have been kicking around for a while is the concept of dividing the crew into 'teams' of about six crew. Each ship would have a certain number of teams, of certain types based on it's role, tier & crew-size. There would be at least six team types -- one for each department -- possibly 'generic' teams or 'flight deck' teams too, primarily to absorb excessive crew and maintain some sort of balance between ship types. These teams would default to being filled with random NPCs with generic equipment, but you could make them more effective by assigning DOffs, equipment, or maybe even BOffs to them. Teams could be assigned to various ship or ground duties, or be summoned during combat or missions. On the interior of the ship, each team would have it's own small crew quarter / barracks area -- empty when they are away in a mission, and perhaps showing a little uniqueness depending on the non-default stuff assigned to the team.

Perhaps there could be a way through the Armory to upgrade the generic equipment that your teams would carry by paying dilithium, or dropping in a dozen identical weapons, etc.

Sorry for the rambling wall of text; this has taken longer than I expected & I am getting sleepy and losing focus. Hope some of this was helpful.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 998
# 532
03-05-2013, 07:20 PM
milesvaugn, I really really appreciate the amount of detail and though you've put into your critiques - it's only fair that I likewise address each point individually and amend the proposal accordingly

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 3.1, add 'Chapel', 'Morgue', 'Computer Core', 'Astrometric Center', and possibly ?I Core' to list of rooms which might be modeled into a ship.
The Chapel would probably be exclusive to the TOS Enterprise, since later series downplayed (human) religion and had weddings and funerals held in the Mess Hall/Torpedo Bays/other recreational areas instead.

Both the Morgue and the Computer core would probably be static maps by default, which can then be used as settings for various gameplay missions.

Astrometrics I definitely should add, with a nice 3D holographic map of the universe.

Not sure about the ?I centre, which I presume to mean AI centre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 3.2 or maybe 4.7, add/clarify "Currently, each ship deck-map is modeled as several bridges and small / medium / large deck-plans (differing mostly in color choices) per bridge. Each modeled deck is in a separate 'region' of the map. Buying access to premium interiors or changing the layout of your ship just changes where your character beams in, and where the turbolift links to."
Already mentioned in section 2.1

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
While we are on this topic, I'd advocate
1} creating deck-map outlines (basically just solid featureless flat shapes, like one-deck-high horizontal slices cut through the 3-d model of the ship) for every single deck of the ship,
2} putting every deck, fleshed out & accessible or not in it's own region, and surrounding each with a standard (and blank until later development) mini-sky-box.
Making this minimal effort early on means room to easily expand into later.
You know, I could actually whip something up for that in Solidworks. Watch this space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 3.3, I like the idea of an interactive display of turbolift destinations, but the suggested interface looks a little clunky with buttons for the dead-decks on it. My suggestion -- just highlight the destination you wish to travel to, and a description bar at the bottom describes the deck -- to the right of this description bar is the 'Engage!' button. Dead decks do not highlight when pointed to, and cannot be selected -- maybe the destination bar reads 'Too boring to visit', 'Nah; been there', or 'Mostly harmless'.
Yeah, the mockup dialog is definitely too clunky. I'll take some of your points on board in the next revision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 4.5, please ensure that the suggested missions have several possible good and bad endings, and the correct solution & corresponding good ending are randomly determined when the mission is generated. These would swiftly be ruined if the answer was the same each time through.
Oh, absolutely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 7.0, phase 1 we find the listing 'For each major class, correctly-scaled rooms in canon locations/decks with limited palette of carpets/doors/LCARS/arches.' this is essentially a major revamp of existing assets -- perhaps this should be moved to 'anytime before stage 6'. The reason for doing this before stage 6 is simple, at this and later stages we propose building missions on the deck-maps; having the new deck-maps done before the missions are built eliminates having to do the missions for the old maps and then re-do them for the new maps.
In section 7.0, phase 1, add 'correct scale (especially vertical scale) of existing interior maps' -- less work than the original, just moved, milestone; but with large immersion benefits.[/quote]

I've refactored the schedule as suggested - makes perfect sense to fix the ceiling of current ship interiors first as prep work for upcoming canon options.

The canon layouts I've moved to Stage 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 7.0, phase 4, move 'Tailor/sliders for wandering crewmen' to phase 1; this is another low-hanging watermelon.
I'd rather leave this at Stage 4, since they will share tech with the DOff NPC tailor / BOff station positioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 7.0, phase 3, add 'Expand Terrarium & Tribble Farm to include storage for all tribbles and non-combat ground pets'.
Rephrased as "Terrarium for breeding/storing Tribbles, Epohhs and other non-combat pets".

