Fractalus 1.x: ideas for future updates

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Missions with Harder Searching of the Pilots

Post by reflame » 2022-Mar-31 15:38

This post in nutshell: There are many ways how to make finding pilots harder and requiring more attention.

Mission with Harder Searching of the Pilots
If we sum up the previous post, the player can discern the target type by the normal radar, by mountain relief radar, visually by presence and color of the light (the green beacon; the turrets shine blue but I suggest that some may be masked to various degree), or visually by the shape of the object. I don't know whether this list is complete: for example, one can discern a crashed ship by landing near and seeing whether a pilot starts running.

So I suggest that either the nature (for example ore deposits) or Jaggi can impair (make difficult) any of these identification methods. Any combination. Some methods completely, some partly...
For example, the Jaggi can place a decoy (false imitation of a crashed ship) with exactly the right green color beakon and intensity; this decoy will look somewhat like a crashed ship (discernable by careful observation), but can be easily discerned if the player looks at the mountain relief radar.
Etc. Simply, any combination is IMHO conceivable (althought a mission would be difficult if *all* were impaired). I believe this can be a topic for several interesting missions, each with different kind impairing of identification methods.

Methods Requiring Player's Attention
This will probably not be appealing to most players, but I can imagine that the radar can give a very limited information which the player has to intensively process (to concentrate much on it) to find the pilot - so he must split the concentration while fighting the turrets and fighters. This might make the game more intense and engaging.
For example the radar would indicate (clearly or hazily) the distance of the pilot (nearest pilot in any direction), but not the direction. The player would have to fly an intelligent pattern that would give him some clue about the direction - for example "if the distance doesn't seem to be changing, then my heading is probably perpendicular (at a right angle) to the pilot".

Or the player would be limited to moments when the radio broadcasts a moving message "Help me, I am afraid" or so - and the player gets a limited info about pilot's direction (heading needed to find the pilot) and must notice this information quickly before it disappears. This can be combined with all other ideas here. Also with the idea right bellow about an acoustic radar; there I imagine a regularly repeated acoustic information, but here it could be an information in unexpected moments and the player must pay some attention to notice it. (Well, maybe this is already a too wild idea...)

Or, in some missions, the only output of the radar would be the sound. Let's say that each object detected by the radar is represented every five seconds as a sound of two consecutive tones, the second tone +5 to -5 semitones higher (lower) than the first one, which corresponds to "target at 5 o'clock" (150 degrees right) to "target at -5 (that is, 7) o'clock" (150 degrees to the left). If the pitch of the tones is similar (or the same), then it means that the target is roughly (or exactly, respectively) ahead.
The length of the tones might indicate the distance of the target, the volume could be the degree of confidence (see my post about imperfect radar) that it is a target at all (and not an ore deposit) and the color of the tone would indicate the target type. This can be combined with ideas A) or B) in the same post.

I would like it very much, because the more senses the player has to use, the more intense the experience. And the customization and difficulty switches would let the player set this "acoustic difficulty" independently from other game aspects, because a musician will be able to detect far smaller nuances (and with far less concentration) than a hopeless musical antitalent. So the player could set the clarity of acoustic difference between turrets and pilots (see "A" in the post about imperfect radar), the tendency of the radar to identify unreliably ("B") and also the density of occurrence of false targets.

Endless combinations are thinkable, for example a good or mediocre radar (as we know it from 1.0.0) for enemies, but the pilot locations can be detected only by the acoustic radar. Etc.

The point would be that finding pilots draws so much concentration/attention that fighting enemies and piloting during it is (reasonably) hard.
Last edited by reflame on 2022-Apr-10 20:45, edited 5 times in total.

Posts: 39
Joined: 2014-Sep-05 03:38

Strategic planning When and Where to meet Which Enemy

Post by reflame » 2022-Mar-31 23:32

This post in nutshell: Some scenarios can be more strategy-oriented: the player has to use a long-range radar to plan where to fly and which enemies to meet when.

In order to be clear in what I mean by "long-range radar planning" (which I call "strategy level 3"), I will first describe the game WITHOUT this feature, at level 2. (Here is my overview of all strategy levels.)

