In Developement Cockpits: Simple solution (remote core access)

    Valiant70

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    In this thread, I've revisited an old idea with a simple solution. Please give feedback such as things that may need to be added to achieve this goal, or ways to make the feature more reliable or balanced, or ideas for solving potential problems with this feature.

    Goal: To be able to walk into a cockpit, control center, or other location on a ship, sit down, and fly the ship. This allows characters to fly from a place resembling a bridge or cockpit rather than a reactor room.

    Idea: A single block called a "Helm Module." When activated, the game behaves as if you had activated the core, only the core's default camera view is replaced by the location of the character's head before activating the Helm Module.
    In other words, you can:
    • Fly the ship
    • Enter build mode
    • Cycle through turrets/docked ships/etc.
    • Everything else as if you were in the core
    This is a very straightforward and (I think) easy-to-implement solution that could be added in a timely manner, solving one of the biggest pet peeves of starmade shipwrights. The synergy of the sitting feature and a Helm Module will provide players with much higher immersion. As such, I believe this feature should receive immediate attention (be implemented ASAP). It's been put off long enough.

    EDIT: added some stuff below.

    Synergetic features. These aren't really topics for this thread, just random thoughts about stuff that would go along with the helm module to enhance gameplay. If you have any particularly profound ideas about any of these, make another thread and post a link here. I'll add it to the OP if you ask.
    • Sitting. (already in game! yay!)
    • A very simple modeled chair block.
    • Avatar remains visible while using a computer.
    • Remote control fighters (maybe another computer?)
    • Removable ship core (core no longer required for ship entity to exist)
     
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    ResonKinetic

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    or how about get rid of cores and create actual chairs that you can actually sit on, now there's an idea
     

    WarSong

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    A core is really just Block 1. It is the basis upon which all other parts of a structure are compared, bound and calculated. For the moment that also means they are the point of greatest vulnerability and the lone factor in deciding where your signature appears on sensors. Both are meant to changed tho. And ideas like this give direction to how that change should manifest. So keep at it.
     
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    I completely agree :D We need cockpit chairs

    I recently started logic connecting clocks to Push effect computers so that I could wander around ships while flying somewhere... or just sit in my oversized wedge chair and press logic buttons to do random inane stuff while hoping a glitch doesn't hiccup gravity and send my ship hurtling through the universe without me at a speed that makes it impossible to catch :D ... let's just say there are currently two prototype self propelled escape pods doing that in my solo game... hopefully they hit a sun or something eventually. Either that or they'll gain sentience and come back like that damn voyager probe in the first Star Trek movie...
     

    Valiant70

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    Rather than "cockpit chairs" I really think we should use the current sitting feature in conjunction with a computer block. This is a more coherent solution to the problem. Now, if you aren't happy with wedges as chairs, perhaps a (very simple!) modeled chair should be added. I can think of a way to do it with only 10 polygons, which is perfectly tolerable. If you want to sit down and activate the computer in one click, why not link the chair to the computer to sit you in it automatically?
     
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    ...Now, if you aren't happy with wedges as chairs, perhaps a (very simple!) modeled chair should be added. I can think of a way to do it with only 10 polygons, which is perfectly tolerable. ...
    oooOOOooOOOo I want a space-lazyboy cockpit chair!

    And awesome idea on making a non-chair block that can have chairs, or wedges, or otherwise linked to them to act as the "chair"! That seems a lot more versatile in implementation than previous suggestions I've seen for cockpits in general
     
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    Good idea, means moving a ship core is no longer a massive hassle, you can place the core safely and only need access to the Helm to get control.
     
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    Valiant70

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    Good idea, means moving a ship core is no longer a massive hassle, you can place the core safely and only need access to the Helm to get control.
    Exactly. This is what people have wanted for so long, but it's been put off again and again. I'm honestly stumped as to why this isn't in-game already as it would add significantly to playability.
     
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    I completely agree :D We need cockpit chairs

    I recently started logic connecting clocks to Push effect computers so that I could wander around ships while flying somewhere... or just sit in my oversized wedge chair and press logic buttons to do random inane stuff while hoping a glitch doesn't hiccup gravity and send my ship hurtling through the universe without me at a speed that makes it impossible to catch :D ... let's just say there are currently two prototype self propelled escape pods doing that in my solo game... hopefully they hit a sun or something eventually. Either that or they'll gain sentience and come back like that damn voyager probe in the first Star Trek movie...
    Mabye if you still had the ship core but had a chair to access the ship from a different part of the ship
     
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    Valiant70

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    Mabye if you still had the ship core but had a chair to access the ship from a different part of the ship
    That's what I suggested. A helm module is a remote access point for the core. Sit in a chair, activate the helm and it's like you're in the core.
     
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    I like the helm module idea, and I think it should be something in your inventory that you activate to connect to your ship from a certain distance. The distance of being able to access the ship could possibly be decided by the size of a control antenna?

    You should only need one module to control all your ships. Perhaps when you make a ship you can use a menu to select who can have access to your ship. You could allow access to an entire faction or pick the exact people from a list of members of the faction, online players, or type their username in. Then when you use your control/helm module you would be given a list of controllable ships within range. Any ships already in control would be listed but not usable. The permissions module block should be the block you access the menu where you decide who can control your ship. The permission module would automatically have your named listed as able to control it.

    This could be used for more things than just being able to be in your cockpit and pilot in a seat. You could control a smaller ship that is docked, fly a little ways, and if your antenna is big enough or your not too far you could switch back to the main ship without docking. I'm sure more interesting things could be thought of.
     
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    I realize that my previous comment had some error in it. I assumed that switching from one ship to another with the remote access method would move you to the new ship, that's how the current system works with you residing in the ship core. Which brings me into another idea.

    Your maximum range of connection is affected by other ships in range of connection and that you are able to connect to. By that I mean if you can connect to a ship you can connect to any ship in range of that ship and any ships connected to the ships in range of that ship etc. So in theory you would be able to make a long chain of ships to extend to a distant place and control the ship at the end. Of course you can only connect through ships you are allowed to control. I think there should be a ship map showing all the ships you can control and their control ranges. Like I said earlier their range of being able to be controlled would be determined by the amount of or length of antenna on the ship.

    If you give up control of a ship you will pop back with your character. If you fly a ship outside of your control range you will lose control of the ship. It would be annoying just losing connection of your ship when you fly too far so there should be a mechanism to alert you that you are going too far and should stop and turn around or not go any further. I would suggest the screen starts to get fuzzy at some point and as you get closer to the edge of control it gets much fuzzier. Another thing that could be done is your control over the ship could get intermittent so the engines will begin to flicker and so on. Or simply a warning message is displayed.

    Not all of the features I have mentioned would have to be added all at once but could be added in multiple updates. The least of the ideas that would be good is to control the ship from another point than the core.

    Edit-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While thinking about this I just imagined a large carrier craft with a massive antenna and large amounts of docking bays and a large scanning antenna. The ship would also have a large crew on board. When an enemy comes within in range of the scanning antenna everyone would be alerted and the crew would would take control of the ships and scout the target and attack. when their ship is destroyed they would simply take control of another ship on board without dieing.
     
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    Valiant70

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    I realize that my previous comment had some error in it. I assumed that switching from one ship to another with the remote access method would move you to the new ship, that's how the current system works with you residing in the ship core. Which brings me into another idea.

    Your maximum range of connection is affected by other ships in range of connection and that you are able to connect to. By that I mean if you can connect to a ship you can connect to any ship in range of that ship and any ships connected to the ships in range of that ship etc. So in theory you would be able to make a long chain of ships to extend to a distant place and control the ship at the end. Of course you can only connect through ships you are allowed to control. I think there should be a ship map showing all the ships you can control and their control ranges. Like I said earlier their range of being able to be controlled would be determined by the amount of or length of antenna on the ship.

    If you give up control of a ship you will pop back with your character. If you fly a ship outside of your control range you will lose control of the ship. It would be annoying just losing connection of your ship when you fly too far so there should be a mechanism to alert you that you are going too far and should stop and turn around or not go any further. I would suggest the screen starts to get fuzzy at some point and as you get closer to the edge of control it gets much fuzzier. Another thing that could be done is your control over the ship could get intermittent so the engines will begin to flicker and so on. Or simply a warning message is displayed.

    Not all of the features I have mentioned would have to be added all at once but could be added in multiple updates. The least of the ideas that would be good is to control the ship from another point than the core.

    Edit-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While thinking about this I just imagined a large carrier craft with a massive antenna and large amounts of docking bays and a large scanning antenna. The ship would also have a large crew on board. When an enemy comes within in range of the scanning antenna everyone would be alerted and the crew would would take control of the ships and scout the target and attack. when their ship is destroyed they would simply take control of another ship on board without dieing.
    Your idea is interesting, but it's off-topic. Maybe you should post it in a new thread.

    I created this thread to discuss remote access from inside a single ship, such as flying from the bridge instead of the core room. "Remote core access" in the title refers to the ability to control the ship from somewhere inside the ship other than the core itself. The fact that a ship cannot be flown from its cockpit or bridge is a long-standing peeve of many/most/virtually all shipwrights, and needs to be addressed ASAP.
     
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    I'll agree with you Valiant70 that I could have made a another thread for my suggestion. I was taking your original idea and altering so that it would have much larger implications. I guess I got carried away a little. I'll consider creating a separate thread. Though I must say my suggestion does fit what your title and goal would suggest. Though it is a step away from your original idea.
     
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    I very much agree, I was about to suggest the same, but did a quick search, to find you, Valiant70, already did so.

    The core belongs in a secure engineering section of the ship, where you will seldom be in person, except when repairing the core. Often, in smaller ships it won't even be accessible. (I imagine) Once the core is destroyed, the ship will no longer be able to fly, as it is the technical center of the ship.

    The helm module as Valiant70 calls it is connected to the core, and it is where the controls for the ship will be.
    I love the idea with a cockpit chair. :schema:
    Also, I'd like to see the build mode be removed from the core/helm module, and be restricted to a build block.
    When you build a new craft, you may start by hand, after placing the core, or set down a build block and start advanced building.
    You'd have to leave the helm module in flight, and enter the build block to build the ship.

    Forgive me :)

     
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    Since I'm now in the stage of the game where I can build something else than minimalist blockships of under 50 modules, I wanted to place the core somewhere a bit more protected. Of course, that means not being able to access it just by flying by, so I couldn't help but wonder if there was no other way to enter the ship than interacting with the core. Quick forum search, and here I am.

    I 100% support this idea. However, one question pops up: does this mean you (the player character) can get killed by gunfire penetrating the cockpit, leaving the ship adrift without damaging the core? I'm not exactly against that, either... though from what I gather, the coming HP system might render this question irrelevant.
     
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    SHowever, one question pops up: does this mean you (the player character) can get killed by gunfire penetrating the cockpit, leaving the ship adrift without damaging the core?
    That would be a great side effect.. the player can be killed and ship survives (or vice versa). With no 'target' on the player it will be hard to get him but it does allow a kill-shot with minimum ship damage. The flip side is surviving ship destruction (find that escape pod) which would also be neat.