The official GSB 2.0 gameplay discussion thread

Ok, 2 new re-vamps with the modules data put back in, obviously all very rough for now… (done to show the same layout at different resolutions)

I see the attack orders… will they actually obey?

I’m wondering the very same thing as you are. Once Cliff gets to focus on the functionality of what the Add Ship Orders panel offers us, let’s ask for a deeper look “under the hood”.

Cliff, the latest revision of the Deployment Screen is much better than the previous ones – this round is definitely on the right track as far as usability is concerned.


Small (minimum possible?) 1280x768 resolution:

I was surprised to note the absence of scrollbars for the popup panel which contains data for the individual ship-view. After thinking about it, that absence is especially crucial for that screen size.

For example, if one of the larger hulls is used to design a ship that has a different type of gun in almost every one of the gun slots, on a 1280x768 screen size that panel is going to run out of space. A GSB2 dreadnought or starbase hull will easily allow that to happen, as will some of the largest GSB2 cruisers (and ever more so with modding). With only 768 vertical pixels, a maximum of 10 lines of turret data can be displayed before scrolling is necessary. Oh, and if the player is running the game in windowed mode, his Taskbar / Menubar will still likely be visible, so there’s actually only 9 possible lines of turret data displayable without needing to scroll.

Also, the Combat Orders area on the left side of the same popup looks like it also needs a vertical scrollbar. That part of it is less easy to vertically fill than the ship-data side of the same popup, but with such a small screen size and a sufficiently “active” ship deisgn that has a vital combat role ans is thus loaded down with tons of very precise Combat Orders by the player, it looks possible. Let’s add a scrollbar here, please.


Now for the much bigger 1920x1080 resolution:

The individual ship-info popup panel should have a significantly larger default vertical size than 1280x768 has. It might already do that, but we would not know based on the screenshots because there are only four different kinds of weapons installed on the sample ship being displayed. That difference in default size would take full advantage of the greater available screen area without demanding that we scroll, allowing us to see the entire weapons loadout at the same time and making it easier to fine-tune the ship’s combat role without wasting time. If it defaulted to, for example, being big enough on 1920x1080 screen res to display at least8 lines of turret info before it needed to start scrolling, that would be nice. :slight_smile:

Cliff, I’m very pleased with the way you implemented my request for additional space for the display of installed shipboard items. Thank you. :smiley: The 12 column by 4 row array shows us 48 slots’ contents at a single glance, plus a scrollbar for hulls even bigger than that. This is a usability win and I salute you for making it so. It’s clean, efficient and does the job without putting any needless obstacles between the player and the data.


General thoughts:

I’m still struggling with a bout of illness, so I might be a bit slow at present. I am wondering about the twin folder icons with arrows, on the right edge of the screen. They’re immediately under the Direct Control checkbox. What is their intended function?



I’m confused about something in the Combat Orders display for the test ship shown here. The [size=115]“Attack Destroyers”[/size] default order, which definitely should appear among the other default orders (between Attack Frigates and Attack Cruisers), is not displayed. Is this an oversight??? I definitely hope that’s all it is. Cliff?

Maybe that was what Cliff was referring to when he said “Excuse the rubbish coder art” :wink:

As for the user interface it is looking great, far more information is available to the player at a glance.

When deploying ships in GSB I was constantly clicking on the deploy icons to see what speed the ships were.
As a suggestion, it might be useful to the player to have stats like Speed / Shield / Armor / Hull / Cost incorporated into the Ship Info Screen.

I’m almost certain of what the answer is, but will GSB 1 content be compatible? Like mods and such?

Based on the changes we have seen here, I would say not.
Although given the ease at which GSB can be modded it would not be impossible to convert them across

I like that way the second picture is going.

id like to draw attention to the pictures on the bottom right, I can only assume that those stand for the anomalies present in the mission, am i right?
[size=50]when all else fails; scroll bar[/size]

yeah rubbish bottom right is ‘fight battle’ and ‘issue as challenge’ buttons. the folder buttons are to save or load deployments. I definitely do need to add some more scroll-bars, and the missing destroyer order is just me forgetting to add it to the defaults, I assume :D.

When a ship is selected on the Deployment Screen in GSB1, and the mini hull sprite + module icons appears in the lower-left corner, click on the mini hull sprite. The game will generate a small popup centered upon your cursor. It lists the player-assigned name of the design, plus shield armor and hull ratings.

That is helpful info, but I am keen to have that sort of thing become less optional/accidental and make that sort of thing a regular part of the Deployment Screen. Your own idea covers all of the bases; it’s great. Cost and speed are the last two major stats remaining which were not yet dealt with here. Displaying all of those vital stats together – and in a way that’s located directly in the player’s deployment workflow, rather than on a dead-end lane which is only peripheral to it, is a must-have change for the sequel game.