Strategy Level 2: Dogfighting and Maneuvering

If the ideas of my post about dogfighs and game speed are implemented (let's call this, including fighting the slowly rotating turrets, strategy level 2), but NOT ideas of this post and NOT of the post about bombers and transports systematically searching and killing the pilots, then the player will fly randomly over Fractalus just like now (without caring about orientation - that means he will probably never say "I have already been here, now I must fly to the east because there are two pilots there, and I must avoid the dangerous turret in the south..."):
He will rescue pilots, destroy turrets... and from time to time an enemy fighter will appear and the player has to dogfight it. And sometimes another figher approaches before the first one is destroyed, which will require more demanding dogfight skills.
That will require more thinking and planning of maneuvers than current Remake 1.0.0 (let's call it strategy level 2, where level 1 is the gameplay of Remake 1.0.0 which does allow some strategy planning, but less than I propose here in various "levels"). But if the player does not have a 360 degree radar, much longer-ranged than in 1.0.0, then he has (almost) no means to see enemy aircrafts coming. And so I think he will practically be in a position as if a random generator created enemy crafts near the player from time to time (in unpredictable times).
Then the player cannot plan in the way which I describe bellow; all he can do is simply to try to destroy enemies fast enough to avoid, if possible, fighting more at the same time. (And to make progress with the mission between the dogfights.)

Strategy Level 3: Meeting the Threat in Favorable Place and Time
And so in this post I want to suggest an even bigger shift toward a gameplay requiring the strategic thinking (than what I called strategy level 2): The player will detect approaching enemy fighters in time (in a big distance) and he has to think for example like: "I do not want to fight both those Elite Fighters at the same time, so I will fly toward one of them to meet him first. Do I have time enough to rescue this pilot before that? And I must be careful to meet him far from the nasty turret on that hill... And what is that unconfirmed radar contact in the west? I can handle a Heavy Fighter, but I dearly hope it is not another Elite Fighter or Dominator ... Actually, I hope it is a radar ghost (false image caused by Jaggi decoy or ore deposits), but should I risk a strategy that relies on it? If it is a real aircraft, I can be caught fighting three powerful enemies together... etc."

Let's call it strategy level 3. I will write another posts with even higher "levels", how to put even more strategic planning and challenge into the Fractalus that I imagine. One of the ways would be enemy crafts systematically killing the pilots.

Player's Need for a Long-range Radar
Strategies with level 3 and above will probably be impossible if the player does not have a long range radar or at least some information to know about the enemies in time before they are in the firing range. (And I mean much earlier: as much as is neccessary for strategic planning described above.)

"But you should know, newbie, that a perfect long-range radar is a big comfort. A luxury that not all pilots get, given the limited capaciry of our repair bays, which give priority to hull and cannon over less neccessary things like radar... Well, would the technician call that we can fly without it if he ever flew himself in a real mission full of enemy patrol aircrafts?"
So in some missions, the information about distant aircrafts could be limited and hazy or obscured and hard to decode. I am not sure which of these ideas (that I wrote about looking for the pilots) could be applied here. But I would really like a diversity; different level of information in different missions: a good long-range radar in some, a limited in othes... I think there is much room for diversity here.

The radar can be imprerfect in really many ways, maybe some missions of the campaign with much dogfighting could generate the kind of imperfection randomly, the player would just choose the severity of the imperfection, which serves as difficulty setting for that mission.

Strategically Planning Enemies Clever Enemies
In my extravagant fantasy I even imagine that if Luke is willing to make enemies smart (I discuss their intelligence at TODO_LINK), then some designs could be so intelligent that they would coordinate their approach to meet the player together, not one by one. Or if one of them spots the player, he can tell his positions to his friend who cannot see him on the radar (for any reasons: distance, bad radar etc.).

Imperfect Radars of the Enemies
Some enemies can have a weak radar: short-range or limited in angle. Or unreliable (having 4% chance per second that he does detect player's ship). So the player can play "hide and seek" with them: if I know I have been detected by an enemy aicraft that I do not want to fight, I can descend under the mountain peaks (because we may probably say that they complicate radar detection) and try to get far enough to have a chance that the enemy does not detect me again.