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 7.0, phase 3, add 'Expand Shuttle Bay to include storage for all non-combat space pets'.
Added.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
In section 7.0, phase 4, add 'First officer sitting in command chair until relieved by captain'; someone has to keep things running while the captain is off gallivanting around the galaxy. While we're at it, it might be nice if the First then walked to their regular duty station.
Oh yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
I realize the ships are all works of fiction, not subject to reality checks; but I'd still like to keep some basic principles in mind when laying them out. Ships are roughly divided into four areas --
1} Engineering (power source, motive system, SIF, maintenance & repair),
2} Crew (life support, quarters, food storage, galley, mess hall, hygiene & sanitation facilities, sick bay & morgue, recreation & morale areas),
3} Command (Bridge, flag bridge, emergency bridge, battle bridge, Computer core, sensors, scanners, communications, AI core, security stations, brig, armory), and the most important area of all --
4} Mission (weapons, ordinance storage, shields, deflectors, storage bays, shuttle bays, extended sensors & experimental labs on science ships, hospital facilities on hospital ships, everything else you could possibly name that could be an asset in fulfilling the ships designed mission)

And there tend to be three kinds of dividing barriers between spaces --
A} Torpedo Bulkheads -- armored and heavy structural walls which surround important or volatile areas, intended to stop the further intrusion of damage; very few rooms, passages, Jeffrey-tubes, or conduits will penetrate this kind of bulkhead and they will have provisions for rapidly sealing any openings with sturdy doors;
B} Pressure-tight bulkheads -- designed to limit the volume affected by a hull breach, leak, or even life support failure; has a lesser but still important structural role, may be pierced by passages, but will include a door or force-field to seal them in case of emergency;
C} Privacy bulkhead -- has little to no structural role, freely pierced by rooms and passages, might include lockable privacy doors, sound-proofing and insulation; easily moved or removed when modifying or refitting the ship.

Ideally, I'd like to see the interior volume divvied up as efficiently as possible, within the restraints of canon, into areas that make sense, with partitions that make sense.
I actually have the deck plans for several ship classes (Official Rick Sternbach Galaxy class as well as unofficial Intrepid, Defiant, Miranda and B'rel classes). I'm sure CBS could provide Cryptic with those if and when they decide to start expanding ship interiors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
While I am wishing, it would be neat if all of the various consoles (except the weapon-specific ones -- those would be only for the defaults weapons) which could be fitted to a ship would be modeled in the ships interior. The idea here is that pretty much every ship is going to be equipped with, for example, a common, mark 0, shield emitter. Installed consoles will change the appearance (upgrade) the original equipment. While walking about on your ship, the equipment which you have spent so much time, effort, and money on will be visible -- and you can impress visitors to enjoy their oohs and aahs.

On a more practical note, some PvP ship-board content could revolve around sabotaging or defending a particular console; or the attackers could be 'raiding', just doing as much EC worth of damage as possible, with the running total of damage inflicted adding to their victory conditions -- higher mark number & rarer consoles are obviously more valuable.

I should mention that there were some ideas floated about warp cores and other concepts on this thread. Generally I favor the idea of adding anything that makes players and ships more customizable and unique -- and I'd really love to see anything implemented reflected in the ship interiors.
Personally, I'd like that too.

However, most of such equipment would actually be hidden in service areas aboard the ship, so people would seldom see them.

Even console upgrades wouldn't be noticeable - in TNG's "Chain of Command", Jellico's orders to reconfigure the Ent-D's aft science stations to damage control didn't result in much visual changes.

On the other hand, if we do get computer and warp cores as gear items in the future, their use can definitely influence the appearance of the corresponding interior prop.

Damage to specific ship consoles and systems? That could be very interesting - I presume there would be hit boxes and health bars like for destructible doors in-game.

(cont. in next post)

Game features I'd like to see improved / expanded: Better Ship Interiors // BOff Costume Slots
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 998
# 533
03-05-2013, 07:21 PM
(cont. from previous post)

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
One idea I have been kicking around for a while is the concept of dividing the crew into 'teams' of about six crew. Each ship would have a certain number of teams, of certain types based on it's role, tier & crew-size. There would be at least six team types -- one for each department -- possibly 'generic' teams or 'flight deck' teams too, primarily to absorb excessive crew and maintain some sort of balance between ship types. These teams would default to being filled with random NPCs with generic equipment, but you could make them more effective by assigning DOffs, equipment, or maybe even BOffs to them. Teams could be assigned to various ship or ground duties, or be summoned during combat or missions. On the interior of the ship, each team would have it's own small crew quarter / barracks area -- empty when they are away in a mission, and perhaps showing a little uniqueness depending on the non-default stuff assigned to the team.
I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
Perhaps there could be a way through the Armory to upgrade the generic equipment that your teams would carry by paying dilithium, or dropping in a dozen identical weapons, etc.
Probably via the crafting update mentioned in the proposal - there could be a separate upgrade track for NPC gear in the same manner as for the player/BOff gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvaugn View Post
Hope some of this was helpful.
Quite a lot of your ideas and critiques have been exceptionally helpful - mucho, mucho gracias