In my opinion, plain text buttons for functions like that are adequate enough. If a mouse-over would show what it does (such as “fight battle”), that would be great also.

Awesome thank you so much Cliff :slight_smile:

Another thing that I often pondered with while playing GSB was the option of a ‘reinforcement’ window, exactly the same (well, different/chosen placement areas would be cool sometimes!) as the start-up deployment screen just with additional (earn from kills?) or un-used funds and to be offered after the battle has kicked off (say at a certain amount of time taken or enemy/friendly units destroyed etc)?

I think that this would be an interesting mission variant and add allot of tactical opportunity, especially for the players that suddenly remember why they shouldn’t turn up to a missile fight with just lasers! ;D

Of course the option for missions to feature both or either player/foe reinforcements at pre-selected points would be great for mission variety and creation :smiley:

(Surprise rear attacks anyone?)

Just a quick updated screenshot to show the new firing arc ranges overlay. I’m grouping them together in a single color now so they don’t all accumulate and go washy:

Indeed I’ve always hated this too, and now we have a new problem in that fighters have to be ‘assigned’ to a carrier, regardless of any escort or formation orders. Suddenly those lines that mean ‘escort this ship’ could be misleading. This is a UI nightmare.
My current setup:

The ‘assign carrier’ order is added to every fighter automatically and uncancellable. It makes the ships flash red until the order is ‘resolved’ by assigning a target for that order. (when selecting a carrier, only carriers with available space are highlighted to make this process easier).
You can see what fighter squad is assigned to what carrier by a white line, just like escort, but this ONLY shows if you select either the fighter squad, or the carrier. Otherwise it’s hidden

I still have the current situation of adding an order to escort, means it asks you to click the ship, and to edit that, you have to select the order then select set target. This does such but I need a very OBVIOUS and SIMPLE way to do this that isn’t so clunky. Dragging and dropping doesn’t work because we use that to move ships around…

In GSB1 I never had a huge problem with the escort/formation orders (assigning them that is) Click your ship(ships) shift-E (or F) and click the target to be escorted.

What I did have a problem was the AI around that order - the moment the escorted vessel was destroyed the fighters (or other craft) would then operate willy-nilly. Could instead of escorting a specific unit a choice of escorting a specific class. That way fighters would always defend the closest cruiser, and if it was destroyed - they would merely find another cruiser to defend (or Battleship, Frigate, etc). This would keep fighters from ending up flying around the map in useless dog fights when they should be helping.

Also could fighters not escort fighters? This was another pet peeve of mine of trying to getting fighters to proactively defend themselves.

And are all firing arcs forward facing? Would there be an order to get ships to end up behind those firing arcs?

Happy Canada Day

I’m planning on a few rear-facing firing arcs in some cases, but ships will always face their prime targets, which I think makes sense.
I can’t see a problem with fighters escorting fighters, although it needs some special code, because it means escort ‘any surviving ship within this squadron’ which involves some new logic for that order.

If there is some new fighter logic, perhaps that’s a good time for “expendables” as well. Fighters should carry a small number of missiles, etc, and when expended, they should use their novel fight logic to return to the CV to refuel/rearm. This would create a more complex tactical world where you might assign some units specifically to attack carriers (any larger ship can carry the bays, so that would be the target assignment, obviously). I’d like to see “bombers” attacking ships with one slow weapon that can do large damage, but survival is very hard vs a altered defense, for example.

I just remembered something. I recall in a particular scenario of the Praetorian Industries mod where only fighters were allowed. (actually, maybe the player was allowed to use frigates, but the enemy only had fighters) Would matches with such restrictions not exist anymore due to the new rule of fighters requiring carriers? Or would they be an exception?

I could code it as a per-scenario option I guess.

so I guess broadsiding ships are still not happening? That’s unfortunate, can’t have them all, I guess

another thing though, iirc in GSB1, the order “keep moving” was incompatible with escort, meaning if you want to make your fast attack frigates take advantage of their speed in battle, you can’t leash them to your heavy cruisers and have them hit the enemy formation at the same time. Is this shaping up to be the case here?

If possible and if not already discussed, Multiplayer would be amazing. Multiplayer might be a problem on the basis of 1 or more ships consisting of Heavy Plasma Cannons only. Some claim it as a tactic which I’d have to agree on in some cases, but that tactic does have its weaknesses. But if there was to be Mulitplayer an idea would be to implement certain System Limits and Events, like a limited number of certain or all turrets. Or another suggestion would be a Co-op on a selected mission.

Also, do you have any idea of when this game would be available to public? :smiley: