EM-8ERs base construction system

Discussion in 'General Ember Discussion' started by Luna12, Nov 18, 2016.

Do you think bases should be constructed like this?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
  3. ... (please post in the comments below)

    4 vote(s)
  1. Luna12

    Luna12 New Member

    This afternoon, I suddenly had some ideas about the construction system that EM-8ER would have. This system would be one of the most important in EM8-ER, as(except for the starting point) every base will be player constructed, so a sloppy building system would probably drive away any (potential) players.

    To start, I think the system would have to be a grid based modular system. This is because a free placement system would have the obvious drawback that separate buildings and walls will always be slightly misaligned, causing holes and making it difficult to neatly place things next to each other.
    In the example below, using a grid(left) would make it easy to align the buildings(red and yellow) and the walls(blue), but in the free placement model(right) the buildings don't fit in the same space anymore with even the slightest misalignment and the gate(purple) would have a hole next to it if the walls are placed first.

    Using a grid would also facilitate joining nearby bases together when they grow, as the orientations would already be aligned.

    Of course, once the game starts, and for new players, you can't depend on player build bases and just dump everyone in the middle of a monster infested wasteland while they try to figure out how the game works, so there must be some pre-build starting base/city, which features all the necessary facilities to craft basic items/weapons/gear and to equip and modify frames and weapons and store your resources. This will also function as a permanent spawn place and have permanent protection from enemies.

    The rest of the map being nothing but a barren wasteland, players have to build bases here for themselves. This building system would allow anyone to start building anywhere, as long as they have the resources for it, and anything they build and the facilities there are accessible to everyone, but building is limited to the guild/faction of the player who started(or set to free build, but this is not recommended because of the trolls). This ownership is saved by a single building: the control room. This control room also features some terminals to control the base, like a list of structures of the base and the ability to upgrade/change/deconstruct them. It will also contain a terminal to enter build mode, a 3d flying mode that enables you to place foundations and structures. The control room also has its own foundations, allowing it to be build without entering build mode.

    The foundations are basically a ground-leveling tool, which increases the ground level of a square grid piece to the closest next grid level, and creates a slope on all sides next to it that don't have a foundation to create a smooth transition. Any holes in the foundation (for example because there was a small hole in the ground there before, or because a corner is a little lower can be filled up with single grid cube sized blocks, which behave similarly to walls except for being the size of only a single grid cube.
    EDIT2: Illustration:

    Next are the walls, which come in a variety of sizes and have a large health pool. Walls protect against low level enemies without losing durability and also offer some protection to higher level enemies. The walls are actually build out of 1x1 wall pieces which stick together when placed next to each other to create the image of a single wall. Gates and watchtowers can optionally be integrated into the walls to provide extra functionality.

    Inside the fortress, structure elements can be used like corridors, stairs and halls to cheaply shape the place without having to add any functional rooms.

    There will also be a number of functional buildings inside. Most of these functional buildings have a simple single room structure and can be stacked onto each other.
    - A power plant, which provides the energy for the systems inside the base. The control room and walls are the only parts that still function if there's a power shortage. Each power plant unit provides a fixed amount of power output, but this can be upgraded upon acquiring enough resources or using special resources. (optionally, the power plant could require a constant supply of fuel, but I'm not really sure this would be a good idea as players would have to continually mine stuff just to see it vanish inside the plant)

    - A storage unit, which stores any resources dropped off at the base by the THMPRs. The starting city has an (nearly) unlimited storage capacity, allowing you to safely store all resources, but it would be further away than the nearest player build base, so first dropping off resources at the player build base is faster and safer than bringing it all the way to the starting city. Each storage unit has a certain storage capacity per player, so building more allows players to bank more resources at the base.

    - A drop off zone/conveyor belt, which takes the resources from the THMPRs and sends it over to the storage. The drop off zone works both ways, so your THMPR can also get your resources out and move them somewhere else.

