Presenting the Quick Designer!

Presenting the Quick Designer!

As has been hinted at before, the Quick Designer for ships is ready for use.  While not 100%, it is now usable.  One of the cornerstones of Rank: Warmaster is the ability to fully customize ships.  While has been able to be done for a while, there were two extremes available:  An extremely granular control of all aspects of the design, or an AI created design based on given tendencies and priorities (The Autobuilder).  The former made designing of a ship very time consuming, but gave the greatest detail control, and the latter (which is used by the AI) let the player only have very generic control.  The player couldn’t even select the weapons they wanted.  The auto-helper tried to bridge the two ways of doing things by letting the player select the weapons they wanted, and the auto-helper would complete out the design.  In practice, this wasn’t enough to make the design easy, especially if a lot of weapons were desired.

Enter the Quick Designer, which is inspired by how other 4X games design ships (if it is that kind of game).  In this interface, it is easy to select what and how many weapons are desired, and see in real-time the effects of adding or removing parts.  Desired thickness of armor can be selected, as well as the shields, rather than total points.  The shipbuilder will be moving in this direction as well.  Also, in play testing, it was found that with ships with multiple weapons, that during battle some but not all of those weapons can be damaged, but that still allowed the player to fight since some weapons were still functional.  The auto-built designs generally had a single reactor, and one of each thruster type, so that a critical hit on any of these systems completely disabled the ship.  If one had multiple smaller thrusters and/or multiple smaller reactors, a single loss wouldn’t cripple a ship.  This hasn’t been practically or easily possible until now.  A player can say they want 3 reactors, and so the ship will have 3, and the power requirements will be spread across all 3, as an example.  This same method will work for the thrust requirements from the thrusters.  This should make a more resilient ship.

The Quick Designer also has defaults based on the Role Selected, so by just hitting defaults, it will auto-populate based on the best of the required parts.  So like the autobuilder, a design can be made with a few easy clicks, or modified before the design is ready.  If a player clicks apply, it will move the design into the more granular set of sub screens for further modification, or a player can simply save the design from within the Quick Builder.  Currently, this window is located on the autobuilder subscreen of the shipbuilder, but the intent is to also have it available and fully functional from the factory screen, so one can quickly make a design without ever entering the shipbuilder interface at all!

I hope everyone can take a look at the IndieGoGo page for our crowd funding that has already started.

On a separate note, work has already begun on updating the AI in the game to IAUS (Utility Theory based AI).  However, this will take a while to implement, so expect further updates about this in a few weeks.

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