Rigidchips: The MMO

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Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Sting Auer on Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:09 pm

First of all, I'd like to say that I've returned to playing Rigidchips after losing interest, then regaining it. Some of you may remember me ^_^

Now, onto the actual topic:

I had this idea recently for a Rigidchips open-world MMO with a focus on resource gathering and base building. Obviously, this would require some very complex scenarios to be running constantly on the server, as well as some somewhat powerful servers. Multiple servers running different regions of the game world would likely be needed.

In this post, I will be detailing my ideas for how this may work. I appreciate and welcome feedback and criticisms!


Gameplay:

Players would make a starting vehicle that has to be below a certain amount of chips and filesize and would spawn in a map that disables guns. This region could be similar to the OrzLake map, with a lot of area to explore and play around in. Some way to determine what type of vehicle a player is using (ground, air, or sea) would be needed to spawn players in an appropriate area.

Limited fuel and destructibility would be forced on. Fuel can be generated by a wheel that is being spun without using fuel, such as a windmill or a wheel rolling down a hill. Fuel can also be transferred between vehicles.

Resources:

Resources can be gathered by going to an appropriate "resource spot" and putting weight chips in or near the area you want to harvest from.

Trees produce wood, with more trees in the same area producing wood more quickly.
Iron Deposits look like exposed stone with little bits of iron in them, and they produce iron when harvested. They produce more slowly than Trees.

Players have an inventory limited by the amount of chips on their vehicle, with weights storing the most and frames storing the least amount of items.

Non-Player Vehicles (NPV's):

Players can make NPV's by harvesting enough resources and using a chat command to build one. They are asked to provide a file that they want to use for their new NPV, and when selected, the server checks if the player has enough resources in their inventory to build it.

Frames are the cheapest, only requiring wood.
Chips are more expensive, but still only require wood to build.
Wheels, Trims, and Rudders require wood and a very small amount of iron to build.
Weights require iron to build, with the cost increasing based on the Option setting of the weight.
Jets require iron to build, and are the second most expensive chip type.
Guns require wood and iron to build, and are the most expensive.

NPV's are produced where the player is when they give the command to spawn it. NPV's cannot be spawned overlapping and must be at least a certain distance apart. Checks must be in place to stop NPV's from spawning too high, and from spawning inside the ground. NPV's also needs to be disallowed from being built in the starting area.

NPV Scripting:

Primarily, NPV's will be used for automated resource harvesters and fuel generators. These can be scripted as well to allow for more complex behavior, such as making a resource gatherer send its resources to a storage area, or having a fuel depot automatically refuel other vehicles that are nearby.

You could also created automated creations, such as defense turrets or scouting drones. Coding at this point is essentially the same as with regular Rigidchips vehicles, except there isn't a player behind the wheel.

To avoid server-crashing amounts of calculations, vehicles would need to have a limited amount of scripting space, and would need to have checks in place to detect and ban greifers that are intentionally creating lag.


Technical limitations:

One large issue with this idea is the complexity of the scenarios required to make it work. The players would also be required to be running a scenario. This can be overcome with some talented Lua coders, however, and forcing the players to use certain Regulation settings can be done by having the server run a check every few seconds to make sure the player has the regulations set to the appropriate settings.

Another two problems are allowing players to do transitions between servers while still using the appropriate maps, and making players use the appropriate map for the region they are in.

To solve the first one, the server could make use of overlapping "portal" areas in server maps. The player in region 1 goes to the region 1&2 overlapping room, is kicked from Region 1 and is automatically connected to Region 2. The player is not allowed to leave until they switch to the appropriate map.

For the second one, have the server check the player's coordinates and compare it to the places they're allowed to be in on this particular Region; If the player isn't in a place that is possible for the current map, the game tells the player to get the correct map and sends them to a designated "wrong map" spawning area for that region.


Actually making this happen:

In order to make this actually work, we will need someone to host servers, 1 or more dedicated Lua coders, and some dedicated moderators. A way to bring in money for funding this would be needed as well to fund the servers, unless it is funded out of the server owners pocket.

Bringing in money:

Nobody likes pay-to-win, so I want to avoid pay-to-win as much as possible. One thing that I think would be an excellent way to make money for this is to let players pay money to have small parts of the map modified. This could be small things like adding roads to a certain area, or add some towers around their area. Larger changes, such as adding walls around an area, or removing a hill, would cost more. The more drastic the change to the map, the more it costs to do it.



Please offer your own feedback to this idea.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Rainman on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:28 am

I'm unsure how I feel about this, to be honest.