    - A radar. The radar is a free standing module that is placed on top of the base and detects large enemy units, invasions and bosses.

    - A communication relay, which connects the base to other bases, allowing the radar to work even if players are not near the base and allowing the base to show up on the map. Also allows players to request their resources to be shipped from base to base(more on that later).

    - A train station. The train station allows trains to stop at the base. These trains ride on fixed tracks/through special magnetic tubes/via some other futuristic method and are fully automatic. At the station, players can select any connected base on the map and will be transported there by train. Trains can also be used to transport resources to other bases. Players only need to give the command to ship their resources from the station or control room and the rest is automated, fast and efficient. Trains are extremely fast and can carry large loads, so constructing railroads is well worth the investment. Multiple trains stations can be constructed to allow multiple trains to stop at the base.

    - A dropship landing site. Located on top of walls or buildings, this allows dropships to land at the base. Dropships are flying vehicles with helicopter like abilities (just like in Firefall) and can carry resources and players like trains, but with a lower load capacity and lower speed. The dropships are fully automated just like the trains and transport to every other base with a dropship landing site. (sorry for putting you out of your job Oilspill :() The dropships have the advantage of having a lower initial investment than railroads, allowing them to be used for smaller or far away bases.

    - Turrets, which can be placed on watchtowers, on top of buildings or on the ground, allow automatic defence from low level enemies and help defending during larger attack, but aren't strong enough to fend off such attack.

    - Spawn point. Simply a spawn point. Allows you to respawn at the base if you die.

    Doors and stairs can be added between rooms and simply create a hole in the wall or floor of two connecting rooms, allowing you to connect them. The control room will come with a door in place to allow you to enter it and enable build mode.

    Any other types of building can also easily be added afterwards due to the modular nature of this system.

    There's also a number of things I have thought about which could become a problem in this design:
    - The resources: should there be separate resources for constructing bases and personal items? Will people still invest into bases if they could also use it for their own gear?
    - How cluttered will the world become if everyone can create their own base? How many invasions need to happen to destroy the abandoned bases? Should bases become unowned after the owner/guild remains inactive for some time?
    - What about the "nice" spots, like on top of mountains or next to a huge resource pile? Everyone would want those places for their guilds base(s).

    Also, sorry for the massive wall of text, I usually don't speak/type this much but today this just kind of happened. And sorry for any grammar/spelling mistakes.

    Also, remember that the final decision is with Mark, even if you or I would have liked it different.

    These bases will also have specific buildings for terraforming. These should include buildings like an Air detoxifier, which cleans the toxic mists around the base and a greenhouse gas emitter, which produces greenhouse gases to heat up the planet (because it starts off as a frozen wasteland).

    These buildings will need a constant supply of a specific resource, which is different from the resources needed for building and crafting. The resource will automatically be used as soon as it's in the base's storage. This will also give the owner of the resources terraforming points, which will contribute to their terraforming score. The owner(s) of the base will also get some terraforming points, but far less than supplier of the resources.

    The poll is clearly not set up very well, so you don't have to bother with it. Just post your ideas/comments to keep the discussion going and we can come up with some awesome ideas for the game.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  2. Torgue_Joey

    Torgue_Joey Emberite -Death Reaper KAIJU 'SPLODER

    Don't think there would be a fixed mining spot. Would make the game instantly boring.

    Guild/clan driven bases and community driven bases should be separated and limited.

    Community/public are open to all and build nearly everything.

    Guild/clan can only build 1 HQ (can be reallocate later, when more 'pockets' has been terraformed.
    Clan comes with unique building, accessible only for members.

    Clan garage - can spawn shared vehicle layout/blueprints within the guild. Non member will only spawn there own stuff.

    (getting too lazy to continue this blablabla)

  3. Daynen

    Daynen Active Member

    Sounds like a reasonable start for a base system. Modularity is important, as is practicality, hence having either a grid system or at least some form of "auto-snapping" to connect objects will be a must. Leaving the grid out of the picture may allow more unusual shapes of base, but then standardization becomes a real challenge.

