Deep Space Warfare

Deep Space Warfare, abbreviated to DSW, is the title of a game idea which has been devised by Trevor Sparks. This idea has not currently been picked up by Ginever Entertainment, but may end up being picked up at some point in the future. It may also end up being set within the Intryon universe if development of the game ever goes ahead.

The game, in its current concept, is a F2P Many Multiplayer Online video game involving team-based or free-for-all combat with spaceships.

Interface

The game's interface is a dominant part of player interaction with the game. Even in the battles, the player has to control their weapons as well as piloting the ship.

MMO Server

The game is designed from the core to be a MMO game, and to feature exclusively online play.

The player would download a client, which is run up as the game. The client must connect to an online server daemon, situated on Ginever servers, where they can login via their GineverAccount and sync up with their save game data. If the player does not have an internet connection, or if for any reason the server is offline, the player's client will not launch the game.

The server stores all data for all players, and operates on a channel-based system for different regions. The server also manages all social links, and runs the matchmaker for games and also hosts the games between clients.

The Stardock

Once the player logs in, the game will load their "Stardock". This is where all of the player's ships can be browsed and viewed, customized and then selected for battle. The Stardock' also allows for social connectivity, linking up with contacts, friending people and organizing private parties where people can just engage in a private battle with their friends only, similar to LAN gameplay.

From the Stardock which could be considered the homepage, the player can transition to three different places in the game- the "Shipyard", where they can purchase new ships and sell their old ones, the "Workshop", where they are able to customize armaments and appearance of their ship, and the "Launch Deck", where they choose game modes and initiate matchmaker to find multiplayer battles to play in.

The Shipyard

The Shipyard transitions from the Stardock. At the shipyard the player can browse the selection of ships he has unlocked, as well as open a model research line interface to investigate which models he can unlock as he progresses. Each class of ship has a line of ships that the player can purchase aside from the ships that the player start with. The player can also pull up any ship he has parked on his Stardock and sell it, with the value of any upgrades added to it incorporated in the selling price. A ship can get worn out as the player continues to battle with it, so the player must eventually sell it. If a player purchases a ship, they can immediately transition to the Workshop to customize their new ship.

The Workshop

The Workshop is where the player can select ships and customize them individually to their liking. The primary purpose of this area is to provide the players with the module outfit tech-trees for the ships they own, so they can upgrade them to fight more powerful ships owned by other players. However there are also cosmetic and aesthetic customization options.

The Launch Deck

This is where players can initiate the multiplayer battles. From here, they can choose to simply queue in Matchmaker for a random battle, where they are matched up based on their ship's ability to fight. They can also arrange a custom battle, where they are able to invite people to a lobby and allow them to choose their own arrangement of ships for a game.

Gameplay

The game is visualized as a 3D free-flying combat game. The combat element leans towards a strategy gameplay style, and the flying aspect leans towards a First-person/Third-person perspective piloting simulator style. This gameplay is uniform throughout the different modes of play.

Entering Battle

After all ship models are loaded and the battle map (deep space sector) is generated and loaded, the player's camera goes to a third-person view of the ship in warp-speed. All controls are locked and everything is static, the ship view jitters slightly to provide the sensation of speed, but the player cannot yet control any aspect of the ship. After all players are synced and ready to battle, a timer counts down from 10 seconds and at battle-start(0 seconds), every ship "exits" warp-speed at a randomly selected point equally distant from the map's absolute center(imagining the map as a giant bound sphere.) After this point, the player assumes complete control of the ship and is free to fly it in any direction and fire the weapons, and reallocate power to any module.

Map Generation

The battle map is always an exact sphere of extreme proportion(would take the Volition, fastest ship in the game, nearly 5 straight minutes to fly from one side to the other), and this does not change between battles. However, to produce map variance, the map randomly generates "celestial bodies", asteroids, and meteors, which are static, or float around slowly. The locations, flight paths, characteristics, and appearance of these bodies are randomly generated every battle. A ship flying into any solid body at high speed will almost always experience an "impact death", where the ship dies instantly. Another challenge with the random generator is that coupled with the random player spawning location engine, players even communicating over VoIP will have a difficult time tracking each other's locations at the beginning of a battle and having an advantage.

