GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #22 - Improving the Ship Design Screen
We currently have a challenge when it comes to designing ships in GalCiv. Most players are less into the cosmetic aspect and more into the functionality of ship design. And some players are really into the cosmetic design of ships.
For GalCiv IV: Supernova, we are going to give up on trying to have one UI to rule them all and instead begin to have two different UIs. One for those who want to design the look of the ships and have a lot more tools available and one for players who are more focused on configuring a ship.
Ship classes and how they work
We have gone through a lot of theory craft on how the different classes should work. When the player chooses to design a ship they should get this:
However, in OPTIONS we want to add a button called “Enable Freeform Design” which would unhide a button in the middle here that would let players design a ship without having to deal with any rules at all.
This UI needs to eliminate the Combat Role as that’s confusing.
Equipment Slots should be renamed Equipment Space.
Tactical Speed should show the actual speed in KM/s (we have this under the covers)
Acceleration should be added as well (we have this too) in KM/s^2 which tells you how maneuverable they are.
If they don’t have weapons, targeting priorities should be hidden.
If they have weapons a new section should be a section called Combat Abilities which describes, in text how they work (which I’l l describe below).
The classes of ships for GalCiv IV: Supernova are intended to be:
Probe. Probes are also ignored by monsters and pirates btw and this should be added to our description.
Miner. No one will really change this except for modders who want to create a custom look.
Flag. We need to add a late game tech that lets people build ships with Survey Modules.
Fighter. Fighters should be updated to get a 50% evasion bonus and they should target Bombers->Fighters->Capital Ships->Cruisers->Frigates (note that we need to update targeting priorities to get away from the old combat role naming).
Bomber. Bombers should be added to the game and also get a 50% evasion bonus. They should target in this order: Capital Ships->Cruisers->Frigates->Fighters.
Frigate. Frigates should get a 50% Accuracy bonus and target in this order. Bombers->Fighters->Frigates->Cruisers->Capital Ships.
Cruisers wouldn’t get any special bonuses but target Capital Ships->Cruisers->Frigates->Bombers->Fighters.
Capital Ships also don’t get any special bonuses but target the same as Capital Ships.
Supply Ships. Generally won’t be adjusted by players but are needed to be there for people wanting to make cosmetic changes.
Siege. Some players will want to add engines to these to make them faster.
Now, let’s say we pick a Cruiser…
(ignore the little propulsion box in the UI, that’s from a thrown away idea)
The game should pick a random hull to start with and go right to the Equip mode with these 4 options:
Weapons (default tab – not drives as it is now for some reason)
Special (combine “modules” and “support”)
There’s a currently a bug where Helios Rockets and Gauss Cannons show up as enhanced Kinetic weapons. I’m not sure why but we need to fix this.
There are NO hard points shown in this mode. Instead, players simply drag and drop components they want (or double click on it or press the “Place” button).
Now, if they do want to cosmetically change the ship, they can press the Visual Edit button in the top right which will take them to the Appearance, cosmetic pieces area.
And this screen should be set up so that people who want to really go town on the creative aspect of ship design have all the tools they need to do whatever they want.
Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals