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Alex Connor

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Alex Connor last won the day on November 9 2015

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  1. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    That is really cool, basically everything I was hoping for about the game when first announced and then some :) Particularly interested in building a fleet vs just building individual ships, I'm already planning classes of battleships, cruisers and destroyers (and maybe even some hybrid types). That balance between quantity and quality of individual ships is going to be fun to play around with, not to mention trying to design ships that will still be useful (or can be upgraded in useful ways) even when they are no longer the peak of available technology.
  2. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    I did run into some of the problems you probably found but there are definitely solutions and ways you can build/details the parts so that they work together perfectly. Combining detailed and accurate parts like bridges, funnels and bridges taken from real ships with preset "building-block" parts has huge potential to me, the options are almost endless (casemate guns in the superstructure, catapults for floatplanes and so on), this can work for any size or type of ship. Currently working on a detailed proposal for how individual parts work plus a higher quality model for demonstration purposes (model above is actually a pre-dreadnought hull scaled up). Edit: Really this is taking the best ideas from a wide range of games, I've played many games with modular building systems, even made some assets for one as a mod and have a good idea of what works and what doesn't work in a modular system.
  3. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    Challenge accepted Detail is not a problem as long as you build the pieces to work together but also be able to stand on their own. 3 ships made by arranging exactly the same pieces in different ways. (note, these pieces could be far more detailed/elaborate and still work together) I have some ideas for a system on how to control the pieces in the shipbuilder itself (pretty much put everything on a grid, you could even use a 3D grid for machinery layout inside the ship's hull).
  4. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    I understand, at this point you are more or less just building models that will be chopped up later to create assets for the shipbuilder. Well, (surprise ) I have some ideas for how the more complex superstructure could be handled. The early battleships can be pretty simple, identification book examples from page 1 of this thread look great because early battleships looked like that, but going into WW1 superstructure gets a lot more complicated, lots of things intersecting with each other. So for example you can build preset superstructure pieces like this, and allow players to move them around. Super-firing guns mounted into the superstructure. However, IMO it's better to make superstructure and turrets/barbettes separate, so you can clip the barbette through the superstructure in any position as long as the turret itself is not inside the superstructure. That way different size turrets will all have the right barbette without any need to make different versions of the superstructure. You could also for example have no super-firing turret, and instead put a secondary weapon or rangefinder etc there without any need for a different superstructure model. Another point for getting as much use as possible out of one piece of superstructure is to add extra deck levels to the same piece so it can be raised or lowered without changing the model. Extra decks also allow the superstructure to fit seamlessly onto a ship that has a step in the deck of the hull. And finally (), letting players clip pieces of superstructure through each other means players can create their own complex superstructure in believable looking ways.
  5. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    Really nice models, throw in some length of hull options and that pretty much covers early torpedo boats even into WWI. I'm a little curious how you will handle custom designs with such detailed models though, what happens if for example I wanted to build a 3 funnel version, or put one of the torpedo tubes amidships? Do the ventilators disappear, can you move, delete or even cut in half the low piece of superstructure the funnels are sitting on?
  6. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    On a subject we can all agree on, a functional system of commerce would be pretty awesome. I've played a fair number of ship titles and other strategy games and merchant ships tend to be targetable scenery whose destruction doesn't actually mean anything. If merchant ships exist at all that is, frequently you get a sea full of warships and not much else even though commerce vessels outnumbered warships by 10 to 1 or even 100 to 1. Here there will be shipbuilding which means you need to have resources, and those resources could be tied to physical cargo ships plying the seas. Doesn't have to be too complex, each nation has a pool of shipbuilding resources like steel and oil, then you have a bunch of little AI merchant vessels running back and forth between resource points and their home nation, each time one makes it back to port you get a little uptick of resources. Of course, some won't make it because they ran into a warship. Which opens up commerce raiding, individual cruisers and even squadrons hunting the high seas to starve out the enemy, other squadrons hunting the raiders. Convoy systems, a check box to gather all ships from nearby ports and hold them to form a convoy which can be escorted by attached warships. I think this would be a first among strategy games if successfully implemented.
