Currently in the works is a fleet combat strategy game. This game will be a standalone game, separate from the main FG project. As the main FG project is taking so long to develop, it was decided that the main focus of the game, fleet combat, would be fully developed and released as a separate game first, then integrated into the larger project. This page is about the standalone fleet combat game. This game is still under development and is thus not yet available, and subject to change.
In its first (and most basic) version, it will consist of designing a fleet with a cost constraint (each ship part will have a cost), and sending the fleet off to battle against an enemy fleet. Victory will be computed somehow, which might be a bit complex if both sides end up with some ships retreating at the end (or one side just ends up with faster ships retreating). Details will be worked out once the combat actually works.
The design process
The editor will work on a "Design Tree" which contains all the designs in a hierarchical tree structure. Once you have finished a fleet, you will select its root node (the top formation node under which the particular fleet in question is designed), and export it for battle. On the right is the in development editor working on a design tree.
A "Formation" is a design tree node that has several properties:
- Position: Where it is placed relative to its parent formation. This is pretty much only useful if there are multiple formations placed inside one parent. Formations also get an orientation (which way it faces and such)
- Formation Type/Geometry: This sets the shape and how many entries there are. Options will include lines, clumps, spheres, grids (2D, 3D, hex etc) and maybe some other things.
- AI weights: Scalers for how much the AI weights its different focuses/goals when making decisions/compromises about where to move, what to attack, and what to request of the parent formation (for movement, attack etc).
Ships will also have all or most of the formation properties, as well as a custom hull.
Hulls are just special modules that make ships instead of attaching to other modules
Modules get placed on modules, and are things like turrets, guns, missile launches, external shield generators etc. They can have sub modules placed on them, and also are made from "parts" which allow you to select different materials and such.
Parts are the basis for module stats, including price, range, damage etc.
Fleet Design Example
Below is an example fleet design you could make:
A basic fleet setup walk through:
Here is an example design tree, obmitting Hulls, modules and parts (the details of custom ships)
- Base (Formation)
- Front Defense (Formation)
- Heavy Curser (Ship)
- Assault (Formation)
- Fighter Pack (Formation)
- Fighter (Ship)
- Fighter Pack (Formation)
- Artillery Squad (Formation)
- Artillery (Ship)
- Front Defense (Formation)
Currently, AI settings detailed below for formations apply to the nodes in the formation (grid points in them etc), not the formation as a whole.
The parent formation deals with the formation as a whole. This may change in the future.
AI settings starting with "Request" mean that they ask their parent formation to tack the action
All nodes have all of the settings, but they default to .5 if not specified.
Setting are on the 0-1 range. 0 means ignore the factor compleatly, and 1 means focus only on the factor.
Each of these node would have quite a few properties to set.
Some of the more basic and important ones that could be used are outlined below:
This is the fleet itself. It does not need much other than some AI settings.
The AI is hierarchal however, so its easier to just let the sub formations request where the base should go
Potentially though, global AI action weights could be set here if desired
Front Defense (Formation):
Specified as a hex grid formation, and placed forward. This makes a nice defensive wall out of what ever is place in it.
Some AI settings:
Maintain Formation: .9 -A high value to specify that these ships will pretty much never wander off on their own.
Artillery Squad (Formation):
Placed slightly backwards, and setup as a small grid
Request Engage: .9 -Make sure the big guns hit
Request Kite: .9 -Requests that the parent formation try and back away to keep enemies not right ontop of these ships
Retreat on heavy damage: .9 -If someone can hit the Artillery Squad, backup before you die! Break formation if needed
Placed as a far spread grid just behind the Front Defense
Engage: 1 -Go attck things
Maintain Formation: .1 -Leave formation to attack stuff
Retreat: 0 -Attack till dead
Fighter Pack (Formation):
Placed as clump. Makes a nice pile of tightly grouped fighters at each node of the Assult Formation's grid
Maintain Formation: .8 -Make sure the fighters stay together
Target Overall DPS: .9 -Make the fighters focuse on ships damaging the fleet as a whole far more than on those damaging themselves
Heavy Curser (Ship):
High shields short range tank
High speed manuverable ship
Long ranged high DPS, low health
This fleet has a defensive front to protect its long range ships, as well as squads of fast fighters to head out (rather suicidally) and kill what ever is the biggest threat. The defensive front and long range ships will tend to try and kite/retreat together if the long range ships start taking damage. This stratage and fleet design is by no means particulary great stratagy, but is intended as an example of what should be possible. Custom ship design details are currently omitted.
The Battle Sim is the application that runs fleet battles. It takes in the design files, and runs the physics, AI and graphics to simulate and render the battles.
Here is a screenshot of 2 identical fleets squaring off in the battle sim. Obviously the graphics are just placeholders, and with the fleet editor not done, the fleets are rather simplistic. Currently there is only basic movement AI and kinematic physics. Massive ship counts, in excess of 250,000 ships, can be modeled by running slower than realtime.
Here are 2 opposing fleets facing off.
Here are some basic nested grid formations:
Here is a formation of 197 ships attempting to stay in their designated formation positions (blue) as their fleet performs an abrupt stop and a rigid scripted turn.