Player Spawning

When a player "spawns", or enters the battle map, they enter at a point near the outer-boundary of the sphere, oriented to fly inwards towards the battle map's exact center. The absolute conditions for spawning involve being equally distant from the map's center as all other players' spawning locations, and being a preset radial distance away from other players on the sphere's convex arc, to prevent players from spawning near each other. There is no consideration to spawning friendlies next to each other, every player regardless of what team they're on spawns randomly around the map.

Player Spotting

Once a player spawns, they will be able to spot other ships. The spawning engine is set to make sure it doesn't spawn two players(enemy or friendly) close enough to immediately spot each other. There are four "types" of spotting:

  • Beacon Spotting - this type of spotting has the biggest spotting radius and thus, always happens first. When your Beacon Spotting zone overlaps a ship's physical model, it will simply display an indicator overlay on your view, showing the direction that the ship is assumed to be in relative to you. The indicator will not display any other information, and doesn't tell you anything more than "there's a ship in this direction."
  • Type Spotting - this type of spotting is usually skipped by heavier ships, such as Freighter-class and Alpha-class, but scout ships have a significant enough radius of this spotting type to make use of it. When a ship's model overlaps the zone of this spotting type, you will receive information on the other ship's class-type and model, for example, it will tell you: "There's a Combat Cruiser, Warship class, in this direction."
  • Association Spotting - this type of spotting is most critical for engagement or coordination. It's self-explanatory, whereas the previous two spotting types merely point out a ship's location relative to yours and its class/type, this spotting indicated whether or not the ship is on your team or not. The radius for this type of spotting is usually fairly close-quarters for most ship classes, making it quite precarious and basically the initiator for combat if the contact does happen to be between teams.
  • Evaluation Spotting - this type of spotting is the last and has the smallest zoned radius- if a ship gets close enough to activate this type of spotting, you'll be able to know, in fuller detail, the ship's ability to fight. You'll know its full HP, Power and Munitions Threshold stats, as well as what modules on the ship are damaged.

Player Flight Controls

Manual Control

To fly the ship, the player controls the primary throttle, and primarily the roll and pitch to maneuver the craft. An example of how the controls could work: Plus and Minus keys control the throttle, which works incrementally in percentages of 10%. WASD control the roll and pitch, with A and D controlling left and right roll, and W and S controlling up and down pitch. Z and C could possibly control Yaw.

The other option would be to have the ships simply follow the mouse, in a similar manner to WarThunder and World of Warplanes.

Waypoint-based Automatic Control

There is also a map waypoint setting. There is a 3D transparent sphere(miniature of the battle map) in the flight interface, swapping to strategy waypoint view enlarges it to full screen and lets the player move a waypoint around the sphere, indicating where they want their ship to travel, and they can choose a throttle setting, to indicate how fast they want the ship to travel to the point. As the ship discovers celestial bodies, other ships, and capture points, they will be shown on the map. The player needs to take caution not to set waypoints that would cause a collision course with a solid body.

Player Combat

To engage other ships, the player has to flip to a different interface in flight operated by the cursor. This interface allows the player to select specific secondary armaments on the ship, and instruct them to automatically fire on an enemy in volume. The player must manually control primary armaments, by simply changing to a directional view relative to the weapon's firing line, and not the ship's flight line. The player must take caution to ensure the ship is flying in a desired direction and speed of travel before swapping to the primary weapon's firing view, as the controls the ship was left at will remain in those settings while the player is in the firing view. The player only needs to be in the weapon view for as long as it takes for the player to fire the weapon, once the weapon is fired the player can immediately drop back to piloting view.

Objective

Depending on the game mode that matchmaker placed the players in- the player can wind up in a team of players, or left to fend for themselves. Some game modes require you to gain capture points on "colonies" placed on a floating planet in the battle arena, and every game mode can be won if all enemies are defeated.

Free For All

In a Free for All, there is no capture points and no team association. The game ends when the last player is left standing, or if all ships are destroyed.

Team Battle

No capture points, but there is team association. Players are balanced between two teams.

