vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
[personal profile] vaecrius
Modding (custom ships, maps and episodes) and multiplayer are a must.

Interface
Steel Storm-style relative controls very tempting, but top-down cardinal-direction 2D probably best to keep the original gameplay base which definitely ain't broke and is dangerous to fix. No turret strafing, just fixed front guns dogfight action.

Tab should just shoot a missile, with #s selecting missile type (with an option to have the #s launch the missile immediately when pressed). Seekers should always autotarget nearest enemy with whom you have visual. Probably best to have all seekers fly over buildings.

Two extra deceleration keys: hold and toggle. Holding the hold key down is equivalent to toggling auto-deceleration on: you decelerate whenever you are not accelerating.
(Also: pressing opposite directions at once will start deceleration, without limiting your ability to simply accelerate in the opposite direction of your movement.)

Tempted to add vomit-induced interface screw during times of constant bouncing or afterburner abuse, but probably too gimmicky. Maybe blacking out though!

Due to the frantic nature of the game, let's avoid any system for giving orders where you must click on something. Keep it simple:
1. All units rally around me (default)
2. All units attack nearest enemy on my screen (reverts to previous once unit taken out)
3. Escortee hold/go (may not always work depending on the mission)
4. All units rally around escortee
5. All units pursue objective at will
6. All units hold fire/fire at will

A key to cycle through teammates' views would also be nice (with a cheat option available in singles or to the host that cycles through everyone)

Difficulty variables: friendly fire %; non-boss enemies restricted to shitty AI; collision/explosion/debris/environmental damage %; HP handicap; global damage multiplier

Radar indicators should ALWAYS indicate when applicable:
Red X: Known hostile (once confirmed on own or teammate's visual)
Green O: Protect this target
Cyan down arrow: Move to this location (if escort, THIS SHOULD ALWAYS INDICATE where the escortee is supposed to be going - seriously, not knowing this is why the escort missions are so fukken hard)
Cyan house: Back to base (mission complete only)


Maps
The only paved streets should be decrepit and miserable, mostly buried under sand in old and poor neighbourhoods. Skids don't need them.

Buildings need PLACES TO PARK SKIDS. They should all be underground roboparking. In fact it should be assumed that all the buildings are mostly underground. Saves on heating and cooling and everything gets buried in sand anyway.

Civvies should be random colours and designs - and rare and typically favouring the edges of the city. The place has been a war zone for over a decade and people aren't idiots!
Place should be dotted with ruins of unshielded wrecked buildings, and a bit of construction work.

There must be a way to alter the environment - the original plot involved numerous buildings being blown up, in-game or otherwise, but you never see it!

Variables:
Dawn/Dusk: no gameplay effect, just change in colours, unless we get dynamic shadows (or can render them from the building placement - simplifying this is also a justification for the low buildings mostly underground).
Night: we're in the middle of an inhabited city, so no change unless blackout, bomb warning, evac or secret moonbase. Nightvision OR headlights OR fog lights (both of the latter also turn on the tail lights for visibility).
Fog: fog lights required to see anything clearly. Only at dawn, dusk or night.
Sandstorm: like fog but worse. You're also buffetted about by winds.

All can be pre-set by the map or left to be randomized.


Setting
Traffic Department... of what? Obviously not municipal government if personnel can transfer between distant cities. Most likely the Sechian government (as there appears to be no level of government between city and planet - Seche appears to have no indigenous peoples and may be quite sparsely populated as some kind of frontier colony).

What happened to the Sechian army? Mix of corruption, conflicting priorities, cuts to funding combined with a history of police forces aggregating wealth under poorly overseen civil forfeiture laws and an ongoing drug war. The Vulture invasion has only served to justify the militarization of what was once an administrative department. This may leave a good deal of resentment through which the Vultures can present themselves as liberators; some of the Sechians might even believe it.

Conversely: they're such a sparse colonial area that they never had a standing army to begin with. Which brings up another question: who are the people who set up this colony and why aren't they defending their territory? Have they already been conquered by the Vultures?

Scrap the entire android subplot. It's cool but it makes no sense when we already clearly have strong AI. Skids might even have their own rudimentary (but deliberately emotionless) AI, with the possibility of autopilot for basic tasks (including combat, during which the AI would be deliberately calibrated to be very stupid and inhumanly predictable but very precise in contrast to the usual combat AI designed to imitate how an actual person might fight). Some strong AI robots may even serve as pilots already; to avoid too many distracting side consequences we may say that the strong AI robot brain is just as (in)tolerant of G forces as a human one so there is no particular advantage to using strong-AI robots. (Blacking out from occasional overacceleration is why the skids would have basic AI.)


Mechanics
Speed is a shorthand. Any skid can reach any speed given enough time and space to go in one direction. What differs is acceleration.

Automatic collision detection should always decelerate when approaching wall.
Shields should be always on and available to civvies to further mitigate collision. Most buildings themselves should also be shielded.

