Author Topic: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?  (Read 5956 times)

Offline Ewokgod

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Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« on: May 31, 2017, 03:32:20 am »
irl, if you make a vehicle big enough, it can act like a base. Look at modern aircraft carriers, for example.

I am seeing the possibility of ground expeditions as comprising convoys of vehicles or a all-terrain "train", where the player builds a number of components (Med-Wagon, Air Defence, rolling Workshops, sleeper wagons) to produce an independent moving mini-base (from "Amtrak Wars" series of books).

Or large dirigibles ("Crimson Skies").

Or icebergs (HMS Habbakuk).

These "mini-bases" would have limited living quarters or storage, but could be used as "parasite" bases where a combat team can deploy from in the smaller aircraft.

But it needs the game engine to allow bases to move, or to fool the engine into allowing a vehicle to have base-like qualities.

Offline arbee81

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 06:18:58 pm »
It's a fun idea, but what problem would it solve for you? Would they be immune from crackdowns?  I have wanted to put a base in the ocean for better radar coverage in a few specific situations, but never thought about it moving

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 06:26:45 pm »
Figuring out when the plane should return would be a huge problem. What if it is force to return, and the base moves in the opposite direction?

Offline Stoddard

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 06:34:41 pm »
Figuring out when the plane should return would be a huge problem. What if it is force to return, and the base moves in the opposite direction?

Not that big of a problem. Base surely can't move faster than a plane (ok, of a comparable tech level), and while it's slower, calculating the bingo fuel point to include worst possible movement of the base is trivial. If you fly 400-knot piston fighers out of 4000-knot elerium-powered laputas, then its your problem to make sure they don't run out of gas.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 08:52:56 pm »
Not that big of a problem. Base surely can't move faster than a plane (ok, of a comparable tech level), and while it's slower, calculating the bingo fuel point to include worst possible movement of the base is trivial. If you fly 400-knot piston fighers out of 4000-knot elerium-powered laputas, then its your problem to make sure they don't run out of gas.

Yeah, but that means that a plane's reach would actually be lower - the point of no return would have to be closer, since the plane would have to take into consideration that the base might just be a troll and run away.

Offline Stoddard

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 09:03:21 pm »
Yeah, but that means that a plane's reach would actually be lower - the point of no return would have to be closer, since the plane would have to take into consideration that the base might just be a troll and run away.

Yes, but this is up to the player - more freedom to him is always good in my book. Besides it all depends on plane speed/base  speed ratio, if we talk floating bases as in aircraft carriers, that would be something on the order of 5 (a worst case of a helicopter vs Nimitz class), which makes almost no difference wrt a stationary base - combat radius reduced by ~10%. And that's a helicopter, and a worst case of the carrier starting to move away from the target immediately after launch. If we assume craft cruise speed about 20 times the carrier's one, that reduction reduces to something like 3%.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 09:15:53 pm by Stoddard »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 09:41:48 pm »
I understand that it's intended to be pretty slow, but if such a feature was introduced, it would have to work with any numbers a modder could come up with. Because modders are very clever* and will certainly use this mechanic for something completely different, which you haven't predicted.

Also, what exactly do you mean by "this is up to the player"? What if the player decides to troll the plane - would the plane crash then? Just trying to understand the model.


* Well, not me. I'm not a clever modder. :(

Offline Stoddard

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 10:50:55 pm »
I understand that it's intended to be pretty slow, but if such a feature was introduced, it would have to work with any numbers a modder could come up with. Because modders are very clever* and will certainly use this mechanic for something completely different, which you haven't predicted.

More power to them modders, isn't this the way all the great mods get done?

Also, what exactly do you mean by "this is up to the player"? What if the player decides to troll the plane - would the plane crash then? Just trying to understand the model.

Well, let it crash then. Out-of-fuel crash is much simpler to code than a Howl's moving castle.

Edit:

Besides, if you insist on craft AI insisting to always have enough fuel to return to the base, this is no problem at all too - dunno how it is right now, but nothing stops the code to keep enough fuel for a worst-case return to base at all times, unless base is faster than the craft. If it is, well, modder shot himself in a foot. He will be corrected by his player base. Or maybe it was intended for the players to keep that in mind. What's the problem?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 11:00:15 pm by Stoddard »

Offline Zharkov

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 11:27:35 pm »
Or, one could prohibit base movement, when planes are out and about.

Offline NeoWorm

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 12:17:17 am »
I always liked idea of orbital bases.

Offline Martin

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2017, 01:02:54 am »
IN nboth base gaem and piratez, bases are supposed to be hidden. Any kind of mobile base would be trivial to find.

Offline khade

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2017, 04:14:49 am »
In Piratez, it would have to be post cloaking device.  But it would have to be anyway, as you would be making a custom vehicle.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2017, 05:18:41 pm »
nothing stops the code to keep enough fuel for a worst-case return to base at all times, unless base is faster than the craft.

However it shortens the effective range of a craft.

Offline Stoddard

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2017, 05:52:08 pm »
However it shortens the effective range of a craft.

Yes, but for realistic craft and carrier speeds this is 10-20% less range worst case.
Given the typical combat ranges of xcom craft, this is just not worth noticing.
 

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Can bases be made to move on the Geoscape screen?
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2017, 07:10:51 pm »
More power to them modders, isn't this the way all the great mods get done?

Of course! But only as long as they are properly made.

Well, let it crash then. Out-of-fuel crash is much simpler to code than a Howl's moving castle.

I don't mind this solution at all, I only wanted to establish most important points of the concept.

Besides, if you insist on craft AI insisting to always have enough fuel to return to the base, this is no problem at all too - dunno how it is right now, but nothing stops the code to keep enough fuel for a worst-case return to base at all times, unless base is faster than the craft. If it is, well, modder shot himself in a foot. He will be corrected by his player base. Or maybe it was intended for the players to keep that in mind. What's the problem?

The problem is that
1) players cheat
2) modders experiment

It's perfectly fine if you add such a feature for your own use, but if it's to be published, it must meet certain standards. Otherwise... bad stuff happens to the modder. ;)

Again, I definitely am not fighting against this feature, it's pretty cool. But some things need to be established first.

Or, one could prohibit base movement, when planes are out and about.

We could, but that would feel really forced. There is nothing that would realistically prevent the flying base from moving.

I always liked idea of orbital bases.

UFO: Aftershock, eh? ;)

IN nboth base gaem and piratez, bases are supposed to be hidden. Any kind of mobile base would be trivial to find.
In Piratez, it would have to be post cloaking device.  But it would have to be anyway, as you would be making a custom vehicle.

Yeah, a valid point, but it depends on execution. Not a problem with the concept as such.

Yes, but for realistic craft and carrier speeds this is 10-20% less range worst case.
Given the typical combat ranges of xcom craft, this is just not worth noticing.

No, but what if I want to add super fast fighters or bases, because it makes sense in my setting? If the game engine put a soft limit on it, because at some level it's falling apart, then it's just poor design. X-Com design standards are higher than that.

But yeah, making the plane crash is good enough for me... as long as it's communicated to the player clearly.