Domination

Team association, and three capture nodes are placed around the map.

Crazy King

No Team Association. Three capture nodes, but players are rewarded points for holding them over other players.

The Spaceship

The player controls a spaceship in the battle modes and other modes to play against other players. These spaceships vary in size, shape, and role in battle. Different ones associate with a class of ship, but every ship has the same layout of health, power, armor, and armament layout.

Battle Stats

Each ship has 3 primary health stats that the player needs to monitor to ensure survival. "Health", "Power", and "Munitions Threshold".

  • Health - Health is the most important, as it will fluctuate the most in combat, and if it reaches 0, obviously, the ship is done. When an enemy ship begins landing shots on your ship, depending on your armor, you will begin to lose health. Health can be regenerated using the health regeneration component, the more power allocated to Health Regen, the more health you regain quickly. However- your health regen component can be damaged, reducing health regeneration for power allocated, forcing you to play on less health. Health is simply a threshold bar, you having more or less health does not directly affect the performance of your ship, and component damage happens separately from it. Again, if Health hits 0, your ship simply explodes and the battle is over for you.
  • Power - Power is your ship's fighting resource. It is necessary to fuel the ship's various components; the Engines, HP regen, Munitions regen, and Communications. Every component that the Power core fuels can be damaged, resulting in increased power consumption of one component. Power is constantly regenerated by the ship's "Power core", a component in itself that also can be damaged by enemy ships. If damaged, the power regeneration will be reduced, dramatically hindering your ship's ability to engage in combat. The player piloting the ship has to constantly decide where to allocate all of the power, this is done by switching to the weapons interface, where there are sliding bars for each component of the ship that consumes power. The player can choose to allocate more power than is being generated to the ship's components, however- if the power drops too low, certain components will experience a power failure, and will either experience reduced functionality or will cease to function altogether.
  • Munitions Threshold - This is the exclusive resource for the ship's armaments. This determines the amount of firepower the ship can use, it decreases as the weapons are being fired. Certain types of weapons will use more or less of the munitions threshold at once, for example- lasers and automatic flak guns will use a steady, small stream as they constantly fire, and super-massive cannons or gauss guns with high damage and a low ROF will use a large portion of the bar in one go. Some weapons, usually primary weapons, require the total munitions threshold to be higher than even the amount that is required for one shot, before it is allowed to fire. The munitions threshold is resupplied/regenerated through a ship component called "Munitions materialization", which can be damaged. The regeneration speed is controlled by the amount of power allocated to the component- if the ship is exhausting its ammo too quickly, more power can be allocated to Munitions to keep the weapons firing.

Components

Each ship has at least one of these components located on it. These components control a certain aspect of the ship's ability to perform in the battle, and each one can be damaged, affecting the task it performs.

  • Power Core - This component is the most important component in any spaceship. It's responsible for power regeneration, which affects propulsion, munitions, and communication. If the power core is damaged, the power regeneration may be reduced.
  • Health Regeneration - This component refuels the ship's health. If damaged, the ship will require more power to regenerate a certain stream of health.
  • Munitions Materialization - This component refuels the ship's munitions threshold. If damaged, the ship will require more power to regenerate the same stream of ammunition.
  • Engines - This component provides forwards and reverse thrust for your ship. If it is damaged, the thrust capability will be reduced.
  • Avionics - This component provides whatever thrust vectoring your ship uses to change direction on multiple axis. If damaged, your ship's turning and manipulation will be slower to react. It can also get jammed, causing your ship to spin out of control on a stuck thrust vector for a short time.
  • Communications - This component provides the full dimensional radius to each spotting type. If damaged, the spotting ranges will be reduced, and you will have a harder time detecting enemy ships and relaying information from allied ships.
  • Primary Armament - This component is your primary armament, or armaments. It can get jammed or temporarily disabled, and if damaged, accuracy and damage will be reduced.
  • Bridge - This component is your ship's control center. If damaged, power re-allocation and commands relayed to secondary armaments will be slightly delayed.

Armor

Every ship has "Armor", material plates on the exterior which help to reduce damage from incoming fire, even block it completely. Every different ship has a different armor profile, but follows a general template according to its class.

