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Imperia: the starships !

Discussion in 'Pavlos' Corner (The Art Forum)' started by pavlosg, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hey everybody !

    While nothing seemed to apparently move for quite a while here, things have been hectic below the surface !

    In this thread Steve and I will show you the ships of Imperia. Their classes and types will be kind of standardized in this thread, but will gain personality in the game as work progresses. For the moment, the paradigm will be close to pre-dreadnought/ dreadnought eras: ships will include battleships, protected cruisers, destroyer leaders, scout cruisers, missile-boats and even pocket battleships, monitors, commerce raiders, drone carriers, amphibious assault vessels, corvettes, patrol crafts, juggernaut drones etc... So far in our design documents there are well over 85 classes of ships oriented towards a mission.

    But more will be said about ship design in another thread. Here we will focus on the ships and the fleets of the game.

    Ships in Imperia belong to factions/ design schools. Most big power blocks have yards that produce ships that cater to their needs, and they tend to stick to some design threads. So ships tend to come in families (smaller entities or independent planets tend to buy ships from them as well).

    Let's have a peek at some of the ships YOU get to command at the beginning of your reign.


    [​IMG]


    Mind you, there will be many designs of battleships in your fleet. Some are museum pieces, and some are just about to start their maiden cruise. The Imperial fleet left by your predecessors where mostly the fruit of emperor's Justinian naval expansion program. At its peak, around 100 years ago, the imperial 'golden fleet' could muster several dozens battleships, and could project its might well beyond the imperial core systems. In those days, the crown had almost a monopoly on starship building, and made good use of it.

    Now, after several decades of indolence and corruption, the fleet is in a sorry state, just a shadow of its own older self.

    Will you be able to restore it to its past splendor and make it the prime tool of your power ? Or will the fleet rot in some forsaken orbit ?

    In a following post, we will look at the design thoughts at work behind the imperial vessel's shape.


    take care all,
    P.
     
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  2. Ashbery76

    Ashbery76 Minor Viceroy

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    How is the space combat resolved.Having a zillion ship classes needs to have meaning.
     
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  3. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    #4
  4. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hello Ashbery,

    I would prefer to talk about space combat mechanics in another separate thread, nevertheless I will show you early concept art about space combat. It is pretty basic but it still contains info pertaining your inquiry.

    As an emperor, you do not control your fleets directly, of course. You assign an admiral to the fleet, and give him a basic set of orders/ stance. Thus, in combat, the admiral will choose his own course of action depending on his personality and those orders.

    Fleet action is composed of two phases: the approach and the engagement itself. The approach is important because it influences the engagement setup: if your admiral is capable enough, he or she will be able to flank or even trap enemy forces. Doing so will offer opportunities of flank firing or some free attacks -needless to say that starships are optimized for a single-direction attack, and while their front is armored, their flanks are pretty much totally exposed, it is a question of economy of mass.

    The battle will hence be automatically resolved, and you will be sent a battle report containing all useful info.

    [​IMG]

    Here you see that your -experienced- admiral chose a very bold approach vector: he split his fleet in two and while the first half skirted close to the sun to delay enemy detection, the other half slingshot-ed around another planet to approach from the side. Now bear this: a whole fleet action takes several days, more often weeks to complete: ships have to be grouped, accelerated, and maneuver across long distances. The tactic the admiral chose will confuse enough the enemy so as to allow a pincer attack on the front AND the side of the fleet it engages. Of course, the enemy will choose his own tactic, and you might become the one who is trapped ! A last word: every admiral and faction will have their own sets of tactics. Once the tactics are resolved, the ships are placed on the board and the weapons come online.

    [​IMG]

    Above is a picture of the engagement proper. The final version will include more info tags, player controls, dialogue elements and stuff that will immerse you into the action.

    I hope I satisfied your curiosity !

    take care,
    Pavlos
     
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  5. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    imperial fleet

    Here's a little (updated) view of an imperial fleet making a show of force in low orbit around a planet.

    [​IMG]

    ... for the full resolution and high quality picture, do not hesitate to browse through my public Imperia gallery located in my signature !
     