  7. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    Well, that works in a game where you command one ship (or submarine) and gameplay consists of combat and looking for combat. However, there are a lot more uses of time here. There is combat itself, there is shipbuilding and there is also strategy. We don't know what devs plan for strategy, but at the least there is time progression from 1880 to 1939 and a large map or world map. Quite possibly there is technology research to handle (so you cannot for example build HMS Dreadnought in 1880), along with diplomacy which is important because historical conflicts take up only very small portions of 1880 to 1939. For example playing as Britain if you started in 1880 there would be no naval conflicts until 1914 unless the player has the ability to go to war. There may also be control of resources to handle, the world's trade is carried by ships and it would make sense for players to be protecting their own shipping while hunting the enemy's with raiding cruisers and squadrons. There might even be conquest, which could be handled as escorting troops via sea (probably not conquest of nations, but at least taking remote supply points). I'm very much looking forward to the strategy, shipbuilding and combat but don't see how a player will have time to do all that while also patrolling the seas as an individual captain. Edit: Suppose we are all speculating while waiting for dev details, the game could turn out very different from image in my head
  8. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    An open world would really limit playability if you want to have a global game map. I mean Naval Action is a beautiful game, the combat is fantastic and I have spent well over a thousand hours playing since sea trials, but in a game map that size everything takes an eternity to do (maybe that's why I have so many hours, there was a lot of semi-afk sailing). Last time I was playing was based out of Navassa attacking traffic around Port Royal/Kingston, a distance of no more than 150km in real life on a map nearly 4000km across, yet that was a 30 minute sail just to where enemies might be, then you have to find a battle and the battle itself could easily take an hour. To play Naval Action and achieve anything at all meant setting aside an entire evening. And that's just a map of the Caribbean, with the scale set as small as possible where you can still have recognizable landmarks. My preference would be a turn based global campaign map (emphasis on map, perhaps in a style like the Ultimate Generals battlefields) which transitions into a naval action style battle map when combat is triggered, on which you would fight with 3rd person ship control and a tactical map for squadron/fleet command. The global campaign map would allow strategic elements like diplomatic relations, control of resources, shipping, convoys etc to come into play, along with things like cruiser raiding, commerce warfare and grand fleet battles. In essence players would build their fleets and fight their own Tsushimas, Jutlands, Falkland Islands instead of just refighting historical battles, which to me would be a wasted opportunity in a game that let's you design and build your own ships.
  9. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    If you are still weighing options can I pitch some ideas? It's an old game now but Battlestations Midway had an excellent blend of action and strategy, IMO much more enjoyable than World of Warships. Gameplay comprised of commanding a squadron of ships, players would switch from 3rd person control of their ship to giving the whole squadron orders via the battle map, and could also switch between all the ships under their command. This made for some very varied gameplay, within individual missions you could go from destroyer torpedo attacks to dueling with battleships, and the missions ranged from captaining single destroyers or cruisers on patrol to commanding entire battle-groups. The battle map was very well handled and made it possible to command a sizable fleet. Ships could be given individual/sequential waypoints and independent (AI) attack orders, it was also possible to group ships in formation with presets such as line astern, V formation etc, formations could be further customized by opening a formation mini-map and dragging ships to where you wanted them to hold formation on the lead ship. Both battle map and 3D gameplay had a fog of war system based on detection ranges, on larger maps there was a strong emphasis on scouting. To me this would be a fantastic concept to serve as a basis for tactical level combat, the original ideas could be further enhanced with elements like weather and would also tie in very well with different ships having different roles and technological advancements as the timeline of the game progressed.
  10. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    Based on the Cressy and Drake classes? Very nice model and I love how you are using variations of similar ships to build more visual variety.
  11. Alex Connor

