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Author Topic: Design your own ship  (Read 6415 times)
David Morse
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Design your own ship
« on: January 06, 2003, 08:45:13 am »

So at some point in the future, some programmers are going to come up to UrQuan Masters and decide to add new ships.  What creative balanced ships can people think up?  For extra bonus points think up a race history and a way to integrate them into the single player campaign.

(yes I know this tread is mostly wanking until 1.0 is released)
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David Morse
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2003, 08:52:39 am »

To aid you in calculating a point total for your ship, here are the point totals of the established ships:

Androsynth: 15
Arilou: 16
Chenjesu: 28
Chmmr: 30
Druuge: 17
Earthling: 11 !
Illwrath: 10
Kohr-Ah: 30
Melnorme: 18
Mmrnmhrm: 19
Mycon: 21
Orz: 23
Pkunk: 20 !
Shofixti: 5
Slylandro: 17
Spathi: 18
Supox: 16
Syreen: 13 !
Thraddash: 10
Umgah: 7
Ur-Quan: 30
Utwig: 22
Vux: 12 !
Yehat: 23
ZoqFot: 6

Ships marked with an exclamation mark (!) are suprising low or high to me.
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David Morse
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2003, 09:25:41 am »

The Lyrans
(With apolgies to Star Fleet Battles)

The Lyrans are a race of one meter tall bipedal cats.  They are somewhat xenophobic and have a vicious streak a mile wide.  Their government is feudal, with a number of bloody rites that are bordering on barbaric.

Thier ship is called the Panther.  It is quite agile.  Its as fast as the UrQuan fighters.  Pressing the A key fires their "Distractor" gun, which is like the acorn gun on the Thraddash, but does 2-3 crew instead of just 1.  

Holding the B key starts the Expanding Ring Generator.  This creates a sort of force shield ring around the ship, but it blooms outward to a radius of several ship-widths.  (The ring is continuous, like a donught, not a bunch of individual fireballs like the Korh-Ah's FRIED).  The Ring starts out white, but over about 12 seconds progresses through blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and finally fades away.  The "whiter" the Ring is the more damage it will do.  The ring will progress through the colors whenever any of these things happen:
1) Its in contact with some object: planet, asteriod, ship, fighters, some of the chunkier types of bullets.
2) its controller's ship is out of power
3) the B button is not being held down

When the B button is held down, the ERG is draining power, and its radius is not expanding, and its color isn't progressing.  Otherwise it is slowly expanding, perhaps a ship/width a second.  The ERG can get to be a bit smaller than the map at maximum zoom.

The ERG's uses are both offensive and defensive.  On offense it can be used to ram enemy ships.  However these attack runs must be precicely timed for maximum damage, and should then be followed by a hasty retreat, since a ERG/Dreadnought collision will result in a depleted ERG and a Dreadnaught down 25% crew and grumpy.  The Lyran ship is not fast enough that it can duck in and out with impunity.  Like the VUX it has to think about intercept angles and how its going to get out.  

On defense, the ERG is going to be great against DOGIs, marines, MX missiles, and moderate numbers of fighters.  It should be possible for a massive wave of fighters to crash into an ERG, take some casualties till the ring is dead, then badger the Lyran to death.  

I'd assign a very approximate value to this ship of 21.
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David Morse
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1upian Gladiator *SPOILER*
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2003, 11:35:12 am »

The 1upian Gladiator

Warning Minor Spoilers Ahead!

The 1upians were a gladiator slave race developed by the genetic engineering of the talking pets.  When the pets got whipped, the 1ups vanished into deep space.  Only the recent awakening of a pet brings them back into the galactic scene.

The 1upian Gladiator is a formidable ship, at around 15 points it should be able to dent most dreadnoughts.  It is about as fast and manuverable as a Yehat Terminator, with a medium sized crew.  

The A button fires boomerang shells.  These take enough energy to fire that the ship can only have 3 of them in flight at any given time.  They fly quite a ways though.  After flying straight for about 2 screens (@ max zoom), they begin to veer off and loop back towards thier mother ship.  If they hit the enemy ship, they deal their damage, and immediately bounce directly back towards the mother ship,    If boomerangs return successfully they give a sizable energy boost, enough to fire again almost immediately.  If they hit something else (asteroid, munition, fighter, planet) they deal damage to that but are destroyed.  

The B button activates a repulsor beam, similar to the Chmrr tractor (but opposite in direction).