I'll be happy to elaborate details if anyone wishes.
Last edited by reflame on 2022-Apr-10 00:53, edited 6 times in total.

Posts: 39
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Missions Requiring Orientation on the Planet

Post by reflame » 2022-Apr-02 14:07

What I Mean by "Features Independent on My 'Strategy Levels' " Is Explained at the Bottom of This Post.

This post in nutshell: The next step in shifting the game toward strategic planning would IMHO be missions that require the player to keep track on where on the planet he is and where are the mission objectives located.

I have described two steps how ot move the game toward strategy and planning, I called them Strategy level 2 and 3. Now I will go further.

Orientation on the Planet
Let's think about a question, whether we do or don't want the player to say thinkg like: "I have already been here, now I must fly to the east because there are two pilots there, and I must avoid the dangerous turret in the south..."

I would like a diversity: in my view, such orientation should be impossible in some missions, easy in others and medium or difficult in yet another ones.
In the original Fractalus or Remake 1.0.0, it is IMHO impossible, because the mountain peaks are all alike, there are no ruins left when a turret is destroyed etc.

I think that the difficulty of such orientation can be controlled by how much information the player gets: For example there can be a few mountain peaks reaching higher than others, each with a unique shape. Or the radar can very dimply show the high part of mountain peaks (or it can show ore deposits) - then the orientation is the easier the more unique and easily recognizable their patterns are.

A Map of the Planet
Another approach would be to show the lattitude and longitude.

Yet another, very comfortable for the player, would be that the cockpit contains a map (probably a square) representing the whole planet surface and showing player's position. It might even show the results of the long-range radar and/or objects (towers, crashed ships etc...) that have been spottet and not yet destroyed.
There are many ways how to combine this with the idea of partly malfunctioning radar.

Info from Rescued Pilots
Before I proceed, I want to recall than one of the type of information that the player can (in my extravagant fantasy) obtain from the pilots, is a hint about the location of mission objective (it can be an ace pilot, heavily defended Jaggi headquarters or anything).

Strategy Level 4: Mission Requiring Orientation
I believe that requiring the orientation is the next step in introducing more strategic planning into the game.
A typical mission of this kind would be to destroy Jaggi headquarters (or rescue three Ace pilots) where some rescued pilots will tell what they know about the location of mission objective.
It is hard for me to state other examples: I think that orientation would be needed in a mission like: "Destroy the Jaggi headquarters, but if you do not want to be overwhelmed by enemy fire, you should first destroy their power plant - but this power plant has a defense powered by a water dam, so you should start with the dam." To make it more interesting, the briefing will contain photos of these objects and the player has to search the planet and fly a bit close to the buildings to discern whether they are the object from the briefing or a similar building with no gameplay effect.
But I think this idea is a bit crazy for several reasons: It would require a lot of implementation in terrain generating, graphics and system of enemy buildings. If we do want to expand the game in this direction (which would not be reasonable before version ca. 6.0.0 or 7.0.0, according to my priorities - I partly joke but I mostly mean it, although the version numbers are figurative), then a careful consideration would be needed first instead of implementing one fancy idea (at the cost of so much labor) without knowing whether we can meaningfully extend it to other interesting missions using new terrains and buildings.

Aspects Independent on my "Levels"
I believe that the steps that I called "strategy levels 2 to 6" (some of which will be explained in a future post) represent logical progressive steps in expanding the gameplay. And I also think that some ideas are independent on which step the player chooses for his mission.
Actually, most of gameplay features are independent on this: alien behavior, turret types, player's choice of ship, damage of ship devices, repair droid etc.
Another example of such independent aspect is a threat causing a time pressure: it can be introduced on strategy level 1, which is my term for default gameplay without dogfights and maneuvering, and strategy level 6 can be played without such threat.

I hesitate whether to say that bombers and transport searching and killing the pilots are also independent. I think they are: They need level 3 (a long range radar) and maybe 4, but including them into a mission is independent on including higher strategy levels: one can easily do either of these things or both.
Last edited by reflame on 2022-Apr-06 19:27, edited 4 times in total.