    I just hope that building these bases, as well as the terraforming required to place them, are commensurately expensive to create, maintain and repair; otherwise we'll quickly have planets covered by bases with no real dangerous areas left to challenge us.
    Silv3r Shadow likes this.
  4. Luna12

    Luna12 New Member

    This is also one of my primary concerns about the construction system in general, as you see in games like Rust, ARK and minecraft, the world quickly fills up with bases. In Rust these bases are even so persistent you need to reset the map every now and then to avoid cluttering everything up.

    Also, a triangular grid could be used instead of a square grid to allow for "more unusual shapes of base" while still keeping the alignment of the bases right.

  5. Torgue_Joey

    Torgue_Joey Emberite -Death Reaper KAIJU 'SPLODER

    Something just slipped in my mind: MAGNITUDE!

    You know, the hight differences. Either restricting us to build on uneven slope or it will be evened out (might cause the terrain look weird)

  6. Luna12

    Luna12 New Member

    That's why I came up with the idea of foundations, which even out the ground. These foundations are square blocks that are aligned with the grid, but the can penetrate the base layer of the game, allowing you to create an even building site even on a mountainside. The foundations automatically form a slope on any exposed sites(the blue lines), so there won't be any sudden drops that cause problems with things like vehicles trying to drive onto the foundation, as it will also be the ground floor inside the base.

    Illustration (not very well made...):

    Also, this way, building your base into the mountain is only limited by the game engine allowing you to dig your way into the mountain. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
    Torgue_Joey likes this.
  7. NightStroke

    NightStroke Deepscanner Base Commander

    I agree, a modular method is the way to go. My first and one of my most precious video games from when I was younger was Lego Universe, which had a system where every player had their own "instance" where they could build whatever they wanted to. While building from individual lego pieces was completely allowed, most players used premade modules, as you can see in this trailer:

    The premade modules varied in both theme(pirate, medieval, frontier, etc) and functional parts: While style won't really be relevant in this game(idk how the art team could possibly make styles for every different functional module), the list of functional parts was pretty all encompassing.
    Lets assume a base is 30 by 30 or something, without a limit on height of the base.
    Wall- 1x1xZ part, can be run on top of in one axis
    Gate-2x1xZ part, has the functionality of a wall plus a wide door to walk through
    Junction wall-A wall piece that can be run on in both axes
    Staircase-1x1xZ ramp/stairway with the height of a wall
    Structural thingy-1x1x(Z/2) part that can be walked under, but not on top of; it can be placed on top of any module(including other structural thingys), and any other module can be placed on top of it. So if you want to build a tall wall, you alternate walls and structural things
    Tower-4x4x(6Z) thing with a spiraling staircase inside, multiple entrace points on the sides that act like junctions
    Bridges-1x1x(...)Do not need to be connected to anything underneath, just connected laterally to junctions. Can be walked under.
    Etc.Etc. Etc.
    Idk how well it would work when multiple players are contributing to base design, but if the styles are consistent and nobody trolls, it would work out pretty well.
    Silv3r Shadow likes this.
  8. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    Base building brick by brick would be interesting. Right now we're doing Halo Wars style construction (not with a sky view, of course, but on the ground). More like spawning in a base rather than building it piece by piece.

  9. zdoofop

    zdoofop Terraformer

    I like this better. This isn't Minecraft. That said, I would like some customization available for these spawning bases.
    Fabricio21RJ likes this.
  10. NitroMidgets

    NitroMidgets Tsi-Hu Hunter

    Fortnite does base building rather well. Just saying.
  11. Wyntyr

    Wyntyr Firstclaimer

    If the community has access to the tools and your staff perform a review of the construct(s) before being added to the game, then you may be able to save a ton of cash on the art/development side of this system. Just one players opine...
  12. Daynen

    Daynen Active Member

    I could see a system inspired by Halo wars working really well. It helps to sort of contain the maximum size of a base, allow several simple prefab modules, and most of all, keep the tedium to a minimum until more involved interaction is actually called for.
  13. NitroMidgets

    NitroMidgets Tsi-Hu Hunter

    I take it only Ronyn and I have played Fortnite then?
  14. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    Building is a global event. Playe
    Probably. Is it a brick by brick system?

