Yes, yes, I know that the game is called "Airships", and not just "Ships". BUT: Since Landships have been added, an idea has been gnawing at my brain for a while, and it's the idea of ports and sea-faring vessels.
I just saw posted in another thread an image showing sea routes for landships. So, basically the idea is thus:
Built in ports of various sizes just like the cities, Ships can only travel along sea routes. They can make beach heads for landships, and they are the means to escort them. Their biggest weakness is airships, just like in modern history, where the mighty Battleship was easily made obsolete with air power. A ship vs airship battle is fairly one sided, as most ships can only have a limited amount of room for anti air, are extremely slow to turn, are generally slower moving, and cannot dodge bombs. (ouch)
Instead of service ceiling, there is a buoyancy. Same mechanic. Positive buoyancy comes from certain hull modules, which would logically be buoyant in the real world. A storage module like a coal bunker for example, is not very buoyant on its own, but a corridor is; being just an empty box. Crew quarters, fire points, and even engine rooms are fairly buoyant. So a trade off is required between storage, firepower, and buoyancy.
Obviously you can try to build suspendium based systems to keep the ship afloat, but that's a very risky move!
As soon as suspendium dust meets water, the module is rendered unusable. So one unlucky hit to a suspendium chamber results in your lovely vessel sinking like a stone.
Buoyancy vs suspendium means two conflicting lift systems, so this might not be doable from a programming perspective. Oh well.
"Hull" modules are water tight, mostly buoyant and are visually similar to steel armour standard modules. They can be upgraded to heavy armour in exchange for lower buoyancy.
Standard modules are not watertight, and will flood once they reach water level.
They can be built at most 2 levels down from the highest deck. This is to combat cheating with a certain module to be explained further below...
If a ship is too heavy, the draft of the vessel will be too far above the waterline, submerged standard modules along with deck-level watertight ones will flood, and thus the ship will gradually sink.
As stated previously, a hull module with an exposed ceiling is considered to be the deck of the ship, and will flood from the top when COMPLETELY submerged.
Structural damage to hull modules lowers their buoyancy, due to them flooding.
Flooding functions somewhat like water in Minecraft. As soon as a module starts flooding, any adjacent module starts flooding as well, albeit 50% more slowly. This continues for every module further along, and is cumulative to a point.
(Maybe drop off is exponential? Also, maybe too cpu intensive, but heck, it's a concept.)
N.B: Flooding doesn't happen upwards beyond water level. Upward flooding is significantly slower than in the lateral or downward directions.
So let's say that downwards is the 100% speed, side to side is 50%, and upwards is 30%. If a module is being flooded from multiple sides, the fastest side is the only one that will flood.
Flooding is controlled by standard repair crews fixing structural damage, and by a pumping station.
Flooding speed is proportional to damage level. Graphically, this is represented as a blue shader filling up the module. In real terms, it is a percentage value. A module can be accessed by crew up to a flooding percentage of 65, above which the module is considered inaccessible due to water levels.
Flooding also slows crew movement through a module. Maybe directly related to percentage, or just a flat value, depending on resource-hogginess.
MORE MODULES! FLOODY ONES!
The pumping station is the size of a fire extinguisher module, manned by 1 sailor, and reduces the flooding level (Think flooding mechanic, but reversed, and the same speed in all directions). The poor bugger just sits there cranking a big old handle like his life depends on it. Because it does. What a terrible job.
Anyway, a pumping station can cope with one destroyed module at most, beyond which it cannot keep up the pace. I mean, he's all alone in there! I dare you to do better.
Pumping station modules should be quite heavy, in order to avoid ship builders spamming them everywhere, and making their ship virtually unsinkable.
Another aid against flooding is bulkheads. They are basically a heavily armoured fire corridor that will block lateral modules from flooding. They can be flooded from above and below though. Crew movement is slowed just like a fire corridor. The best use is to divide the ship into sections so that a damaged section can flood without affecting the rest of the ship.
The limitations of the bulkhead are that it's an incredibly heavy module, as it's essentially a whopping great lump of iron, and also it cannot be built up to deck level(exposed to the sky), or directly below a standard module. So if flooding is severe enough, the water will simply flow over the bulkhead. (Titanic much?)
Engines and propellers can be taken directly from airships, but one can add an extra engine room module directly adjacent to propeller modules to improve speed. Apart from these changes, other mechanics are the same. Boarding, supply hatches, fire control, cannons, you name it.