Posts: 39
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Long Mission that Remember the World Status Between Flights

Post by reflame » 2022-Apr-02 16:45

This post in nutshell: I suggest missions with a large game world that is left unchanged (destroyed turrets stay destroyed etc.) when player returns to the mothership; the player has to fly several times and gradually progress to fulfill the mission objective.

Now I'll extend ideas of strategy level 4 even further:

Strategy Level 5: World-preserving Missions
It seems to me that when I return to the mothership and then descend to the planet again, the destroyed turrets are restored - and I suppose that a complete world is randomly generated.

So when I say "world-preserving scenario", I mean that the game remembers the state of the world and the player can continue where he stopped. So he can plan, for example: I will destroy this nest of turrets before going to mothet ship, but I know that there are very powerful turrets in the southwest, guarding something important for my mission objective. I will go to mother ship to replenish energy before I attack these powerful turrets.

I believe this would allow many beautiful opportunities for interesting missions, because any of the following features could be combined:
  • If it is a mission where rescued pilots give clues about the location of the mission objective, then the player can learn something, return to replenish energy and/or repair the ship, and then to go after more pieces of information. It can take several flights to gain enough information to fulfill the objective.
  • This can be combined with the idea that in each flight the player suffers some damage before he can return to the mothership - and there he is allowed to repair either a given amount of damage (such as a full repair of one device, any combination of repairs worth 500 damage points etc.), or to make repairs for the money collected for the rescued pilots. The game will converge to victory or failure depending on whether the player manages to repair his ship more quickly than he takes damage. (The game can also start with an extensive random damage and the player can try to repair the ship in several visits of mothership until he dares to attack the mission objective.)
  • The player can return to the mothership or to an airfield on the planet that the allied forces created and defend against Jaggi attacks (I can imagine missions to defend this airfield from enemy bombers, but this is unrelated to the content of this post).
  • If we introduce the choice of equipment (weapons, shield etc.TODO_LINK), then the player can return to the mothership, gain money for pilots rescued and buy a better equipment so he can dare attack a heavy enemy position guarding the mission objective (or a location that allows some progress toward the objective).
  • The game world can be large and the player can return to the mothership to collect money for rescued pilots in order to replace his miserable equipment with a mediocre one, so he can dare to fly to the better defended places of the planet which promise more money, so he can buy a good equipment and poke his nose even deeper into enemy fortifications, then buy a first-class equipment and try to fulfill the mission objective. I would really like that.
  • All this makes imho sense with or without a threat inducing a time pressure.

Setup of World-preserving missions
I deliberately do not comment the question (before there are many answers and I don't know which will work well) how exactly the player sets up the missions; whether it will be an extension of a custom mission setting, whether there will be several of these "large mission scenarios" etc. Well, actually, the imho most feasible way is described right at the start of the next post:

Strategy Level 6: Pseudorandom Seed-generated Missions
This text has been moved to the next post.
Last edited by reflame on 2022-Apr-06 19:39, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 39
Joined: 2014-Sep-05 03:38

Pseudorandom Seed-generated Missions

Post by reflame » 2022-Apr-03 22:39

Strategy Level 6: Pseudorandom Seed-generated World-preserving Missions
At strategy level 5, I imagine that each world-preserving mission scenario specifies the objective, density and quality of enemy turrets and air attacks, number and character of powerful enemy turret nests etc. etc. etc. (TODO_ review reformulate)
But whenever the player starts this scenario (after he won or lost), a new world is generated, location of misson objectives is geneated randomly etc.

Well, I suggest a variant that I'll call "strategy level 6" where they are generated pseudorandomly from an integer seed. This means that whenever the player enters the same seed, the generated world will be exactly the same.
The point is that the player can try various ways to win the mission: which weapons to use, which objective to pursue first, how boosted he must be before attacking the main goal, how much he must hurry not to be caught by the time pressure threat etc. etc.)
These question can have (and ideally will have!!) different answers for different world (instances) of the scenario, but the answer (correct strategy) will be the same if the world is the same because player started with the same seed.

