Brass Watch Games

Shipyard: The Combat Update — Progress Report #7

by Jonah on April 1, 2014

Real life was particularly conservative in its allotment of free time last couple weeks, hence my lack of posting. However, school has gone on spring break as of last Saturday, and I intend to spend a decent portion of my time working on Shipyard. I have already made some significant progress when it comes to the upcoming ship combat system. Some of the more important changes are as follows:

Ship Damage and Repairs

First and foremost,
pirate ships will now fight back. They aren’t hugely intelligent yet, selecting random available weapons and random parts of your ship to fire them at, but they’ll serve for testing purposes. Because your ship can now be damaged and, in theory, disabled due to lack of engine thrust or reactor power, there needed to be a way to repair damaged systems. Thus, I implemented a system whereby, at the start of each turn, every system is repaired by 5 times the number of crew currently inside it. Because some systems, such as engines, are highly important but only take a small number of crew, I changed the way crew allocation works to allow “overcrewing.” A system will not gain additional stats from having too many crew, but it will be repaired faster according to the 5x rule.

You can also pay to repair your ship by flying to a shipyard, bringing up its context menu, and selecting “Repair.” The cost is equal to (HP lost / HP max) * (System Cost), or the fraction of total hitpoints which needs to be repaired times the base cost of the system. The following screenshot shows the message that pops up to let you know that you’ve repaired your ship:

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Ship Management Window

The current ship management window has three tabs: Overview, Crew/Power, and Upgrades. Upgrades is coming in a later update, so we’ll skip over that. Overview currently displays a bit of information about the ship, but really isn’t hugely useful. To change anything, you need to switch over to Crew/Power, where you can change the number of crew members and the amount of power allocated to each system. This is good enough to, for example, generally favor weapon control over engine power, but with the new crew repairs system, you need to be able to find damaged systems and repair them individually. The current screen doesn’t allow that without a significant amount of trial-and-error.

Thus, in version 0.8.0, I am merging crew and power management into the Overview tab. Now, all you have to do is select a system by clicking on it and adjust its settings in the box on the right. The screenshot below shows the new ship management window after a few turns of being attacked by pirates.

scrn_2014_04_01_1396388585998Ship Destruction

That’s right! It’s now possible to actually destroy other ships! In previous progress reports, I merely disabled pirates by shooting out their engines or reactor and leaving them behind. Now, though, if any ship (including your own) loses more than 90% of its “structural integrity,” or total hitpoints for all systems, it will be destroyed. For your ship, this value is displayed at the top of the navigation screen. If your ship is destroyed, you will be given the option of either (A) paying to repair your ship or (B) respawning for free with the default ship Gazelle I, the same one the pirates currently use. There is currently no reward for destroying enemy ships, but I plan to have them carry loot which, on destruction, will be dropped in item crates for you to pick up.

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