The Glad regenerates power slowly, so if its going to close the range it had best hit with most of its shots, so they come back quickly and it can keep up the assualt.  (Just like Galaga: higher hit % => opportunity to fire more often).  The ultimate manuver occurs when T-boneing an opponent at close range and low speed: its easy to hit, and the boomerangs fly a very short distance before returning and being fired again.

Perhaps a better strategy is to fire 1-2 shots at a safe distance, hopefully get 1 hit, then chase down your stray shots, using the repulsor beam as needed to keep from getting overrun.
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Captain Smith
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2003, 03:11:30 pm »

A ship idea, although I'm not sure you could fit it into the original single player game...refine it a little bit and it might be a nice add-on ship - although thinking about it, it is sorta similar in characteristics to the Melnorme ships, and yes I'm sorta borrowing the Polaris Blade idea from Gunman Chronicles.  Something a little unique in any event for Star Control type ships.

The pilots are these electrometallic creatures - nerves much like our own, but with much more voltage than the microvolts in our nerves, more analogous to wires in our homes.  They grew up on a planet with a lot of lightning, and within themselves and this environment, they developed a great understanding for electricity and its properties.  

This understanding shows up in their ship, which uses electrical charges in a much more focused way than the Slylandro probes do.  They are able to focus a damaging electric charge as their primary weapon, which could be called their Capacitor Charge Rifle.  If fired normally, it sends out a short burst of pure energy, causing one or two pts. damage to whatever it hits.  

If held down, the capacitor charges and releases a huge glob of energy, depending on how long it charges - of course if it charges too long, part of the charge could be released upon itself causing damage.  This glob of energy is a lot like the Mycon plasma ball, although it travels straight and doesn't seek out anything - it dissipates, and when it dissipates, several smaller somewhat homing charges like the normal fire slough off of it, until it dissipates.  The main glob is devastating, causing 5-6pts of damage and shorting out the controls of the ship for a short time (2-4 seconds?).  The homing charges cause 1-2 damage...

The special reveals their understanding of electromagnetism.  The special turns on the electromagnetic fields built into the ship, causing an attraction sending smaller ships towards it, or it towards larger ships.  Strategically, this is useful against smaller craft (Ur-Quan fighters?) which would smash against the shields, or in chasing and catching speedier craft, since the ionic dissipation propulsion system is slow to accelerate to its top speeds.

It's an idea, whether it's a good one or not is up for discussion...but it's an idea.
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2003, 06:18:01 pm »

<<Earthling: 11 !
Pkunk: 20 !
Syreen: 13 !
Vux: 12 !

Ships marked with an exclamation mark (!) are suprising low or high to me. >>

I agree... the earthling cruiser should get an 8 or something. Tongue They are really useless... they get chewed up by almost everything else. Even the Arilou has some strengths going for it.

Pkunk : These are powerful guys. Don't underestimate their staying power. They can go toe to toe with an Ur Quan and win. Also, their 'resurrection' ability is a big plus. I had one resurrect over 10 times in a single battle. 20 is a great compromise for staying power and superior speed/turning over a slightly-weak offensive ability.

Syreen : Actually a quite alright score. Their attack does 2 pts damage and is decently long ranged. Their siren call can either strengthen the Syreen and/or weaken the enemy substantially. It is actually almost more dangerous than an Ur Quan under the right conditions. The no. of crew jumping is dependent on no. of crew present on the enemy ship.

(Like a planet: You will get 6 pts damage for around 30 or so, then it will drop to 4, 2, and finally 1.)

VUX : Hm.... hard to say. Their Limpet attack is a really lousy compensation for their crappy maneuveuring abilities. The laser is quite nasty, but eats batteries too fast to be useful against fast fliers, even if they have one or two limpets on them.

Well, my $0.02's worth.
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Death 999
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2003, 08:03:57 pm »

As it turns out, I have several species worked out with a friend of mine.

There are detailed histories and somewhat detailed biologies. Unlike the star control tradition, I gave each species more than one ship, though still a small number. Here are some of the more distinct behaviors:

Denne Interdictor (score: 20s)
Long, thinnish, has a front section attached to the rear section by several long straight tubes.
Maneuvering comparable to mycon.
Battery: 15 + 3/sec
Crew: 20
Main weapon: Laser torpedo. This torpedo doesn't do much impact damage(2), but it fires secondary bullets to the sides. Each secondary bullet is short-ranged, but many are fired. The torpedo moves quickly until you release the firing button, then slows down (so you can drop it next to the target ship and have the side guns rip away). The torpedo persists for six or seven seconds (yes, a long time). The torpedo's fast speed is like the chenjesu crystal; slow speed is one quarter of that.
Energy: 5
Reload time: 1/2 second
Reload time of side gun: 1/12 second