Shields must be let down to shoot ion guns; missiles start off slow enough that this is not necessary. They can be raised between shots, but it weakens the shield for want of time to fully power up (and there still remains that brief window of time each shot when the skid is completely unshielded). Well-shielded ships may also suffer a brief lag when shields are being lowered when the trigger is pulled while shields are at max.
All projectiles will inherit momentum from their shooters.

Ships will bounce and spin out of control when hit, and be pushed noticeably away by colliding with things even when shielded.

Ion guns are specifically designed to eat away shields, while missiles are designed to do actual damage (but can do a respectable number on shields). Common trick is to get someone to shoot at you while you are shielded and a buddy shoots them. Strafing is important.

Missile types:
1. seeker shield disruptor
2. seeker shaped charge
3. high-velocity shield disruptor
4. high-velocity shaped charge

Shaped charge depletes shield relatively little but guarantees some hull damage, does a LOT of hull damage if there is no shield, and spins skids around more on a hit, but detonates after 3 seconds; shield disruptor seeks much more aggressively, are automatically drawn towards shielded objects, and detonates after 5 seconds.

Default loadouts (customizable before each mission):
10: 5 SSD, 5 SSC
20: 5 SSD, 5 SSC, 5 HVSD, 5 HVSC
30: 10 SSD, 10 SSC, 5 HVSD, 5 HVSC

With some excellent timing it is possible to do a disruptor missile/ram combo. Stiletto/Coyote afterburner ram against unshielded opponent is devastating - and if the rammer is shielded, possibly only to the ram-ee.


Skids
Ratings are * (barely there) to ***** (best you can expect).
"AKA-47" names where applicable in case of copyright issues. The Vulture ships are all renamed anyway.

Transport: should be the size of a minivan with wing-like fins. Obviously no weapons but light armour. Unlike the combat skids these always automatically decelerate for safety purposes unless illegally modified. (Illegal modifications may also include weapons and changes to nearly any of these stats.)
Shields: **
Armour: *
Acceleration: **
Turning: **
Stability: ****

Truck: more obviously a hoverskid and more obviously armoured. Varying sizes.
Shields: *
Armour: ***
Acceleration: *
Turning: *
Stability: ****

Hornet (Minerva): smallest, imagine a big Harley with armour plate and wings, floating in the air without wheels. This is the standard basic mook combat skid and used by both TD and Vulture personnel.
Ion Guns: Dual medium
Missiles: 10
Shields: ***
Armour: ***
Acceleration: ***
Turning: ***
Stability: ***

Sentinel: I always thought the Vult Mk.I was implausibly shitty in both appearance and function in the original game. Let's make them into small unmanned combat drones restricted to shitty autopilot combat AI. Available to all sides but mostly deployed by the side that is dominating the city since they're pretty easy to kill off.
Ion Guns: Dual medium
Missiles: None (the bad AI doesn't know how to use them)
Shields: ***
Armour: **
Acceleration: ***
Turning: ****
Stability: **

Stingray (Odin): slowest regular fighter (will slowly creep up on a standard civvie transport and slowly fall behind a hornet), with a stabilizing tail that makes it turn a bit more slowly but much more stable against both recoil and incoming fire.
Ion Guns: Dual light
Missiles: 30
Shields: *****
Armour: ****
Acceleration: **
Turning: **
Stability: *****

Stiletto (Coyote): About twice the size of a hornet. No missiles but big ass (literally) afterburner. Continuous afterburner interface (max 30 seconds' fuel stored; afterwards there is a reactionless backup engine that isn't quite as fast but still gives you a good solid edge). Afterburner blast itself causes significant damage. Can outrun shaped charge seekers, or any seeker with either afterburner or backup. Not standard issue among Vulture units who are more likely to fight in mass formations.
Ion Guns: Quad light
Missiles: None
Shields: ****
Armour: ***
Acceleration: *****
Turning: ***
Stability: ***

Hellion: aka the MkII, the one that actually looks like a friggin' vulture. Slightly larger and faster than the Hornet, with similar stability to the Odin but faster maneuvering. Can outrun shaped charge seekers. Vulture only.
Ion Guns: Quad light
Missiles: 10
Shields: ****
Armour: ****
Acceleration: ****
Turning: *****
Stability: ****

Javelin (Ganesha): Obviously the noclip instakill nuke seekers won't appear in this reboot. Weaker afterburner than the Stiletto. Initially unknown to Vultures who do not pick it up readily once it is deployed as it is not substantially better than the Hellion but for the afterburner.
Ion Guns: Dual medium
Missiles: 10
Shields: ***
Armour: ****
Acceleration: *****
Turning: ***
Stability: ****

Tyrant: Slowest of any fighter (barely faster than a truck). Any alert fighter would be GONE by the time you can turn to face them; if hunt-and-kill anything smaller than a truck, your task is to corner them or provide suppressing fire while your buddies kill them; if escort mission, either you are the escortEE or your base is so desperate that this is the only skid you can use.
Ion Guns: Dual heavy
Missiles: 10
Shields: **
Armour: *****
Acceleration: *
Turning: **
Stability: *****

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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