Torgado

Game Design:  Exploration/Discovery/Research Progression

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I've read many ideas for 'curing' research as it is currently.  I've also read the recent post by the devs that this iteration of RNG based discovery is just the beginning and admittedly not a very pleasant beginning at that.

As of yet, through my searching and reading on the Suggestion & Ideas forum, I haven't seen a more comprehensive post that ties exploration of the planets in with research/discovery progression, though I've seen elements of some of these ideas in a number of posts.  Looks like the community is really hoping for a change in this general direction!

Ok, here's my shot (subject to your brilliant elucidation and modification :-)  Dive in and modify, hack, critique, add, twist and debase to your heart's content!

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All games start with blueprints for Research platform, Medium Printer platform, Small Solar, Tethers, Beacon.

Fundamentals:

  • 1 Blueprint hard-coded per Chest design (colors notwithstanding.) A specific chest design will always contain a specific blueprint in every new game, with the exception of a 'library' of common chests that always contain common resources or may be empty (but will never contain a blueprint).  
  • Assign specific blueprints and their assigned chests to specific planets.  In this way, each planet should have a few chests & blueprints that are completely unique to that planet.  This is the basis for the exploration/discovery progression.
  • The key here is the consistency of hard-coding a blueprint to a specific chest type and that chest to a specific planet.  By doing this, players will always know that they need to continuing exploring to find the right chest type to yield a given blueprint, even if it's less common on a given planet, in order to find all the blueprints that are available on that planet.
  • After a given chest gives up its blueprint for the first time, each time that that specific chest design is 'cracked' on the Research Platform, it should RNG for a  common resource (Compound, Resin, Organic etc.)

PLANET SPECIFIC PROGRESSION

Terran Specific Chests in order of frequency of appearance:

  1. Small Generator (besides common chests, this chest type appears most often)
  2. Small Storage
  3. Smelter platform
  4. Vehicle Bay ('Medium' frequency of appearance.  More common than #8, less common than number #1)
  5. Rover
  6. 1 Seat
  7. Small Windvane
  8. Shuttle (this chest design/type should be a rare discovery on Terran), perhaps one of the square 'lego' type chests found near a rare piece of space wreckage?

Barren Specific Chests in order of frequency of appearance:

  1. Fuel Cell (relatively common chest type on Barren)
  2. Medium Windvane
  3. Inhibitor Augment
  4. Spaceship
  5. Habitat (rare on barren)

Tundra Specific Chests in order of frequency of appearance:

  1. Small Battery (relatively common on Tundra)
  2. Oxygen tank
  3. Medium Solar Panel
  4. Fuel Condenser platform
  5. 2 Seat for Spaceship
  6. Truck (rare find on Tundra)

Arid Specific Chests in order of frequency of appearance:

  1. Crane (relatively common on Arid, perhaps rarer than the first items in order on preceding planets?)
  2. Drill Head
  3. Large Generator
  4. Large Storage (Rare on Arid)

Exotic Specific Chests in order of frequency of appearance:

  1. Terrain Analyzer Augment (uncommon on Exotic)
  2. Dynamite
  3. Large Battery (rare on exotic)

Radiated Specific Chests in order of frequency of appearance:

  1. Narrow augment (uncommon on Radiated)
  2. Trade Platform
  3. Wide augment (Rare on Radiated)


Bonus Changes:

  • Make blueprints for manmade things appear only in chests discovered next to chunks of space wreckage or pre-crafted abandoned and wrecked bases.  
  • For the more common chests, they would appear next to small chunks of debris 
  • For the more rare chests, they would appear next to large chunks of space stations which should naturally be a rare discovery.
  • Once a specific chest design yields it's blueprint, future cracking of this chest type may yield copper or aluminum ingots or may be empty.
  • (Reward is both eye candy + discovery of large wreckages/ruins.)
  • Chests growing on trees or under plants on the surface should yield only natural resources (compound, resin, organic.)  
  • Chests found underground should yield Ore resources that need to be melted into ingots in the smelter (aluminum, copper, lithium, titanium, -- perhaps coal into charcoal?-- etc)

Extra Bonus Progression Change:
Unlock the accessibility of planet through progression. Once unlocked the planet becomes accessible from all others.