Also, as the location of the objectives, enemy turrets etc. will be exactly the same (when the seed is the same), player will use the information (gained by exploration and observation, experience, from rescued pilots etc.) in the next attempt. In every attempt he will start wiser (better informed about the generated world).

This way, the player will need (if he chooses the difficulty reasonably) many attempts to defeat an instance of the scenario (that means a pseudorandomly generated world defined by a concrete value of the seed), and each attempt will require at least several flights.
So I imagine that every instance will be a challenge for many hours, the player will get closer and closer... And when he defeats it, he can simply enter another seed and start another challenge from the scratch.
He will only have the general idea of what the mission is like, concerning the things that are defined by the scenario rather than generated - for example that there are three ace pilots, each near a nest of heavy turrets etc. This is important because this will invalidate all information that he gained with previous seed about the world layout: where are the ace pilots, dangerous masked turrets etc.

I have a very good experience with seed-generated worlds in other games and so this approach seems very attractive to me.

Missions Generated Party Randomly and Partly Pseudorandomly (TODO: Extract into a separate article
I know I haven't stated much detail about how much is defined by the scenario, how much is generated from the seed and how much is customizable (for example independent setting of piloting difficulty, combat difficulty and alien difficulty).

But I hope I explained the idea.

It could also be intresting if a little part of world definition was generated randomly instead of pseudorandomly: The player will gradually gather hints where to find the mission objective (which remains the same as long as the seed is the same), but he will not say "Yes, I recognize this distinctive mountain shape: know that there is a dangerous masked turret there!" - because details like turret position will be generated randomly whenever the player restarts the scenario (but probably not before each flight).

Extreme control over level of surprise
And I will push this even further - I admit this is a wilder idea and maybe the logic might be too complicated for an average player: The pseudorandom generator will know a "suitable for modification" score (SuiMod) of each aspect of the world that this generator seed-generated.
  • For example: The location of dangerous masked turrets will have a high SuiMod score, because (for reasons explained above) we want to choose it randomly before each attempt. Or almost each, as explained bellow.
  • Location of heavy turret nests (whose destruction the player must plan well, when to attempt it) might have an average SuiMod score.
  • Properties of respective enemy aircraft designs (such as "In this mission, enemy Elite Fighters have a lower maneuverability") would have an average to low score.
  • Location of the mission objectives (such as ace pilots, enemy headquarters etc.) would have a very low SuiMod score, because we want it to be the same as long as the seed is the same - so that the player can make progress (toward discovering them) during each attempt (the term is defined above/in xx) of the scenario.

So my wild idea is that: When the player restarts the scenario with the same seed (let's call it main seed to distinguis it from the surprise seed), he can enter a "level of surprise" that he wants to have, and the generator will generate
  • things (aspect of the game world) with SuiMod score lower than level of surprise: pseudorandomly (deterministicaly from the seed)
  • The other things randomly (or, even a bolder idea, from a "surprise seed" entered by a player; the logic is described bellow).
It is probably a crazy and complicated idea, but I think it might increase the replay value even more (and therefore improve the ration between programmer's labour and hours of enjoyable content): The player would
  • Not only be able to start every attempt with a different position of dangerous masked turrets, but also:
  • By entering the same main seed and the same surprise seed, he could keep the position of masked turrets for another attempt if he so wishes; he will enter the same main seed but different surprise seed if he wants to re-generate them pseudorandomly; to completely change their position. So if he thinkg "Oh, those masked bitches got me, I would like to make another attempt against the same layout of masked turrets," then he will enter the same "surprise seed".
  • By entering a higher "level of surprise", he would enforce a pseudorandom re-genration not only of masked turrets, but also of features with an average SuiMod score.
  • And during all this, he would continue in his effort to discover the location (or, for example, to find the best order of attempts to fulfill) the mission objectives - because they have a very low SuiMod score and because the player entered the same main seed.
  • And if he wants the whole world completely re-generated (and therefore different, new, unknown), he will enter a new "main seed". The player would typically want this when he has beaten the mission: When he discovered the location of the objectives and a working (functional, succesful) way how to proceed in the mission and filfill the objectives.
  • And almost independently on it (now I will not go into details unless someone wishes it), the player can choose game difficulty, or even various aspects of game difficulty.