There are two types of armor:

  • Generic Armor - Generic Armor covers the entire ship regardless of construct. Generic armor doesn't provide fullproof protection against any type of incoming fire, but really thick Generic armor can maintain adequate protection for most ships, allowing it to divert more power to other components rather than focusing power allocation on health regeneration. For most ships that have notable weakspots, it's usually an area of thin Generic armor. Thin generic armor will allow most types of firepower to penetrate through with full damage potential.
  • Composite Armor - This type is usually very thick and has the potential to completely absorb incoming fire. It is used to create strategically strong spots on most ships, as composite almost completely negates phasers, laser and small caliber weaponry. However- some flak gun weapons and middle-caliber weapons have a shot at penetrating, and most cannons or high-caliber weapons, as well as most gauss-guns, will still do full damage depending on the thickness.
  • Nano Armor - This type will negate almost any damage completely regardless of thickness, and is only seen on the strongest class of ships (i.e, Freighters and Alpha-class). However, Nano armor is almost always accompanied by Generic armor weakspots, and is still slightly susceptible to super-massive cannons and Gauss-guns.
  • Distort Armor - This type is an alternative to Composite and Nano armor types, favored by a select few amount of ships from the Shuttle and Warship classes. It acts much like Generic armor, except provides significant damage reduction from all manner of shell and projectile-based firepower, such as flak guns and even cannons. However, it is still as equally vulnerable to lasers and phasers as Generic armor. Distort Armor and Composite Armor are rarely used in combination.

Ship Classes

Every ship has a different possible loadout and armor layout tied to the ship chassis, which gives it different capabilities in battle. To help a player decide what sort of ship he'd like to take into battle, the ships have been organized into classes.

  • Shuttle Class - These ships can be thought of as the "light" class or "scout" class. The shuttle trades firepower and armor for unparalleled speed and agility, as well as powerful communications equipment, so they can easily relay an enemy's position to allied ships. Shuttles can be harder to hit as well, due to their speed, but if they are exposed to fire for too long, or if they get into too close of range, they can be easily chewed out and severely damaged, or even destroyed. Most shuttles have either decently strong secondary armaments, or a very hard-hitting primary armament, making for a good hit-and-run spaceship.
  • Freighter Class - Ships under this class usually share an advantage of heavy armor and health, with good power regeneration. The tradeoff is poor firepower and poor mobility. The freighter class can be best thought of as the "Tank" of the classes, these ships are usually driven out to the frontline to bear the brunt of the enemy fire, and possibly bully the bigger ships while allies close in and cause the real damage.
  • Warship Class - These ships are usually what carry the firepower into battle. Warships usually have decent armor, decent mobility, and notably good firepower. It trades this off for rather poor power generation, and usually a fatal flaw or vulnerability of some sort. Most Warships have very intimidating, threatening secondary armaments for smaller ships, while having insane primary armaments to help deal with the tougher targets.
  • Bandit Class - The Bandits are easy to think of as "Snipers", or pure "hit and run" spaceships. The bandits usually have incredible firepower, usually unconventional or just extremely overpowered, with a tradeoff of poor armor, poor health, and mediocre mobility and comms. Particularly, the Bandits have a ridiculous Primary armament, or a small amount of very powerful secondary armaments.
  • Alpha Class - The Alpha class is the king class, usually showcasing the big beasts of interstellar warships. The Alpha class can be considered the "Cruiser" class, or jack-of-all-trades class, as it usually has an incredible array of weaponry at its disposal, potentially incredible mobility, and great comms equipment, as well as good armor and health. The one downside that pretty much kills all the upsides: For the features available, the power regeneration is very poor. This basically grants the Player incredible power on the battlefield, but they have to manage the power constantly while in combat, or face power loss on components, which will certainly get them killed. Most Alphas are very large, making the ship easier to hit at range and much more harder to pilot out of combat once they've already landed in it. Simply put- playing an Alpha shouldn't be easy.

Possible Development Cycle

Because Deep Space Warfare is intended to possibly rival games like Elite: Dangerous and EVE Online, the game will require far more resources to make than any current hypothetical Ginever Entertainment titles.