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IMPERIA CONCEPTS – COMPONENTS

Component System – Notes

This is a small overview of the component system. More to come soon.

The component system is already programmed and in the game. The components are procedurally generated each time you start the game, although you will be able to influence them somewhat when you set up your empire. There are several tech levels that your Empire is fluent in, such as missile tech, laser tech, Gauss cannon tech, shield tech, armor tech, etc. It is possible for your Empire to have a tech level of ‘0’ in a category (not basics like armor or engines) which means that your Empire can not add a certain component.

When an empire is generated, a component list is created. First the program looks to add weapon components. If an empire has at least a level 1 in a certain category, a chance for a weapon series to be created is checked. Next, the series is checked for how many size iterations are available for that component, always starting at Size 0. Finally, stats are created based on tech levels, miniaturization technology, and a random factor. The component is named with an official name, given a ‘colloquial’ design name based on type, given a manufacturer name, and placed into the list!

The advantage of this from a gameplay standpoint is that you will be able to set your empire tech preferences when you set up your Empire in the new game screen (coming). That way, if you want ships with super powerful missile tech, you can have it, but you will have to have it at the expense of another type of tech. This system also allows a ‘hands-off’ way to gradually improve your ships and technology without knowing ‘exactly’ what is coming. It’s a tradeoff between fixed components and designing your own (ala Aurora). As an emperor, you would not be involved in that process, but would have a say about what is being developed!

So here’s an example, using one that was just generated with a test:

General Dynamics ‘Hawk’ Type II Laser Mount

This is a laser system that is available for ships that are at least size II, meaning cruisers and up. It does 122 damage close range, 85 damage medium range, 40 damage long range, and 0 damage extreme range (larger lasers may have that capability). It has an close range attack value (AV) of 155, a medium range AV of 110, a long range AV of 60, and an extreme range AV of 0. Obviously, it is less likely to hit at longer ranges, though it does have decent long range AV. It is size 120 and has 155 hit points. So this would be a pretty strong short-range weapon, with above-average medium range capability for a smaller laser mount.

Ship hull designs have a base component size value that they can fit. A typical light cruiser would probably have around 1000-1500 size points available for weapons, 500 or so for defensive, 1000 for subsystems, etc. This is why miniaturization tech is important – it allows you to fit more weapons (think ‘hardpoints’) on the same cost hull with the same efficiency as a larger weapon.

You will have access to all components available in your Empire. You can ask that component designs be scrapped, ask that a new design be created within a certain type/subtype (i.e. weapons/missiles) but you will not have precise control of what is actually developed! Usually it will not be worse than a previous design (there is a ‘version’ stat that increments with each component subtype built, representing experience with what works and doesn’t work, making it better) but it just might be!

-Steve

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The New Roadmap… A Preview!!

Hey all!!

I promise this blog will be hopping more and more as I get more time to work on Imperia. Briefly, I want to talk about the revised roadmap that I’m looking at going forward for the game. I will add more detail to each version in a separate post, and I’d love feedback!

V.04 – This will have primarily the military system put in place, including ships, fleets, assignment to governors, admirals, and the War Prime screen with build orders, as well as randomized components and technology. It will be a large arc, and I hope to have it done by the end of the year. The war prime button will be unlocked.

V.05 – This will concentrate on the scientific system. With the planets and ships in place, there will be more to research. Here you will be able to research Edicts, technologies that are more efficient, war technologies, and the first version of the Lazarus Project (the true ‘win condition’) will be available. The science prime button will be unlocked.

V.06 – This will add the economic layer from a empire-wide perspective. There is already a empire-wide economy, but up to now the focus has been primarily at a planet level. This update will allow you to control empire-wide taxes, set a max and a min tax rate for planets and systems, and control the subsidies that sectors are allocated. I will be changing to a top-down model by this update; in other words, planets send profits to systems who send profits to sectors who are taxed for the Empire, and vice versa. Currently, there is a ‘bottom-up’ model. This will (hopefully) ensure stronger sector organization and really put the power in the hands of the sector governors, where it belongs. The economic button will be unlocked.

V.07 – At this point, intel will get a lookover, as will anything missing from the planet system (secondary designations, etc). The intel screen will be more functional (though I will be adding here and there throughout the process). You will have more intel options for characters, such as spread rumors, fabricate plots, etc.

V.08 – Here the character system will be completed and the events system will be put into place. Characters will comm you and the ‘wish and demand’ system will be implemented. I was originally going to do this in .4 but I realized that all the components of the Empire needed to be in play for this to be effective.

V.09 – At last… other empires!! Before this point there will be the possibility of civil war or a rebellion within your empire, but this update will introduce true empires that have grown and exist outside of your Empire. Soon, I will post the background of Imperia, and the context will make a lot more sense.

V1.0 – At last! Graphics updates, bugs, balancing, and anything else that I didn’t get to previously will be here. Exciting times, right?

-Steve

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IMPERIA CONCEPTS – Military/Ships

Hey all!

With version .4 and beyond we’re going to take a bit of a break from the characters and move to the ships and military that will be so instrumental in your character’s power!! This post will talk about the ships under your command.

Basics

In Imperia, all military ships will have the following:
*Engines (warp, sublight ratings) warp speed rating determines number of distance units able to move per month
*Weapons (missiles, cannons, lasers)
*Defensive systems (armor, shields, ECM)
*Subsystems (ECCM, tactical system, counter missiles)
*Cargo capacity (for supplies and Marines)

Ships have a extended range, long-range, medium-range, and short-range attack rating, derived from their weaponry plus AI bonus plus leadership bonuses, as well as corresponding defensive ratings. These ratings are compared to each other during each phase of a battle.