Secondary Weapon: Rear explosive torpedoes. These fire from the rear quadrants, and persist for about one second. Slower than the laser torpedo, but rapid-fire. Which rear quadrant is fired alternates (left, right...) Which one should be reflected in the captain portrait.
Energy: 3
Damage: 2
Reload time: 1/8 second


Shlthuk Contender (totally unsure as to score)
A discontinuous ship in three parts. The two outriggers are considered part of the main hull, and damage to them will count. However, shots passing between are misses.
Good acceleration, good turning, medium max speed.
Battery: 25 + 3/sec (1 per third of a second)
Crew: 14
Primary: Electromagnetic shock wave
Looks kind of like the scroll attack from TMNT 1. Will pass through any matter unaffected. Blocks lasers and explosive missiles without taking damage, but does not interact with dummy projectiles (like Kohr-Ah blades or Utwig darts). Not very fast.
Cost: 10
Damage: Same as VUX laser, dealt while overlapping a ship (including this ship!)
Reload time: 3/5 second

Secondary: Grappling hook
This grappling hook shoots out until it hits something (or up to the length of the cord; if it misses it pulls pack in quickly and you can fire again (can begin pulling back in before limit reached by tapping the special key again)). While this grabs a ship, that ship and this ship have a maximum radius of separation. Press thrust to reel the other ship in, decreasing this radius. If the other ship flies towards this ship while not being reeled in, the cord will go slack, but pressing thrust will take up that slack instantly. Press special again to release. The Hook's speed and range is similar to Ur-Quan plasma bolts.
Cost: 7
Reload time: immediate upon reacquiring the hook



Kuzhon Hammer (unsure as to score)
Two forms. The first is shaped like a mutated Thumbtack  - from the tip of the point, two prongs bend back towards the head. (The head of the thumbtack is forwards). The head does not take damage. Note that if the Hammer dives into an Umgah antimatter field, then it will take damage because the antimatter cone will reach around and get behind.
The second is just like the first, except that the Head has been thrown. The first form has the shield; the second has somewhat better maneuvering characteristics and a 360° fire arc (the first form cannot fire through the shield)
First form maneuvering: A la Earthling Cruiser
Second form maneuvering: about *1.25 better in all scales.
Battery: 20+5/second (one at a time)
Crew: 12
Primary: Tracking lasers. These are fired from the prongs. However, they aren't immediately tracking. Instead, the angle is drawn towards the enemy ship as if by a spring, with damping.
The initial angle is straight off to the sides (and is reset when firing stops). Note that it can never shoot further forwards than the angle that would make it shoot through the Hammer's Head. Also note that only the side closer to the enemy will fire, unless both sides can hit (in which case both will fire at no additional cost).
Weapon cost, damage, and range like Mmrnhrm slow form.

Secondary: Fire the Head. The Head sprouts spikes and leaps forwards. Impacts with the spike side do planet-collision damage. Either way, it bounces off like an asteroid.
Pressing the special key while the head is off rotates the head and your ship so that they are facing just right to dock. This makes it much easier to recover (which you do by touching the Head in the right place).
Reload time: 1 sec after recovery.

There are many more ships. These are _some_ of the more interesting ones.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2003, 08:06:19 pm by Death_999 » Logged
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2003, 08:25:24 pm »

They're gonna add new ships to UQM? I thought that was what Time Warp was for.
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2003, 08:40:27 pm »

No... we're just speculating and showing off clever ideas.

While we're at it...

There is a second Denne ship:
the Hedgehog. 9 points.
Mostly an octagon, but one of the faces protrudes.
Maneuvers like a non-comet Androsynth.
Battery: 12 + 3 energy, once per second
Crew: 10
Main weapon: long range torpedo. As fast and ranged as the Earthling missiles, but non-tracking.
cost: 3
damage: 2
reload time: 1/4 second
Secondary weapon: fire perimeter torpedoes.
Each of the other seven faces of this ship also has a torpedo tube. These tubes come into battle loaded. Pressing the special releases all of the torpedoes. If you ram a ship (or vice versa) the torpedo in that octant will detonate, harming the other ship. Note that this can prevent some unwanted asteroid collisions.
Whenever the battery is full and it comes time to generate more energy, one of these torpedo tubes is reloaded automatically (which one is random)
These torpedoes are slower and shorter-ranged, but damage is the same.
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2003, 08:54:26 pm »

I kind of like the idea of the Panther.
If by "chunkier types of bullets" you mean those bearing complex electronics like the Earthling MX-missiles, or the Mmrnhrm guided missiles, then this ring passes the same things as the my Contender's EM descontinuity wave.

