Brass Watch Games

Brass Watch Games

Shipyard: The Combat Update — Progress Report #8 (Revised 7 April 2014)

by support@brasswatchgames.com on April 7, 2014

Spring break is, sadly, drawing to close, but in the meantime I have got a couple big changes to show you. As always, these changes are coming in the next update and are not in the current version of the game. Anyway, let’s get on with it:

Scrap

The biggest change since last time is that I have implemented a new resource: Scrap. When a ship is destroyed, it will now leave behind a debris field containing scrap equal to 1/10 of its maximum HP. This can be collected by moving within one tile of them, selecting them, and choosing “salvage.” Scrap can also be bought for 10 20* credits per unit at the shipyard. Scrap can be used to repair systems instantly and without having to transfer crew at a rate of 1 HP per unit of scrap. This makes it far more expensive than repairing at the shipyard, but the ability to use it in the heat of battle will make it invaluable as pirates get stronger in later updates. Alternatively, you can sell it back to the shipyard for 8 15* credits per unit. By hunting pirates and selling their scrap, the game’s economy is now effectively sustainable.

New as of 7 April: When your ship is destroyed, you will lose an amount of scrap equal to the value of your ship. If you do not have that much scrap, your ship will only drop as much scrap as you currently have. This is to stop exploitation by suiciding repeatedly with the free default ship, harvesting the scrap, and selling it.

As of 7 April, after some testing, I decided to rebalance scrap slightly. It is now less cost-effective to buy, but will also be more valuable to sell. This is because, in my testing, the original selling rate of 8 credits per scrap was far too little to make a difference. One of the pirates’ standard Gazelle I spaceships yielded just over 1100 credits, which means that to upgrade to a decent class 2 ship from your own Gazelle would have required you to hunt upwards of 10 pirates. I want the game to be a challenge, but this felt overly grindy, especially for an early version with not much to do besides fight pirates.

Credits and scrap are now displayed in the top left of the navigation screen.

Credits and scrap are now displayed in the top left of the navigation screen.

Debris field of a destroyed pirate ship

Debris field of a destroyed pirate ship.

Systems can be repaired with scrap in the ship management window.

Systems can be repaired with scrap in the ship management window.

Scrap can be bought and sold at the shipyard.

Scrap can be bought and sold at the shipyard.

Build Cost

Building a ship at the shipyard now costs credits. The cost is equal to the sum of the costs all all the ship’s systems. However, the cost is reduced by the trade-in value of your current-ship. This is calculated similarly, but also factors in the remaining HP of each system. I did not add a depreciation value to your current ship, meaning there is no penalty for, for example, accidentally building the same ship twice without changing anything.

Dialog box shows after building a new ship.

Dialog box shows after building a new ship.

After starting a brand new world, this ship is too expensive to build without raising a bit of money.

After starting a brand new world, this ship is too expensive to build without raising a bit of money.

 

Other Changes

I have increased the threshold for ship destruction to 20% 40%* of its maximum HP. This is because, in my personal testing, I found that battles even with the tiny pirate ships tended to drag on as I was forced to individually destroy cargo holds and other unimportant systems. This would have been particularly annoying once larger enemies are introduced, so I decided to double the threshold.

* As of 7 April, after some testing with much smaller player ships, I decided that 20% was still far too low and still caused battles to drag on. It was quick enough with a massive ship like the one I’ve been using, but with a smaller ship it took ages even with considerably more powerful weapons. Thus I once again doubled the destruction threshold to 40% to prevent the game from dragging on.

Additionally, pirates will now only follow the player if they are within a 32 tile radius of each other. Again, this will help when larger enemies are implemented as some pirates will be easier, at first, to outrun than to destroy.

Finally, because the economy is now sustainable, the player’s starting money has been reduced to 10,000 credits. This will not affect old worlds, as starting credits are only applied at the start of a new game, but it will make the game more balanced going forward.

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