Apart from the fact that resource-gathering and tiering limits one of the best aspects of the game (the ability to edit models on the fly with no limit save your own ingenuity and processing speed), it would require that the game keep track of an immense number of these "NPC" vehicles, which it would only currently be able to do by setting them up as "dummy" players. If you've ever been lucky enough to play rigidchips when there's more than a bare handful of people on a server at once, you'll know how impossible this would rapidly become due to lag.

The map-switching strikes me as likely being extremely clunky and likely extremely problematic.


What do you do if you run out of fuel or your vehicle gets destroyed? Sit lost somewhere, eternally out of gas and unable to do anything? Respawn with full fuel tanks, thereby voiding the point of resource collection?

Honestly, from the standpoint of taking rigidchips as-is and turning it into an MMO... It's an interesting and (over)ambitious idea, but it just isn't remotely feasible with the game that we actually have. You'd be far better off simply designing an MMO from scratch that took inspiration from Rigidchips' building system. Rigidchips also doesn't have anywhere near the playerbase needed for an MMO; it's a game that's very much limited to a niche appeal, because even as comparatively simple as it is, the game requires basic programming and scripting skills and understanding of code and hierarchy to do anything at all. Not many people have the skill, time, or interest to learn, much less master, such abilities to the degree required to make sophisticated stuff in Rigidchips.

Also, microtransactions to tweak the map is ludicrously exploitable. All I have to do is get X other players, or hell, X sockpuppets to pay out for ten-meter segments of subterranean tunnel, and suddenly I've paid to dig a trench that lets me pop out in newbtown in my ubertank of doom, shredding vehicles left and right and essentially impervious to their counterattacks. Or microntransaction a valley through an impassable mountain range that lets me backdoor into an enemy base and wrech their entire supply/resource infrastructure, etcetera.

I... yeah. I see the idea you have in mind here, and it's a cool idea. I'd play the hell out of the game you're imagining.

Unfortunately, I just don't see how it's even remotely workable to try and actually turn Rigidchips into such a game. Sorry. :/
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Sting Auer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:01 am

Takeya has permanently abandoned Rigidchips, correct? Has anyone tried to request the source code? If this wouldn't be possible using scenarios, then it would have to be done by modifying the game itself.


Also, if you ran out of fuel, you would be moved back to the spawnpoint and made to use a vehicle small enough to meet the "new vehicle" requirements. I had an idea to be able to make a sort of flag and set your spawn there, and it would let you respawn as any vehicle you have saved on your computer so long as your spawn flag has the resources to build it.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by RA2lover on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:58 am

IMO it would be better if we had a panekit-like progression system instead. instead of harvesting resources, you could scavenge chips along the world(building various vehicles using obtained chips to get them/to them) instead. fuel also becomes useless when you have chip-propelled vehicles.

BTW - it takes a rather long time to get access to jets on panekit. guns are unlocked earlier, but their power requirements make them useless as propulsion - and power output is proportional to model mass. on panekit, we have no weights - and each chip outputs 1 watt of energy. and it's balanced enough to guarantee jets will never achieve a thrust-to-weight ratio equal to or over 1. however - they can still hover by having jetblast interacting with the map.

given rigidchips's power requirements, we'd also need some kind of capacitor storage too.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Sting Auer on Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:45 pm

RA2lover wrote:IMO it would be better if we had a panekit-like progression system instead. instead of harvesting resources, you could scavenge chips along the world(building various vehicles using obtained chips to get them/to them) instead. fuel also becomes useless when you have chip-propelled vehicles.

BTW - it takes a rather long time to get access to jets on panekit. guns are unlocked earlier, but their power requirements make them useless as propulsion - and power output is proportional to model mass. on panekit, we have no weights - and each chip outputs 1 watt of energy. and it's balanced enough to guarantee jets will never achieve a thrust-to-weight ratio equal to or over 1. however - they can still hover by having jetblast interacting with the map.

given rigidchips's power requirements, we'd also need some kind of capacitor storage too.

hmm... I'm not saying that is a bad idea, but I think that base-building and resource gathering would be more fun than finding chips scattered about and adding them onto yourself.

If you've ever played with limited fuel in Rigidchips, then overpowered jets won't be a problem because of their high fuel requirements.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Rainman on Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:08 am

Sting Auer wrote:

If you've ever played with limited fuel in Rigidchips, then overpowered jets won't be a problem because of their high fuel requirements.

Problem is that in my experience, any sort of high-grade air vehicle needs enormously fuel-intensive jets to function. Hovercraft need enormous amounts of continuous thrust to stay aloft, and jet fighters that are fast and maneuverable enough to dogfight properly generally need enormous engine power as well.

