The official GSB 2.0 gameplay discussion thread


one idea that has been suggested before is to have targeting restrictions on some weapons. a quick defence laser that can only target fighters, or a massive deathcannon of doom that can only target dreadnoughts?

maybe a target size priority rather than a class restriction? say that an antifighter gun prioratise targets in range that are below the size of 20 meters? this would also elimminate the issue of some weapons just sitting idle, even though they oboviously have something to shoot at.


I would add to that a second variable, speed. If a cruiser aims to a ship, and the targeted ship has size and speed values inside the range of action of X cruiser weapons, X cruiser weapons will shot.


You could add a line for weapons modules like this:


Where N is the maximum sped the weapon will bother shooting at.

Any module without this line shoots as now, at all speeds. This, like my idea for size restrictions, is mostly for new, novel modules. The more variability in possible module design, the easier it is to make unique race weapons.


Could I add my suggestions for mines, battlefield terrain, missions, and “fog of war”? They’re here: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7726&start=45#p68297

Hope I didn’t mess up by crossposting this here. Thanks.


What if weapons will just not fire at targets that they have no chance to hit? Although the size/speed option is a viable option a player may decide to install a targeting module that just may make the plasma cannon a viable option to target a frigate. This means an anti-fighter weapon will probably be firing at a Cruiser when it is in range - but if an enemy cruiser is that close are we really worried about the fighters?
A ship’s default targeting priority could simply be to aim at the ships it is most likely succeed in hitting.

“So that’s where baby sweaters come from!”


I have to agree that the simplest and most elegant solution to the “which weapons fire at what targets” issue would be one based on hit chance. Perhaps even as a dynamic order, so you set your preferred threshold per ship? (Ships loaded out with slow-firing weapons might want to ignore anything they have a less than 50% chance of hitting, while those with spray-and-pray weapons might be OK with a 25% threshold.) As always, if there are no viable targets anywhere on the map, then shoot shoot shoot at everything in sight for a showy blaze-of-glory.


Hi all,

I posted the below on the blog as a comment, somehow entirely forgetting this forum.

Hi Cliff,

I just saw this today, and coincidentally, I was talking about the possibility of GSB 2 with my roommate tonight. I am no modder, just a fairly happy GSB player. There were four suggestions that I had that you might consider.

  1. I believe you’ve said one of your influences for GSB was the Honor Harrington series… it would be awesome then to see more ship types based on that series, with the possible exception of podnaughts (as they changed all battle types going forward). There’s a great website that lists the types with tonnage, weapons, etc, that you may find interesting: … ist/1C.HTM

  2. Building off the previous comment, instead of having modules that are defined by what ship they fit on (and being scaled accordingly), why not use the components of those modules instead and allow them to fit on any ship, but allow the player to vary the number emplaced (within the maximum for the hull). For example, currently, my fighter can shoot a missile, as can my frigate and my cruiser, with differing ranges and damage potential. Putting aside the missile itself for a moment, and just looking at the launcher, perhaps a fighter can only fit one launcher, a frigate can have 5, and a cruiser 10. In that way, it is less about the type of module (fighter vs frigate vs cruiser) and more about the number of weapons that can be emplaced. Holding differences in ammo aside, a cruiser is going to fire 10 times the number of missiles as the fighter, and have the potential for 10 times the damage, but the launcher remains the same. This would simplify ship design somewhat (or so I believe). Power, weight, and crew requirements could scale the same way, perhaps with modifiers (maybe cruisers have available more powerful computers, which modifies the number of crew needed).

  3. Ammunition type and capacity now becomes a factor. Borrowing from Weber and White’s “The Stars at War”, a fighter might carry only a single capital ship-sized missile, requiring it to return for rearming after a strike. Cruisers carry a much larger capacity. Frigates, with less tonnage available, might have to chose between maximizing the number of launchers at the cost of ammo capacity (letting them strike hard in the beginning of battles but lowering their endurance) and eliminating some launchers to make room for additional ammunition storage. Larger ships might have longer ranged missiles (SBMs) which take up more space, or cram lots of regular missiles (CMs) for “normal” range, or a freaking lot of anti-fighter missiles (AFHAWKs) that take up little room. Etc. Finally, (and again borrowing from S at W) instead of giving missiles a minimum range, launchers could be switched into “sprint mode”, firing high velocity point blank shots at the cost of burning through ammo stores at a prodigious rate. This could have interesting effects with the campaign mode, as resupply between battles might be necessary, and a fleet that gets too far forward (thus having its supply cut off) may find that it has to rely on non-depletable munitions or else be destroyed.

