TECHNOLOGY AND TRADE
The general idea is based on absolutely unique techs, planet types, ship types and all other elements there can only be for each race. As an effect every race has a different way of traveling between stars, different tech tree (will there be a tree or just a list of techs? we will see latter ), and different history. Some may be organic, some may be hybrid, pure energy or mechanical. In my opinion the optimal number of PLAYABLE races is 4, not only because that's not many enough to make the whole system complicated, but also let's us do an increadible things with possible tech trades et cetera. I've made a very simple graph to ilustrate the whole process:
Now a quick description:
- Every red circle indicates one PLAYABLE race.
- Green circles are NON-Playable races used for events etc.
- Solid lines mean full tech trade possible between 2 circles that it connects.
- Intermittent line indicates a way where single "alien items" can be obtained in events/missions and so on.
Now the simplicity of the system is also its strenght. We have 4 races. Each race can develop and manufacture specific techs. Each race can also trade with 2 other races to obtain specific technologies (ONLY READY MADE, not production know-how, and that's really important). As an effect players can create fleets composed of many different ships using different techs, but attacking and defending would NEVER be predictable and calculable, because nobody can really know what turrets are mounted, or what kind of shield is there. The second just as important benefit is really live and never stopping trade between players. Everybody always want to get better and batter, or to create just the ship they planned, but since only basic combinations will be availible for a single player who does not trade with other people, diplomacy and outsourcing will never stop, and negotiations will be just as common as sand on the desert (or maybe local markets floating every few quadrants where players can put their parts in an auction? whatever ).
Now a simple reason why should we make some techs unavailible for some players? It's simple ... because it's more fun when it's impossible to get everything. You have to plan more, be more carefull when picking targets, and choose Your allies with special care. This system simply doubles possible combinations without making the whole game really that much more complicated. No, it makes it eaven less complicated because eavery single player can choose a bit less parts to use than he would have if there were ALL of them availible. Less confusion (choosing from 9 types of weapons is easyer than from 12, right? ), less problems, but in the end ... a little bit more dificult to balance properly, but i hope everybody loves challenges here .
COLONISATION AND PLANETS
Because there are 4 races there also should ba a good reason for players to explore the universe, and visit one system after another. The answer is simple: every life form, every civilisation has it's natural environment. Because of that every race should seek out different types of planets (or moons) in the universe. As an efect every single solar system in the galaxy CAN be colonised, but not by everyone. This would lead to several important benefits:
- More than one player in a system. (or at least a possibility to be so)
- Naturaly forming uninhabited systems (when there are oly players arround that can not colonise planets that are in this specific system, and players who COULD do that are too far away to connect the system with their infrastructure)
- Randomly generated systems (so there is always the same number of objects, but You never know if that's gonna be a system of several hot planets close to the sun, or one "earth type planet" and two gas giants with few moons orbiting each of them)
- "Dead" planets that are useless for EVERY race, but may be searched by all the races for artifacts of in a daily mission.
- Uninhabitet systems are a great hiding spots for fleets planning sneak attacks, or running from a pursuit.
- IF You cannot colonise a planet You can still set up a small mining colony or occupy it to trade wit another player.
MY RACE SUGGESTIONS
I'm not going to figure out any names, but the general concept only. Naming specific races is only a cosmetic change that can be done in a pre-release version. The general concept is to make a race for everyone, for nerdy tech lovers, and for barbarian entusiasts, for classic human players, and nearly "x-files" fantastic beings. Every single one wit it's own game style, and way to expand.
I propose following:
- HUMAN - A typical "alliance", "federation" or other thing like that. Just as classic as it only can be
Using typical jet drives to power thwir ships, but also capable of traveling through hyperspace gates (or holes, or whatever that thing will be). The basic jet drive provides low speed, but also forced this race to become masters of using "grawity slingshots" to speed up, and reach outer regions of their solar system, where hyperspace entering points are located.
Their basic weponry are rockets and lasers, main defenses are based on reactive armor, and point defense systems destroying incoming projectiles and rockets before they reach the target (point defense system propably would be a really nice trading good )
- ALIEN - Predator (or other just as classic) inspired brutal barbarian race.
Brutal race that doesnt know the menaning of "to risky" or "to dangerous". Teir fascination in brutal force caused the to reach perfection in controlling nuclear energy. Their pulse drive base on micro nuclear explosions gives them possibility to travel with high speeds (the longer the distance, the higher the speed gets).
Main weaponry is based on nuclear charges and MASER guns (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), their defenses are almost fully based on heavy plating and anti radiation shields.
- ROBOTS - Machines inspired by matrix and terminator (not really like ST borg, for that i have another idea , You will see)
Propably one of the most mysterious races there is. Not knowing their own history they suspect to be remainf of an ancient civilisation wiped out in some huge cataclysm on a galactical scale. Robots slowly developing new versions and updated features gained conciousness, and became just as curious of the galaxy as other young races there are. Eons of slow upgrading known technologies enabled them to gevelop one of the most advanced drives there is ... the warp drive, that provides them full (high) speed from the first seconds of their travels.
Their weaponry is based on EMP and Tesla Thunder Guns (or any other name that would descripe a gun firing electricity), their defences are based on quick regeneration with nano repair droids.
- SILICON BASED CRYSTAL LIFEFORMS - Based on many real scientific theories that place silicon the very second best base for a living creature just after the carbon.
A mysterious race born in the centre of the galaxy. Their natural environment is much warmer than usual life forms can take, so thy usualy choose planets as close to the sun as it can be. Their metabolysm and exact internal structure is unknown, and so was the language for hundrets of Years before one of the most advanced races managed to find a right pattern. Generaly their existence is focused arround energy, and so is their technology. Solar sails using the pressure of tiny photons let them travel with speeds close to the light speed, but it's always unsure, and often depends on the brightness oth the star in the solar system they are in at the moment.
Weapons based on hig powered plasma cannons, and pulse ion canons. Defense almost doesn't exist since they try to asimilate every sort of energy that reaches them (explosives on the other hand are pretty usefull heheh ).
Phew ... i'll try to post non-playable races in a while, but it's not a problem to start the discussion anyway