My Nightfury has maybe a minute or so of operational life if unlimited fuel is off, and generally less because firing its weapons also consumes fuel.

For ground vehicles, fuel storage isn't so much of an issue, yes- my most powerful tanks can zoom around at peak fuel consumption (absolute max engine power while firing all their guns) for a solid three or five minutes before they finally run out. But efficient fuel off will cripple jet fighters and hovercraft.

I suppose one might still be able to make turboprop planes with a sufficient operational life, but prop planes are more difficult to make and usually have poorer performance characteristics than a jet fighter.

If there was some reliable way of the game being able to recognize an air vehicle as opposed to any other vehicle, one could maybe tweak the code so "aircraft" enjoy more efficient jets. But I can't see how you could make an algorithm that'd be able to accurately detect whether or not any particular vehicle was supposed to be an air/hovercraft.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by RA2lover on Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:09 am

jets can be more efficient. only 1/6th of the applied energy on jets is converted in thrust. increasing the apparent efficiency could be done through scenario scripts.

also - most overpowered weapons use jets with rapidly changing power settings, and energy could be made necessary for changing a jet's power. this would limit dramatically their use as recoil dampening and satellite stabilization.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Rainman on Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:03 pm

This also seems like it'd make hovercraft stabilization even more fuel prohibitive (a lot of hover vehicles I've seen use fairly high max delta-power to balance, not just those crazy Japanese killsat things) and cripple most any non-laughable gun system that uses a recoil dampener. My old Decimator tank, for instance- its rotary guns are complete peashooters compared to true spamcannon, peashooters even compared to some other vehicles I've built, but it's still a jet-recoil-dampened, eight-barrel gun system. The torque it exerts on the turret means the thing can't hit the broadside of a barn without a high delta-power recoil jet.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by RA2lover on Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:26 pm

you don't really need a high enough delta for hovercraft - unless the design is awfully unaerodynamic. as a solution for that - we could use balloons instead.

as for the weapons - make them fire in such a way the weapon is aligned with the gravity center, or use springs.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Rainman on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:16 pm

I suppose my main issue is that while yes, one could do as you say to try and design around such limitations... they take what are already amongst two of the trickiest things to get working and design well in rigidchips, and make them even more difficult to make functional.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by RA2lover on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:32 pm

they could be built upon the existing ones - only tweaked for stability or shape.

given a streamlined enough design - it's possible to get submarines at over 150km/h using only 10k power. hint:frames create drag underwater.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Sting Auer on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:01 pm

I've designed an aircraft with a single jet that runs on 50,000 engine power at max, and 15,000 at minimum when flying horizontally, and it could easily have weapons added.

The way I let this jet function like this is by having wings placed along the center of gravity and angling them about 5 degrees, which essentially generates a form of lift. Combined with a trim function to keep it flying flat, it has excellent fuel efficiency.

It has a lot of fuel capacity and can get going really fast if it either flies horizontally for a while or does a short dive.

The thing with this mod is that aircraft would be more limited than ground craft; Ground craft would be inherently more powerful because of their lower fuel consumption. Aircraft would have to be specially designed to have maximum efficiency and lowest weight possible.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by RA2lover on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:23 pm

another solution could involve drop tanks. weights always get their fuel spent first.
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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Thorero on Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:16 pm

Sting Auer wrote:Takeya has permanently abandoned Rigidchips, correct? Has anyone tried to request the source code? If this wouldn't be possible using scenarios, then it would have to be done by modifying the game itself.

I would like to say this has been talked about before, but I honestly can't remember. Ah. Found the old email, I did indeed contact him, and asked about the source code, along with a few other questions. His reply:
1.) Sorry........ But I will do someday.

Perhaps it might be time to poke him? He's working on LB, so he is around, I could send him another email I suppose.

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Re: Rigidchips: The MMO

Post by Sting Auer on Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:58 pm

Thorero wrote:
Sting Auer wrote:Takeya has permanently abandoned Rigidchips, correct? Has anyone tried to request the source code? If this wouldn't be possible using scenarios, then it would have to be done by modifying the game itself.

I would like to say this has been talked about before, but I honestly can't remember. Ah. Found the old email, I did indeed contact him, and asked about the source code, along with a few other questions. His reply:
1.) Sorry........ But I will do someday.

Perhaps it might be time to poke him? He's working on LB, so he is around, I could send him another email I suppose.

Could you please? Rigidchips has so much potential to be more than a simple sandbox game if it were made more accessible and had a greater multiplayer aspect. If the source code were released, this idea would become possible if some coders took up the project.

Speaking of which, I am learning some C++, which is what Rigidchips is coded in, correct? I'd be more than inclined to spend more time learning it if that's the case.
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