Game features I'd like to see improved / expanded: Better Ship Interiors // BOff Costume Slots
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,135
# 534
03-06-2013, 12:20 AM
one thing we def need cargo bay with bank access!
Ensign
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 12
# 535
03-06-2013, 09:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumghai View Post
Spent a nice afternoon whacking this unofficial proposal together:

http://bit.ly/STOShipInteriorProposal

Ideas and suggestions welcome.
I am with you!

I find it irritating that I can't choose a default uniform for the crew.

Also, how many episodes of Star Trek happened completely on the ship? I haven't counted, but I know it's a lot. I never understand why we can't have intra-ship adventures.

And another thing: I want the ability to actually fly the ship from the bridge!

And another another thing: If a friend visits you, they should have the ability to take over as one of the bridge crew (helping with engineering, targeting enemy ships in combat, damage control, etc)
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 998
# 536
03-20-2013, 08:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by the1tigglet View Post
one thing we def need cargo bay with bank access!
Now that I think of it, I'm personally divided on that.

Enabling bank access aboard ship interiors would no doubt be convenient, but there's the possibility that it would cause socail hubs to become ghost towns.

As for additional inventory space, a while back I championed for that, but have since wondered whether that was the original intent of the existing Inventory tab in-game anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthborehd View Post
And another thing: I want the ability to actually fly the ship from the bridge!

And another another thing: If a friend visits you, they should have the ability to take over as one of the bridge crew (helping with engineering, targeting enemy ships in combat, damage control, etc)
To fly the ship from the bridge (as in Bridge Commander) would require a complete overhaul of the fundamental game code - this is because the game currently treats your ground toon and your ship as simply "costumes" for the particular environment - if you're in a ship interior map, the game treats you as a ground character and cannot modify in real time the position of your ship whilst you're there.

As for having other players serve as BOffs, that was proposed by Perpetual Entertainment back when they had the licence to Star Trek Online (limited to larger ships), but PE never made anything playable by the time they closed down (just some art assets).

Game features I'd like to see improved / expanded: Better Ship Interiors // BOff Costume Slots
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,104
# 537
03-20-2013, 08:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumghai View Post
Now that I think of it, I'm personally divided on that.

Enabling bank access aboard ship interiors would no doubt be convenient, but there's the possibility that it would cause socail hubs to become ghost towns.
Just make the Cargo Bay accessible in social zones as a Zen purchase or something.
http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o633/centersolace/189cux9khvl6ojpg_zpsca7ccff0.jpg

So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 998
# 538
03-30-2013, 06:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by centersolace View Post
Just make the Cargo Bay accessible in social zones as a Zen purchase or something.
Of course - I'll put that down in the doc.


With the upcoming UI changes in the LoR update, I've popped over on Tribble and noticed that space dialogs now include viewscreen-style frames. Now, I've already addressed my concerns about the viewscreen frame and BOffs in the Tribble feedback thread, but I'm wondering, since Cryptic does intend to have viewscreen frames in in-game dialogs in one form or another, perhaps the very style of the viewscreen could reflect on the player's ship interior customisation choices?

(The current default BTW, for those who haven't been on Tribble, is a Galaxy class viewscreen)

Game features I'd like to see improved / expanded: Better Ship Interiors // BOff Costume Slots
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,483
# 539
03-30-2013, 06:33 PM
I suggested that a little earlier in that same thread sumghai. It seems logical to tie it to the same existing interior customization options as interior size from the ship tailor. It is essentially a 2d graphic so it should be relatively easy to create a bundle of generic alien-esque options, as well as core faction variants. Its all about being able to choose one's preferences imo - I hope they can also follow yours and other's pointers on when to have and not have that viewscreen graphic in play.
nynik | Join Date: Dec 2009
<Dev> Oaks@dstahl: *checks for CBS listening devices in the office*
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 998
# 540
03-30-2013, 08:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nynik View Post
I suggested that a little earlier in that same thread sumghai. It seems logical to tie it to the same existing interior customization options as interior size from the ship tailor. It is essentially a 2d graphic so it should be relatively easy to create a bundle of generic alien-esque options, as well as core faction variants.
Whoops, should have read the whole thread >.<

I agree that a simple 2D graphics with a transparent centres would be used - overlaid over NPCs as needed.

Game features I'd like to see improved / expanded: Better Ship Interiors // BOff Costume Slots
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