So for example, the USS Hawking, with an extended range attack rating of 20 (they have 2 long range missile systems which at the extended range and hit probability work out to 10 each) goes up against the ISS Fubar, with an extended defense rating of 5 (they have no ECM and very basic AMM capability). Dividing the attack rating into the defense rating gives the extended range attack a 75% chance of succeeding (5/20). All attacks are considered salvos for simplicity, but each weapon fired in the salvo is checked against this hit percentage. Continuing the example, one missile system hits, and one does not. Next, damage is checked. Missiles do not have a ‘fall off’ amount with range, so the calculation is simple – damage points (say 50) minus average shield rating minus average armor rating = damage done to the ship itself. Armor damage is taken if damage points get through the shields. If no damage points get through the shields, no armor damage is taken. From that point, there is a determination of which systems are affected and taken offline.

Each battle round, each side determines if they are going to break off, meaning that the combat is over if the attacker breaks off, and the defender must endure additional rounds without firing back equal to the range they have entered plus one attack in the current range. So if the defender decided to break off when the ships were in medium range, the attacker would get 4 ‘free’ attacks (medium + medium + long + extended) In certain situations (usually when there is drive damage) ships can not break off. After any determination of break off is made, the range of the next attack is determined by several factors, including the attacker’s preferred range, the engine ratings of both sides, and the tactical ratings of the leaders of both sides. Generally, the attacker has the advantage to ‘force’ a range, but this can be offset by the defenders maneuverability and superior leadership. Combat continues until the sides reach disengagement range or one side is destroyed. Alternately, one side can surrender if your empire military policy allows for prisoners. (no quarter vs. no mercy)

Ratings are adjusted by type of ship, technology level, and crew efficiency. So if a missile system has base attack ratings of 10/20/40/30, an exceptional tactical AI may increase those ratings to 20/40/80/60, while a crew may adjust it further. You will always know the modified ratings. The same holds true for defenses ratings, and these are affected by the type of weapon being used.

All ships will have names above destroyer. They will be generated from a random file (that will be modifiable as a simple text file). As Emperor, you would not be involved in naming every ship, but you will have the ability to name one of your ships after yourself. You will also be able to designate a fleet flagship.

Fleets

Ships are organized into fleets–>task force–>squadrons. The only ships that are run as singletons are system defense ships. Even destroyers must be designated to a squadron to be considered active. Newly built ships are placed in reserve until assigned and are inactive. They must be assigned to a sector fleet, Prime fleet (the emperor’s fleet) or system defense forces. Ships that are sublight are considered system defense ships and may not be assigned to a fleet. If ships are assigned to Prime Fleet above a certain amount, it is considered tyrannical. Your Empire will use your capital planet’s Admin to run fleets that are not assigned specifically to a sector command, such as Prime Fleet or Empire-designated fleets. Task forces are usually the largest force that can be assigned to a sector, since they usually have fewer Admin points to use. A sector governor may, at their discretion, assign part of their sector task force to a system and place those forces under a system governor, but this is rare. Ships will never be commanded by a viceroy.

All fleets are run by an admiral, as are task forces. Squadrons are considered to have inherent command structure but generally would be run by commodores or lower. Ships are crewed by trained crews that gain experience as they fight and train.

Building Ships

All ships are built at starship production centers (SPC); maximum ship size that the SPC can build depends on the SPC level. Damage can be repaired at starbases or SPCs, depending on level. So it is entirely possible to have a damaged dreadnaught that was built by a planet that you no longer own, with only one place to repair it (the empire capital). You must plan for your support infrastructure when you are designing your Navy.

Planet Attacks

Ships can attack planets with kinetic strikes if they have railguns. While this is very effective to quell unrest, it is obviously a Tyrannical act. Sector governors and system governors (if they have ships under their command) can do this independently if they feel the need (and if they are Cruel or Craven enough; most leaders would not resort to this). You can also send missiles at a planet; however you alone have that ability and many admirals will simply refuse to do so, as this is considered an atrocity against your people and causes tremendous damage to the planet itself (bio rating) as well as the population and economic sector ratings.

Ship sizes

System defense ships: Size 0
Frigates, destroyers : Size I
Light, heavy cruisers: Size II
Battle cruisers: Size III
Battleships, dreadnaughts: Size IV
Superdreadnaughts: Size V

Component types

Weapons
Missiles
Railguns
Gauss cannons
Lasers
Defense
Armor
Shields
AMM systems
ECM
Engines
Warp engines
Sublight engines
Transport
Cargo bays
Troop bays
Tracking
Radar
Lidar
AI
Tactical AI system
Defense AI system

Ship Design/Assignments

Ships generally are designed by your Military Prime and their staff. As Emperor, you can ask for a certain type of ship to be built (“I want a very powerful superdreadnaught class available!”) and after a certain amount of time that design (as your military perceives it) will be available to build. You may create build orders as a military Edict, so for example, if you have 2 classes of ships, the Wasp Class (destroyer with good ECM ratings and speed) and the Hornet Class (heavy cruiser with good missile ratings and excellent armor and shields) and you want to create a sector defense task group down the line, you can ask for 2 Wasps and 4 Hornets to be built as a build order. Your military will designate which SPCs are used to build the ships, and when they are done, you may designate them to a specific organization or create a new organization and assign an admiral from your military character pool. Fleet organization actions use Admin, but they are not considered Edicts, but Military Actions, similar to Character Actions.

To be continued…

-Steve