The only extra weapons that I can think of would be a smaller flak module, and a dorsal turret that only fires backwards or forwards (as well as up) to allow for superstructure to be added to a ship without sacrificing firepower.
So whaddya think? It could be quite epic imo, just imagine a ramming batttleship bristling with flak, punching holes in airships, going in for a suicide ram before the ammo store explodes. I tremble at the thought.
Thanks for making it all the way down here if you read though the whole thing.
I'm pretty sure I let some loopholes slip through, but hopefully nothing major.
I know this is well beyond the scope of the game, but BATTLESHIPS! AAAAHHH!
Cheerio, and all that.
A map where there's water instead of land?
Build and send ship from sea-side placed cities?
Have ships find their way through oceans, seas and rivers?
HUGE AWESOME BATTLESHIPS ON SEA??
AAAAAAHHHHH!!! I knooow right? I see a possible expansion in this, maybe?
Updated flooding mechanics.
Also, apologies for wall of text. 'Tis a big idea, you see.
Heeeyyy! Welcome to the Text-Wall-Building team!
I made a nice big one, didn't I? I'm sure if I add pictures, I can make it longer than your ground troops one. =P
Yep, the current plan is to put water with basic flooding/drowning mechanics in at probably dev8, and to put seagoing ships and submarines into a post-release expansion.
woohoo! Any part of my idea that you found interesting, like the bulkheads, engine rooms or pumps? Is that something to add, or too in-depth? (Get it? In-depth? haha ah hah...)
I like your ideas and they are much along the same lines as what I'd been considering. I think the main problem is that unlike airships and landships, seaships can't just have any shape, they need to have a reasonably streamlined watertight hull to not be a disaster.
So how does that work? The best I can come up with right now is a system wherein you pick from one of a set list of hulls. The hull has a certain amount of empty space inside it where you can place modules, including engines. And then you can add superstructure on top of the ship.
Submarines would work much the same, but with the hull fully enclosing its internal space and no option for superstructure.
well with the system that I thought up, at least deck-level, you are forced to build something resembling a ship, as the superstructure can only be built 2 levels below the highest deck level; but below the waterline maybe you must lay a keel that forces the player to build the ship a certain shape? You could also add a max length to height ratio for the hull, simulating the need for the ship not to capsize.
Pyramid hull shape problem. Hmm. What if the hull can only go so far above the waterline, which is a fixed guide line in the editor? and then the ship must be built by the player to match that line in practice as closely as possible?
Zarkonnen, If I may suggest an alternative:
This will involve a small set of block to be added to the game. These blocks would we the forward and back water cutting edges, and would come in dever angles and sizes. For example, you would have a block two high and one wide, and the building line would cut from top-right corner of the block to the bottom-left one. A sharp-textured block like that would be placed at the front, and a dull-edge-textured block be placed in the back. The textures on ships would be altered to create a round-sorta shape from the outside (and without windows), but aside from these water-cutting blocks all others would be the same.
There would obviously have to be more turret weapons, maybe the big ones I read about in this thread. They would (I think) have a 12-o'clock to 3-o'clock firing arcs. Maybe a good idea at that point would be to have some sort of mortar weapon to place at the back of ships. There would also be blocks to place under the ship and at connection points between different edge-blocks (let's call them that)
These water-cutting blocks (I don't anglish) should also have alternatives, such as a block that contains a torpedo-firing mechanism. You would have buoyancy blocks, and would have underwater propellers.
Ships would have to be covered in these edge-blocks front, bottom and back, there-by keeping water out. All blocks relying on water would be emplaced in edge-blocks.
The amount of buoyancy needed to keep that ship afloat would limit the armor weight.
Submarines would be covered completely in edge blocks. I am thinking that upward edge-blocks would have variants with embedded weapons, such as mortars and flak cannons. There would also be a forward edge block wit a 2*1 slope, but going deeper into the ship. This block would have a bigger embedded torpedo launcher.
Just thinking. When I wake up tomorrow, I will make textures to show what I mean, I promise.
Also I am drunk and sleepy so ignore my terrible anglish. I promise I'll be better tomorrow.
Post-Scriptum: I see I am holding my position in the Text-Wall Building Club.
Post-Post-Scriptum: Fell off my chair right after positing this. Told you, I am incompetent for engineering and construction of machines as complicated as this in my current state. Don't judge.
I do not quite like the idea of so many limitations for ships.
I understand to a point that they might be required, but could you not simply code in a system where the ship roles over if it is to top heavy?(I presume this is what this is all about)
Rolling over would be similar to an airship turning around.