  4. And my last suggestion: For the most part, I enjoy that I am the admiral, not the captain. I make the battle plans, the captains fight their ships. However, I would make two changes to the player’s ability to affect a battle. First, I would allow the player to designate task forces (which must contain a minimum number of ships to be so designated). Second, during the battle, I would give the player the ability to send three commands to the fleet as a whole or to individual task forces: Hold fire, Weapons free, Withdraw. That would largely address the problem of ships firing at inappropriate targets (the admiral would have the fleet or task force “hold fire” until appropriate targets entered range) as well as allow for a bit more freedom in planning.

I love GSB, and I am very much looking forward to playing it’s successor. Campaign mode is the closest thing I’ve seen to playing out one of my favorite sci-fi series (I am reading “The Shiva Option” for the umpteenth time), and whatever you choose to do, I am certain I will be again a very happy player. Thank you!


Here’s a few gameplay-related issues that swam through my head this morning.

Two things related to the deployment screen:
For all deployments, could we get the ability to choose the direction our deployed ships are facing? This could be beneficial in certain deployment configurations (e.g., The Orion Ambush) and would also be a handy tool for those of us modders who want to make creative scenario deployments.
For challenges, specifically on custom maps, could the challenger and player deployment areas be made dynamic? Custom shapes and locations would be ideal, but a selection of predefined areas (left/right/top/bottom border(s), center area, middle third of left border, stripe across the middle either horizontal or vertical, corners, entire map, etc.) would make the challenges a lot more flexible in terms of making convoys, centralized redoubts, and so forth. Also would flow nicely with the previous suggestion.

One mechanical issue: the Camouflage Shield.
To my mind, a camouflage shield should provide two benefits:
1) Makes the ship harder to hit. This one is pretty simple - if the ship is cloaked, the game calculates the hit chance normally and then multiplies by some reduction factor (75%? 50%?) to get the final chance to hit.
2) A cloaked ship should be difficult to detect - i.e., to target in the first place. If a ship is cloaked, there should be some chance that it does not appear as a valid target to the game AI (both driver and gunner). This effect would only apply so long as the cloaked ship isn’t doing anything aggressive; the two obvious events that would negate the “hiding” effect would be decloaking or firing a weapon from under the cloak (this would negate the effect for some predetermined interval). This would actually make it possible for a damaged ship to cloak and then possibly be left alone while its repair systems make some headway. This would also probably require a relatively frequent recalculation of the target for the AI (again, both driver and gunner).

  1. Cloaked ships do not appear on the deployment screen. This would make player scenarios with the ability for real horrific ambushes if the deployment area is much more variable (flanked, surrounded etc).

In regards to challenges - I would like the person who is victorious and retaliates given the ability to slightly change the parameters (the amount changed could be linked to honour). Where an anomaly that made shields useless is now reverted, or the amount of pilots/cost of your fleet is reduced to what your challenge fleet arrived with.
This would make player vs player challenges much more interesting as it rewards the winner who (if using the honour system) for using a weaker or smaller fleet.

Off to see the Amazing (to be determinded) spider-man


One more thing that would be nice: fixing the size of a ship’s dying shockwave to something other than the hull size, for the purpose of enabling functional mines. Right now I am fooling around with some mine hulls, and they work great except for one thing: in order to make the shockwave actually threatening, I had to make the hull size quite large (500 at the moment). Since it’s a mine, it is stationary. Thus, as the largest and slowest thing on the map, every mine draws a lot of fire - and usually gets detonated long before the enemy is within the blast radius.

Maybe a specific “explosive” module that provides a larger shockwave when destroyed than the hull would normally do?


One thing that has always bugged me is that all of the projectiles miraculously disappear when the ship that fired it is destroyed. There’s nothing like the thrill of a rogue projectile taking revenge upon the ship that destroyed it’s owner and GSB doesn’t allow that. There’s also a similar issue when a projectile’s target is destroyed as well.

Also I’d like to see a bit of text/story available in each of the scenarios. Of course somebody can just put it in a text file or a pdf or whatever like what was done with Praetorian Industries, but that just isn’t as immersive.


I don’t have any issues with v1 except for the unlocking of modules with which I’ve had problems with following upgrades ( which you have always sorted promptly ).

It would be awesome to have a modding kit which made it easier to get my ship artwork in game. I like to concept out and produce spaceship artwork but when it comes to attaching weapons shields and the like it all seems very complex and time consuming. I don’t know if this would be possible, seems like a rather large programming job on your part, and it may even impact your income from expansion packs, i’m not sure on those points.