    UPDATE: I just watched a video on it. It's interesting. The Senior Systems Designer on that game is the same one that did Firefall's constraint system.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
  15. NitroMidgets

    NitroMidgets Tsi-Hu Hunter

    It plays really well. Ask Ronyn for more info.
  16. Ronyn

    Ronyn Deepstryker Community Manager

    I think it works wonderfully for fortnite. There are some things to learn from it for sure. Though I'd say that many of the particular advantages and disadvantages of that system don't necessarily work for projects where the player count isn't capped at 4.

    Wait? Seriously? Aw jeeze...
    NitroMidgets and Wyntyr like this.
  17. Demigan

    Demigan Member

    I don't like the idea of a grid system. If you want to get two bases perfectly aligned you better just plan ahead.

    To get base walls lined up I would use a system similar to Unreal II. In Unreal II you could place poles that generated a laser between them. The laser basically functioned as a shield that blocked enemy passage and bullets. Now replace "poles" with "piece of wall" and replace "lasers" with "a piece of wall towards the next piece". Maybe rather than have this done automatically you can access the edge of a wall and 'fire' at a nearly other edge to connect the wall pieces.

    If they really do stick with the Halo Wars Modular system I would say you can mod the outside with smaller stuff a bit like Firefalls calldown system. You can place small fortifications like fences, sandbags, small turrets, small bunkers and perhaps some AI drones that support you (like those walking turrets in the original Firefall promo or other types of drones).

    Maybe it could be possible to create hard-coded elements into the game somehow? I know a game that used server-saves. During low-player hours the server would shut down for a moment and calculate the cumulative actions of the players, clean up empty stuff and then reload itself so players could join again.
    You could use that downtime to build up certain parts of the world. For example, train tracks would be far to resource intensive if you build each piece separately with their own hitbox, health and useability. Instead players designate where the train track will be build, then during a server-save these tracks are placed in the world and loaded as if environment.
    The same can be done for buildings and other environmental modifications. For instance so players can build a tunnel-system into the ground or into a mountain, after the server-save these planned constructions would be build into the game-world as if hand-crafted by the developers. Destruction would function similar. You build a nice tunnel-structure? Well it received too much damage during one attack run and was designated "destroyed" (and received not enough repairs before it lost all it's health), after the server-save the structure is removed or replaced by a destroyed/collapsed version of the original, and eventually removed altogether if not restored.
    Naturally some kind of limitations are necessary to prevent too much structures or too much tunnels underneath and on top of the world. Either hard-coded "no more than X build in this area" or you can ramp up mob activity to extremes and actively destroy structures/future if a limit is breached. Alternatively what you can build permanently is limited: You can select the modular base design, after which its build into the game-world after the next server-save. Then you can build a single railway track or road from your base to the closest main base. That way you do let players build their own bases and infrastructure without it getting out of hand too quickly.
  18. Friggin

    Friggin New Member

    Maybe constructing your base might look something along the lines of Battlezone II. You may need to fast forward a little bit. It's a fun perspective anyway :)

    Roadkill likes this.
  19. HonorGuard99

    HonorGuard99 New Member

    Could I suggest a mix of systems?

    Fallout 4's system (which is rather easy to use,and also enable the snapping to be turned on or Off to allow players the choice of such ,since some players Like me made bases off concreate then did details without snapping)

    having Foundations match with grids ,and some parts to smooth angles over (aka cutting or smoothing the corners)
  20. HighCaliber

    HighCaliber Member

    Will there be turrets and other defenses we build on the bases? Can that stuff get destroyed?

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