By the way, does the ring follow the ship around, or is it independent like the Kohr-ah  FRIED?

The Boomeranging Gladiator is sweet.
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Dave Morse
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2003, 11:50:43 pm »

Quote
I kind of like the idea of the Panther.
If by "chunkier types of bullets" you mean those bearing complex electronics like the Earthling MX-missiles, or the Mmrnhrm guided missiles, then this ring passes the same things as the my Contender's EM descontinuity wave.

By the way, does the ring follow the ship around, or is it independent like the Kohr-ah  FRIED?
The ring is centered on the ship, no matter how hard the ship manuvers.

We seem to agree on what constitutes a chunky bullet.
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Dave Morse
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Qix Entangler
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2003, 12:27:35 am »

Qix Entangler

The Qix are a race of extradimensional beings, friends of the Orz.  

Their ship is called the Entangler.  It moves something like the Arilou skiff, though a tad slower.  The A button activates a weapon similar to the Umgah cone weapon.  Holding the B button begins leaving web in its tracks, like the light cycles in Tron.  This takes energy, of course.  Web will last for about 30 seconds after the B button is released.

Web is about 12 pixels wide.   When an object strikes the web, its speed drops quickly to zero.  If it can accellerate out, it may do so, but its top speed is about 1 pixel/second as long as it is within the web.  Thus it can get stuck for maybe 8 seconds, during which time the Entangler is closing the distance.  Turn rate is also halved.

Entanglers totally ignore web.  Ships on one side of a web will in general not be able to fire bullets through to the other side.  Some beefy types of bullets may get stuck, and eventually struggle their way through (MX missile, Cheesejesu crystal, Korh-ah star).  However ships stuck in web may fire out of it, and their shots will get a free pass out of the web.

The main strategy for the Entangler will be to web the enemy, approach them from behind, and kill them with their A-weapon.  The web will also provide decent defense against fighters, marines, and dogis, since the Entangler can lay a line, then quickly loop around and fly through its own line.  Hopefully the fighters will follow and get stuck.

I'd this ship to be worth 12-20 points.


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Re: Qix Entangler
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2003, 01:45:45 am »

Quote
Qix Entangler

The Qix are a race of extradimensional beings, friends of the Orz.


Will their speech be similarly impaired? 

Quote
When an object strikes the web, its speed drops quickly to zero.  If it can accellerate out, it may do so, but its top speed is about 1 pixel/second as long as it is within the web.  Thus it can get stuck for maybe 8 seconds, during which time the Entangler is closing the distance.  Turn rate is also halved.


1 px/sec is REALLY slow. What zoom level of 1 px are you talking about, anyway?



I just remembered a component concept, but I didn't have a very creative ship to put it onto: a shield that, once raised, sits around. Once it is hit, by anything, it destabilizes. However, even destabilized it grants protection for another two seconds. Only after that time is the ship unprotected. The slightest touch will destabilize the shield. In order to balance this, there can either be:
charge-up time,
extreme energy use, or
a period after destabilization in which the shield cannot be activated again.

Another special attack:
When you hit the special button, you set up a potential to fire. Every half second, there is a 50% chance that the potential shot will be released. The shot is powerful and swift, but, due to the above, rather uncertain.

Another main weapon:
The shot is a cluster of 6 or so shots. Periodically in its flight, the shot will eject one of the sub-shots in such a way that the larger bundle will be heading straight toward the target - as a sort of tracking system. This sprays sub-shots all over the place. I suppose this will primarily be useful if the sub-shots have enough range to loop around.

Another special:
This is to be put on a slow, lumbering ship with an imposing main weapon that would otherwise scare little fighters away.
Special, expending entire battery: Deal 1 damage to enemy. Period. No matter where they are. May also affect enemy weapons and fighters. Would only deal 1 damage to Orz marines, so not blocking them.


Another special:
Fighters, which are as smart and tough as Orz Marines. However, they only fire once before returning, since they are torpedo boats.

Lastly, might we try to figure out how to un-break the ships from SC3? I liked some of the ideas, but they were poorly balanced.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2003, 01:46:08 am by Death_999 » Logged
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2003, 09:03:22 pm »

The Lyrans?  I'm a huge Battletech player and that name just reminds me too much of that faction in that game to work as a Star Control race name for me.  Tongue
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Dave Morse
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Re: Design your own ship
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2003, 11:42:54 pm »

Star Fleet Battles has been out since about 1975, so I think they stuck their flag on Lyra first.
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