    Cannonball vs Mast Physics

    The pattern broadside or random fire is more or less where it should be, firing to hit an enemy at medium and long ranges is quite accurate. Or at least accurate enough. However most people prefer rolling broadsides because they are very accurate and allow extreme concentration of fire at even very long ranges with enough practice. I have vivid memories of Tommy Shelby sniping the mizzen mast off my Connie with a Victory at not less than 800m, and the whole broadside went through my mizzen-top platform like a stream of cannonballs about 3ft by 3ft that ran deliberately from the front of the mizzentop platform to the back just below the height of the platform itself. At 800m. With a 50 gun broadside. Which is great for Tommy and the people who have really practiced gunnery, but also slightly insane, wildly unrealistic and causing all sorts of problems with dismasting mechanics. All that would need changing is cranking up horizontal/vertical dispersion on rolling broadsides by a factor of about 3-10 (starting low and increasing as more guns fired) and adding reticle bloom to each aimed shot so people can't machine gun snipe. Perhaps reduce dispersion on random fire as compensation.
  12. Alex Connor

    Cannonball vs Mast Physics

    Gunnery is and has always been far too accurate. You can play around with mast thickness and hit points but it's just avoiding the real problem. Which is that gunnery dispersion during rolling broadside (or single shot) is far too low, in reality the ship is rolling and smoke from the first guns to fire blinds gunners, you would have a lot of vertical dispersion and even horizontal dispersion as the gunners miss their timing in the smoke. At most rolling broadside should only be accurate enough to hit the enemies side or bow/stern at point blank range, and firing single shots for ranging should reset dispersion/bloom so you have to wait several seconds to aim in again. At longer ranges everyone should be using the "random shot" mode for better dispersion and keep rolling broadsides for point blank raking or passing a ship at short range. Random shot btw isn't random at all, it's is careful calculation with 1-2-3-4-5-6 timing to fire the whole broadside that aids long range gunnery by producing a deliberate pattern much like a shotgun blast. Admin made a great explanation of this back in the sea trials days but seems to have forgotten it now
  13. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    Still really excited to find out the direction Game-labs will pursue for the game itself. Obviously there are a few concepts for a single-player naval game, 1) Mission based. This has the advantage of devs being able to set up some exciting historical battles, but to me doesn't really take advantage having a full 3D shipbuilder, since you are probably just building individual ships for missions. 2) Open world (similar to Silent Hunter). More exciting because you are now building a ship (or squadron) that has to be more flexible and balanced, the downside is that to me at least real time open world on a large scale is very over-rated, it takes forever to get anywhere or do anything. Obviously time compression can be used in a single-player game, but then you lose the real-time sailing experience. 3) Turn based strategic map combined with full 3D battles on a large-scale map. Scouting and raiding with cruisers, battlefleets hunting each other, convoys and escorts. This would be my personal choice since the turn based strategic map gives you control over what battles happen and when, at the same time there is no massive commitment of time simply to find a battle and you can spend more time fighting. Using the 3D shipbuilder to build up real fleets would also be very interesting.
  14. Alex Connor

    Work in progress: Dreadnoughts

    As I understand the tools will be there to recreate real ships and battleship classes but you will have the freedom to come up with your own designs and progression of ship size/armament is not directly tied to history. Depending on the final form of the game unlocking hulls/turrets/propulsion/gunnery systems may be either tied to the year ingame, progress in missions or require researching. There may also be build time requirements for components like guns which were one of the most labor intensive parts of building a new battleship. That means the dreadnought leap can be smoothed with a range of intermediate designs armed with mixed batteries.
  15. Alex Connor

    To battleship specialists

    There were many transitional designs, for example the Japanese would have built a class of all big gun capital ships (Satsuma and Aki) predating the Dreadnaught but ran out of money and ended up with a mixed 12in/10in battery. Building our own ships offers a chance to smooth that transition with a whole range of mid-sized mixed battery battleships.
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