Though i do imagine it would be hard to code the crew standing on what used to be the ceiling.
Forgive me if i misunderstood your point.
Also, as a side note...
Could you code in the old texture for wounded crew?
It seems quite a bit better than the new one.
Do ships even need to role over?
Commander, Engineering Corps
If you had some form of value of buoyancy applied to modules.
So, 1 buoyancy = ability to keep 1 unit of weight above the water line.
Ship in total weighs 3000 units of weight, the sum of the buoyancy is 1500. So the ship will float with the middle of the ship on the water line.
Ship with total weight 3000 units, with sum of buoyancy being 2000, the ship will float with it being 2/3rds above the water line.
Now, if you just had a buoyancy value applied to all modules, then you just need something to calculate it and make it float, things like corridors provide positive buoyancy (as well as specifically introduced modules). While, cannons-ammo stores-coal etc.. have a overall negative value.
Corridor weighs 8 units, provides 12 buoyancy (ie, +4 total). alone it will float above the water line.
Cannon weighs 70 units, provides 60 buoyancy (ie, -10 total). it will go below the water line, and sink due to negative buoyancy.
This would make Ship-Ships, very large compared to Landships and Airships, but with the ability to take allot more damage (due to increased sum of Hitpoints) provided they dont loose positive buoyancy.
Now, Gameplay wise, modules shouldnt be able to fire while underwater (apart from submarine specific Torpedoes). So a half sunken ship cant use its guns that are under, but a Submarine can use torpedoes.
Normal weapons shouldnt be able to impact modules underwater (ie, Submarines), only things like Torpedoes and Depth Charges should be able to.
Damaged cells should lose buoyancy. Wont float with a hole in it.
Wolvr, with all due respect, did you even read the op? 4th and 5th paragraphs. Less detail, but same idea. Also, the entire post describes buoyancy mechanics and flooding in detail.
I do appreciate your enthusiasm for the concept though :D
Mine uses just a value and maths. no requirement for a definition between 'Hull' and 'Standard' Modules. Also no allowance for water physically entering the ship.
Having a second set of modules would be easy enough with a extra flag. But water entering the ship would be the thing, possible using something akin to AirSailors maybe? But I feel like it would be a fair bit of work to do such.
My concept is simpler, only change to anything would be introduction of a single value, way of decreasing due to damage and a way to tell weapons if they can act underwater or not. (along with water)
Well the mechanic for buoyancy in both ideas is essentially the same, only that your concept defines fixed values dependent on module damage, and mine is a dynamic system. My guess is that yours is simpler to implement but sinking is a problem. To sink, a ship needs to be incredibly heavily damaged, and if so it will hover underwater due to there being no flooding mechanic. Mine is a potentially prettier system but probably very laggy I would guess. Maybe a compromise between the two can be reached.
Oh my. Quiet the discussion happening. I want in.
So I read my work and your peep's discussion, and that also gave me some ideas.
Why I think each module should not have it's own buoyancy: balancing this would be impossible. You would have people spamming hallways. Plus, you want controlled-buoyancy modules if you are building a submarine!
How to make people care about water-lines: If your waterline is below the center of mass, the ship-editor does not allow the ship to be used. You can make the line as high as you want, but a single torpedo to the hull might throw your deck underwater, before the hull can be fixed.
Also I think edge-block would be a great way to define the textures generated for the ship's hull.
rsslcs, If something is negative buoyancy, then it should sink. Positive buoyancy only effects level of float, once is negative (ie, heavy damage) then ship would sink.
OPERATOR, More hallways = more cost.
Also, I dont think we have a simulation for a center of mass, we just have a total mass.
But, if a ship is half sunken, on the top moules remain above water, what would be stopping the remaining crew from fighting on? the same happens with crashed airships.
If Weapons underwater could not fire, people would care about where their ship would sit in the water, as no point in having guns that cant shoot.
Submarine building is different of course but I want to preserve the freedom of placing modules at will, fixed hull shapes as zarkonnen suggested go against the rest of the game.. Edge blocks are cool, but I still believe that per-module buoyancy is the most realistic, and fun solution. It just needs stricter editor rules. Did you see my post about the waterline guide line in the editor? What did you think of that? Also, I added flooding because I love the suspense of it! Your ship is full of holes, repair crews running everywhere; the superstructure is on fire, the only thing keeping you afloat is the pumping station removing water as fast as it can.. It looks so epic in my mind!