So maybe it is a daring idea, but it seems to me that a huge amount of content could be generated by a relatively limited (reasonable) effort of the game creator, who would implement only one (or very few) scenarios that include a seed-generated world with customizable "level of surprise".

"Pseudorandom" vs. "World-preserving"?
There is no reason why any scenario could not be pseudorandomly seed-generated. But implementing the pseudorandomness is some extra labor, so I imagine that the first place where pseudorandomness should be implemented are long missions where each scenario (TODO_LINK)brings the player long hours of entertainment. And in my current vision for Fractalus Remake improvemens, these would be long world-preserving missions .

This is the only reasone why I called it "Strategy level 6" because theoretically this idea is independent on the Overview of "strategy level"
Last edited by reflame on 2022-Apr-07 16:09, edited 3 times in total.

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Overview of "Strategy Levels"

Post by reflame » 2022-Apr-03 22:39

This post is only a short summary of one branch of my previously posted ideas.

Maybe it will be useful to sum up what I called "strategy levels" - they are logical steps in which we shift the game toward thinking and strategic planning. I arranged these steps into numbered levels to emphasise that each of them needs the previous one to make sense.
But there are many other ideas that can be included or excluded independently on these "levels", as I explain at the end of this post.

Level 1: Original Game
Original game and Remake 1.0.0 does require some strategic planning: Should I destroy all turrets before I rescue pilots? Is it more important to lay low between the mountains to be shielded from most turrets, or to have a good firing position?

Level 2: Maneuvering and Dogfight
If some turrets turn their barrel (firing azimuth) very slowly or if some enemy aircrafts can change their heading and firing azimut only slowly, the player will have to outmaneuver them. The parameters (perhaps including game speed) must be finetuned so that outmaneuvering one enemy is easy, but the higher difficulty level (this term is unrelated to "strategy levels", the more often the player will have to fight more than one at once.

Level 3: Long-Range Decisions
If the player is equipped with some kind of a long-range radar, he can start planning which enemies to meet when and where to avoid being outnumbered.

Level 4: Orientation on the Planet
If a player has a means of orientation so that he can return to a place that he visited etc., then there can be interesting missions, for example: Rescue the Ace pilot (or: destroy enemy heavily defended headquarters), some rescued pilots can advise you where to find it.

Level 5: World-preserving Missions
If the game world (destroyed turrets etc.) preserves its state during pilot's return to the mother ship, then long missions will be possible: the player will have to fly several (or many) times, destroying the turrets, gaining information from exploration and rescued pilots - and thereby progressing to fulfil the mission objective.

Level 6: Seed-generated Missions
I also suggest that such missions (and maybe also other missions) could be generated pseudorandomly from a seed. The player will try one way, after several flights he fails, so he can restart with the same integer seed and try a different strategy. And when he wants to "forget" what he already explored about the world (location of objectives, of dangerous masked turrets etc.), he simply starts with a different seed and the program will generate the same mission with a completely different layout of mountains and objects.
Last edited by reflame on 2022-Apr-06 19:50, edited 2 times in total.

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Distinctive Planets

Post by reflame » 2022-Apr-03 23:01

This post in nutshell: I dream about several planets where the missions can take place, each with very distinctive features, story, race and graphics/colors.

The ideas presented here are extravagantly extensive, they would require much labor, particularly in graphics. So I simply present what emerged in my fantasy and it is up to Luke whether some of these ideas inspire him.
I also hope that if a consistent, elaborate Fractalus universe emerges, with background stories (history) etc., and with many 'why's answered (Why have Yetti attacked us? Why are the Rebels good at masking their turrets? etc.), it can sparkle the fantasy of Luke or other people. So this is why I describe the universe that emerged in my fantasy during writing the first suggestions, without restricting myself to ideas that I estimate as feasible with a reasonable labour.
Anyway, my estimates of how much labour each idea would take to implement (and how much labor Luke is willing to spend on it) can be completely off in either direction.