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  6. Ashbery76

    Ashbery76 Minor Viceroy

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    Better art design than most of the 4x games released in recent years.Too many sci fi games are bland.

    Is the space battle static resolutions? It sounds a bit like the MOO3 ground battle system with a radio show and results.I think the plan in MOO3 was more tactical control options for battles for IFP simulating the Emperors presence.
     
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  7. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    space battle resolution

    Thank you Ashbery !

    Well, the battle resolution methods are one of the topics being discussed as we type. We do not want the emperor to intervene in a magical way and micro-manage every unit. He's (or she) has people and machines that will do it better than him. What's the point in having crews and if you are the one doing all the work, right ?

    Ah, yes, the ground battles in Moo3 ! I loved the idea, but missed the little animations of Moo2, hehe. At the moment, you are right, the Imperia battles do look alike Moo3 ground battle resolutions, albeit with a difference: you set the stances/ directives and the admiral chooses the tactic, according to your orders, the astrography, the enemy, his experience, his character (gambler or not, say) and some random thing too. Factor in some faction flavor and you got yourself a pretty damn deep decision process.

    Any feedback is welcome at that stage, since the battle resolution has not yet fully crystallized.

    P.
     
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  8. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hey,

    As promised, here's a little explanatory view of the Imperial Tormentor heavy cruiser class.

    [​IMG]

    A sample story of the class will follow in another post, most likely the next :)

    I am off to sleep, it is midnight here !

    P.
     
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  9. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    minor fleet: SB designs

    Good morning/ evening, fellow tyrants !

    In Imperia, there are many minor fleets. By minor I mean non-imperial, just as greeks called other people barbarian. Do not be fooled by the name, minor fleets can and will be very potent and with a given opportunity could even overtake your fleet should you neglect it !

    Minor fleets belong to power blocks, either large planets or system. As an emperor, you will find yourself summoning such fleets to your side -or fighting them in internecine feuds. You will even be able to acquire such vessels and incorporate them into your own forces.

    As it is, minor fleets are assigned to power blocks during the universe creation and thus do not come with a preordained identity. Hence the coding reference for each minor fleet (in general 2 letters).

    [​IMG]


    Each minor fleet has its own design trend: for instance it might privilege heavy and super-light ships, or mostly missile vessels, or even be composed of 'coastal' ships only. From the looks of the one above, both beam weapon firepower and frontal-arc protection seem to be the priorities.

    Stay tuned for more !

    P.
     
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  10. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    another minor fleet

    Hey!

    Here's another minor fleet. The idea behind this design family is that there is another set of engines, perpendicular to the main propulsion. This 'impulse' engine allows the ship to 'slide' sideways while engaging the enemy, as a way of confusing its aim and defeating kinetic and missile weapons.

    [​IMG]

    P.
     
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  11. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Good day all,

    ... or for those who labor in a dark, damp and secret underground laboratory such as me, good artificial lighting !
    I attach below a view of another minor fleet.

    [​IMG]

    Now, some of you will find the design too conservative, others will find it a bit too alien for human ships. Walking the line between futuristic and alien design is pretty hard -but I certainly do not wish to make only dark-grey angular ships with teal lights [no, OK, I might, but then I will edit this post].

    Any feedback on the ship designs is welcome.

    take care,
    P.
     
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  12. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    Also good for a little planetary kinetic strike action when needed. :-D

    -Steve
     
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  13. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hey everyone,

    Here's some more...

    [​IMG]

    take care !

    P.
     
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  14. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    ...and the fleet roster grows, grows...

    [​IMG]

    I did those in purple, by the way, but my wife did not like it.
    Was she right ? Should I use more 'esoteric' colors, or stick to the basics ?

    P.
     
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  15. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hullo everbody,

    More ships. This time, from a major navy (meaning it features a much wider array of ships, as well as expensive and specialized ones).

    [​IMG]

    see you 'round !

    P.
     
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  16. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Here's another major fleet.

    [​IMG]

    You can see that the design uses cylindrical receding droplet radiators, plus some hull conformal ones.

    P.
     
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