I like the idea of battleships, space stations and towed weapons platforms they all sound like worthwhile additions I’d certainly pay for.


You are going to like this game :smiley:


I know it’s a bit late to respond to this, but perhaps it would be best to have some weapon groupings that I can assign to turrets in the designer. Then I could select all my Alliance Assault Frigates, select Weapon Group 1, and give one set of orders to that, go over to Weapon Group 2 and give another set of orders to that, and so on. Driver priority could go to the highest weapon group with a valid target, or it could get its own order set. If you did make a separate order set for the driver priorities, it might be worthwhile to make this a kind of ‘weapon group 0’ that acts as the default order set for all weapons carried by the ship, with any weapons assigned to a specific weapon group seeing their weapon group’s specific orders override the driver group orders for targeting purposes.

One way of doing this would be to create predefined weapon groupings (e.g. ‘Anti-Armor Heavy Weapons’), and allow the player to assign fleet-wide orders to each predefined weapon group (for example, all weapons in the heavy anti-shield group are ordered to retaliate, prioritizing cruisers and dreadnoughts at 90% and engaging at 600 range, while all light anti-armor weapons are ordered to target fighters at 70% priority and frigates at 60% priority, engaging at 400 range). Another way is to give the player a few weapon groups on each ship and allow us to assign individual turrets to each weapon group (maybe pressing a number key while holding the cursor over a turret would assign that turret to that weapon group, or perhaps there’s a weapon group button somewhere in the designer that we can click on and then any turret we select while that is toggled on is assigned to the current weapon group and any additional turrets we place while that is toggled on defaults to the selected weapon group). Then in the deployment screen while giving orders we’d have a bunch of tabs along the side for each weapon group, with the weapon group orders defaulting to whatever driving orders the ship receives. Or you could do some combination of the above, or something completely different.

It’s not quite turret-specific firing orders, but I don’t really think that most of us want that in the first place (and if you go for the second implementation that I suggested and give us enough different weapon groups to play with, it could act like turret-specific firing orders); rather, I think what we want is to be able to create weapon batteries that have sensible firing orders for the type of weapons found in that battery instead of having to go with the most appropriate set of orders for the dominant weapons found on the ship.


Limited ammo for missiles, and have fighters head “back to the barn” to reload when they have used their expendables. This would make various fighter types much more interesting. Torpedo bombers, etc. This is provided they will follow orders and never fire those torpedoes at fighters, obviously.


Here is an Orders/Modules suggestion mash-up…

Weapon type classes as Anti-Air for fighters, corvettes.
Anti-ship weapons for the larger stuff. The two kinds cannot ever cross-target.

That would probably simplify the orders process.

Also on Modules:

  1. Missile Salvos please.
  2. Texture-able missile interceptor modules/really we would like to be able to texture everything. If possible, Interceptor shots that could intercept anything. Having a finite ammo supply on these modules would be sublime and infuriating at the same time. (If limited ammo is introduced could it be switchable, or we are going to need the ability to ram one another.)

Specific example: In my B5 mod the station has very unique pulse weapon interceptors, and all of the missile interceptors in game are beam based.

  1. Can we add visible trails and tails to pulse weaponry shots?

General Gameplay:

As far as experience goes, perhaps commanders, perhaps on designated flagships?


I know you can’t take screenshots of it but…

How is the Challenge / Game Play / Scenario / GalacticConquest going to operate compared to GSB1?



One thing I’d really like to see added to the Gratuitous Space Battles series is different sized weapons, like you see in the game Starsector. The idea there is that a cruiser would have a few really big guns, and then a sprinkling of medium and smaller weapons. That way, you can have giant death lasers without them being overpowered because you can only mount a couple of them.


Your proposal is somewhat parallel to my own (it’s being lobbied-for here) concerning new types of slots for Advanced Weapons & Advanced Modules. It’s nice to see other people recognizing the need for further differentiation in hull slots to allow more than one tier of shipboard equipment and firepower. I’m not happy at all about the prospect of entering GSB2 and still being limited to an essentially one-dimensional ship loadout paradigm.


Actually this looks exactly the same as I haven’t started on it yet!
I’m open to suggestions for this. I know the GSB1 challenge browser got very bloated and it was hard to find specific ones. It needs better filters and searching that’s for sure. I’d also like to add a lot of stats to this.
That’s regarding one-off challenges. The re-work of GSB is such a huge task that I’m not including galactic conquest in it initially. That may come later. I’d like to get everything else working right first.