Collect that Cargo

Ah, yes. The ubiquitous and ever present ‘Go to System X, and collect a cargo pod for me’ bland, vanilla ‘mission’.

Well, now Dom can support it 🙂 A minor, almost trivial point for any game player and/or space game sim, but for me, a major milestone 🙂

I can now generate cargo pods in the scene, with randomised commodities for content, which you can then go and collect, transferring their cargo to your hold so you can realise the wonderous profits contained therein.

This opens up a lot of possible job types and behaviours, not only ‘go and grab a pod for me’, but also scavenging previous conflict sites, transferring cargo between haulage vessels, and of course, piracy! Who would have thought collecting a cargo pod could be so exciting! (not)

Of note, having thought about it while coding the above, grabbing cargo is not going to be quite as simple as it is in other games of this genre. While I don’t want to make it a chore (read ‘bore’) it will have it’s own challenges to overcome.

  1. You have to drop shields before you can collect it – otherwise your shields will destroy it. So, no scooping mid-firefight unless you want to get hurt 🙂
  2. Cargo Pods will most likely have crazy rotations, and velocities imparted on the when they were dropped, or more often than not, blown out of a vessel as it is destroyed. So you have to chase the little beasties down. If they hit something nasty before you get there, kiss them good bye!
  3. Make sure you scan the cargo first, you may get more than you bargained for. Pirates are renowned for laying explosive devices inside pods to catch out anyone on their turf…
  4. Make sure you can fit it in your hold, otherwise your cargo collector won’t be able to contain it and the pod will damage your unshielded ship!

Of course, more effective equipment will help with 2, 3 & 4, tractor beams for 2, better scanners for 3 and a more intelligent cargo handling system for 4, which will grab it, then throw the pod away from the vessel if it can’t cater for it.

Anyway, design thoughts aside – that’s the bare minimum support required for the first planned ‘Job Type’ (the aforementioned bland, vanilla mission). So onto the actual ‘job’ generation…

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Author: Mak View all posts by

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