  1. Barren and Tundra first accessible only from Terran
  2. Arid first accessible only from Tundra
  3. Exotic first accessible only from Arrid
  4. Irradiated first accessible only from Exotic

(Note: I recognize this does not follow the natural 'order' of exploration modeled in our own Sol system from Earth... and consideration may need to be given to provide a more logical unlocking of the planets.)

Again--- just a straw-man idea to start the conversation rolling.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! This would give SO much more to the game than the "new research" has. Gives you reason to go to ALL the planets. Gives you a reason to constantly use space travel. Gives you a reason to continue to play the game. This is amazing. Awesome idea man. I agree with everything you said. 

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THANK YOU - I've registered to comment on this! The current (155) research system is just horrible -- your ideas are the right ones exactly.

I agree that the key point is tying content to chest type, and chest type to location. I would add the following opinions:

  • Location might also mean not just planet, but also biome and elevation on the planet etc., e.g. green/grass land or snowy mountain tops.
  • Starting tech might be really only the research station. It must be possible to get everything via accessible oxygen/power/resin/compound though of course.
  • I'm not sure about "unlocking" planets; if such a system is in place, it should be "natural". That means, e.g., the Shuttle could be limited to short distances (Terran-Barren), and the Space Ship, or even Space Ship augments, which are not available on Terran, would be necessary to travel further.

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Having the shuttle only got to the moon (or maybe one planet at a certain time in its orbit...elliptical orbits anyone?) would be great. It then allows much greater exploration of Terran, and exploration on the moon (low gravity) could naturally allow for the advanced anti-grav tech needed to launch bigger spaceships needed to reach other worlds. As was said in a another thread reaching planets and certain tech should be the end of a significant arc of effort.

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I meant to upvote OP's (Torgado) idea - could not agree more. I really get annoyed by the the randomness of the current research progression. Example: Got every Shuttle, Crane, Winch, Seats, Dynamite, Wide Tool, Ihibitor Tool, unameit .... but im still lacking Big Battery, Big Solarpanel, Big Windvane, Small Storage. I deem those last ones essential research - especially the storage. If DEV's are not (able to) following OP's brilliant idea at least they need to adjust the randomness with some weighting - thus we'll get our storage within the first 5-10 research cycles.

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This is a good idea. The only thing I think that's wrong with this is that you rely on the rng of your world saves generation. Because the worlds aren't exactly the same every time you make a new one, there's no way of telling if you'll have a certain research pod in your vicinity or even on your planet. And because it's randomly generated they can't just choose and pick where to put them. I think that in the fact of rng it needs to be taken out and replace with a certain for sure system. Maybe something as a level up(progression bar) or point based system. Rng screws everything. Imagine you have the perfect world. Wreckage, unlimited resin and compound veins right by your start but you can't find a certain tech piece and you've searched for hours. Maybe that tech piece just happens to be the shuttle, now you can't even get the tech from the other planets. This is just my opinion but I'm putting it in perspective because I see this happening. 

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Sounds really good and really like your planet specific chests selection. But:

On 2.05.2017 at 10:11 PM, Torgado said:

1 Blueprint hard-coded per Chest design (colors notwithstanding.) A specific chest design will always contain a specific blueprint in every new game, with the exception of a 'library' of common chests that always contain common resources or may be empty (but will never contain a blueprint).  

The key here is the consistency of hard-coding a blueprint to a specific chest type and that chest to a specific planet.  By doing this, players will always know that they need to continuing exploring to find the right chest type to yield a given blueprint, even if it's less common on a given planet, in order to find all the blueprints that are available on that planet.

It kind of removes the secret behind those chests. Maybe just differentiate beteween BLUEPRINT chests and NOT-BLUEPRINT chests, so player would know he found something special. Make a unique design for them - maybe only artificial artifacts should contain blueprints? Simple looking chests would keep simple techs, complex artifacts - higher techs. Also they could be divided by colour into groups representing different technologies: energy, life support, ground vehicles, mining, space travel etc.

This way, you'd never know what have you found until you examine it in the research station. But you'd know that it's something worth collecting.

Quote

Chests growing on trees or under plants on the surface should yield only natural resources (compound, resin, organic.)  

Chests found underground should yield Ore resources that need to be melted into ingots in the smelter (aluminum, copper, lithium, titanium, -- perhaps coal into charcoal?-- etc)

Yup. But let's put in those chests more resources to keep player's interest in them.

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