A Waterline guide in the editor would be a must for ships, else it would just be trail and error.
And yea, fixed hulls would be a utter pain.
Excuse me, not center of mass. It would be a line, a line where the center of all weight of the ship would average. It would, of course, be horizontal allways, and the position of that line compared to the waterline could determine if a ship is fit for sailing.
I was thinking that if the waterline is right under were the first open deck is, then if there is a breach, the ship would start sinking, and more water getting into the ship.
Oh and to clarify, standard modules would represent the part of the ship that is never supposed to be underwater, the superstructure. The differentiation is for gameplay reasons, otherwise the flooding system would sink ships too slowly. Once the superstructure meets the water, it's basically game over, maybe you have 10-15 seconds to fire your last shots. God I'm making films in my head. Ammo store explosion, huge hole, fire everywhere, bow separate from stern. This has so much potential.
By da way, realistically you would have only a single ship active in battle, since the once behind it could not pass it.
Maybe a ship queue system for battles then. When you lose a ship, bring in the next one from your queue.
Like reserves? Hmm.
The only other thing I can think of is a "lanes" system wherein you have, say maximum 3 ships per side in their own lane, in a pseudo 3d sea. Like airships on top of each other. They can transfer between lanes if they avoid the ship already there. Im not so sure about this idea though, it would be hard to make it look right.
Okay the idea of layers has been on my mind for a while, but I think that the game would become incredibly difficult to manage at that point, especially in multiplayer.
So, this is essentially a planned feature? I can't wait. I'd love to see some water ships.
And, regarding all those suggestions about water ship mechanics... I find them interesting, but I think I'll just wait to see what Zarkonnen comes up with before brainstorming too much.
WE ARE HIS BRAIN
WE ARE HIM
YOU ARE HIM
Zarkonnen needs to realise that accidents tend to happen. Occasionally, they appear in the form of a fire. It would be a shame if his place burned down...
Fortunately, scientists have discovered something peculiar. Apparently, the probability of such a fire happening is inversely proportional to how willing the person living there is to cooperate and precisely follow our demands. Isn't that interesting? I think he should keep it in mind. :P
Looks out the window and sees thousands of game-developer's homes go up in fires.
sorry David... we just got malevolent.
I also suspect Lukasmah is an AI.
(Operator is a cyborg with a degree in conspiracy theory.)
Back on track: I think Zarkonnen is watching (as creepy as it sounds) and will say when he likes an idea. Right now we just need to come up with something ingenious.
I still kinda think that a set of blocks to enclose the ship/submarine with possible emplacements in them is a good idea. It gives freedom and limitation at the same time.
This also means that hull blocks can just flood from anywhere but below, it makes things simpler when stuff starts going boom!
I think maybe it could be interesting if all blocks had a buoyancy value when the ship is sitting in the water, rather than specific blocks around the edge of the ship preventing water from getting in. When a hole appears in a module (or when a module is destroyed) water starts entering the ship and causes it to start sinking. The water will flow in through any area a crew member can enter through, though it would try to fill modules lower than the entry point first.
To combat flooding, there would be pumps of various sizes; I'm thinking an automatic one the size of a fire point, and a small one the size of an extinguisher. And, in the same way that fires can be stopped by fire doors, bulkheads would be corridors that block the movement of water. And fire too probably. The downside is they'd be even more expensive and heavier than fire doors, and slow the movement of crew even more.
Submarines would have a special module called a ballast tank that would let them dive under the water; in fact, these would work a little like the opposite of lift modules; allowing the ship to become heavier to overcome its bouyancy. They might also need special armor to allow them to reach greater depths. Call it their pressure hull or something. It would be pretty tough on the surface, but vulnerable to explosives, especially when under water.
When attacking a submerged submarine, ships would suffer massive accuracy penalties, unless equipped with certain modules (sonar), using specific weapons (depth charges, bombs), or when flying (IRL, one of the most famous military uses for airships was for hunting submarines). This would be to simulate how hard they are to attack IRL.
As far as a marker for the waterline when building a seafaring vessel, I think it's a good idea. But how would it be given? I can think of two ways it could work; either the game calculates the ships bouyancy against its weight, or (for a possibly simpler method) it could be based on where the propulsion modules for the ship are. It would be important because certain modules would either not function well or at all depending on if they're above water or not. For example, cannons wouldn't work below the surface, sonar wouldn't work above it, and paddle wheels would work best when partially submerged.
It is funny, it is the first thing that came to my mind when thinking about suggestions.