I also intend, when I start writing an example of a campaign, to base its storyline heavily on the information bellow:

Rocky Planet Fractalus
A rocky planet with very steep mountains. Inhabited by Jaggi, a disgusting green race full of hatred and breaking any word they give. A strategic planet that we need to conquer in order to advance deeper to Jaggi territory, which is quite unexplored so far.

Ice Planet Glacia
A frozen planet inhabited by Yettis, race of well-built (physically strong) warriors, whose appearance resembles the Wampa from Star Wars and whose strong adherence to their idea of "code of behavior" is similar to Klingons from Star Trek.
(An in-universe comment:) Some of us think that the war with them started by an unfortunate misunderstanding. But we will not yield.

Hot Jungle Planet Inferno
Inhabited by human miners who do not want to obey the Central Command. We will crush these insolent rebels.
I think that it will be better to group the remaining information by topic rather than by planet:

  • Fractalus: Barren rock, very steep mountains
  • Glacia:Lower altitudes are covered with snow (milder damage in case of harsh landing or hitting the ground), higher above sea level are naked rocks.
  • Inferno: Beatiful colors made of large lakes (hitting the surface immediatelly destroys the ship) and lush jungle. Maybe the strong radiation and magnetism makes some of player's sensors malfunction.
Special Behavior of the Alien Impostors
  • Fractalus: If the crashed ship is left empty (not destroyed after saving the pilot), an alien soon occupies it, lights the green visual beacon and transmits the human emergency code.
  • Glacia: Yettis are so much bigger than humans that they are easier to tell from humans, but their smash (hit by fist) is very strong.
  • Inferno: As the enemies are humans, it can be harder to tell a diversant ("alien") from a genuine pilot. Also, some genuine pilots have the unfortunate habit to knock "Hey, let me in!" on the front window rather than airlock door.
Most of the things will be the same (actually all that I do not explicitly describe), so for example the pilot can be a disguised enemy. Here I describe only what is special (specific) for this planet.

Special Traits of Downed pilots
  • Fractalus: The density of the downed pilots is much higher on the other planets and their visual and radar signals are much stronger and clearer than on other planet.
  • Glacia: Pilots run very slow when they wade through snow.
  • Inferno:Due to the radiation, pilots endure only a very, very short time (running + knocking) before they die.
Enemy aircrafts
  • Fractalus: They sometimes make kamikadze run. The enemy uses a wide variety of aircrafts and also many saucers.
  • Glacia: Most of the aircrafts are similar to Heavy fighters, but they are really heavily armed and armored. Simply, the Yettis make everything big and strong.
  • Inferno: Their technology is similar to ours, so their aircrafts correspond to player's aircraft designs, just weaker in both armor and maneuverability.
  • Fractalus: Most turrets are not masked (they even shine blue so the player can spot them easily), but they have a higher firepower.
  • Glacia: Very resilient turret, very slow, most of them launching slow energy torpedoes.
  • Inferno: Rebels are very inventive in masking their turrets. But their quality (firepower, aiming/guidance reliability) is inferior.
History (Background Story)
  • Fractalus: A planet strategically located, key to exploring and invading the Jaggi space, which is quite unexplored so far. The Jaggi have been trying to erradicate the human race for several centuries, by force or by ruse (ploy). We can thank for turning the tide only to the mandatory conscription into the army and factories: Millions of brave men and women sacrifice their lives in fierce battles on the ground, in the air or on the deep space. Therefore there are more downed pilots on Fractalus than on other planets.
  • Glacia: We needed this planet to cover our flank and also there are rich deposits of Duranium here. We were getting along with the Yetti (the original inhabitants) well, but half a year ago they protested that one of their bases disturbs their sacred place. It was ridiculous because they had previously allowed us to make a base there. It would be costly to abandon and move the base. And we were short on resources at the time. So we refused and several minor skirmishes happened since then. The Planet's Chieftain denies any involvement or knowledge of these attacks... We still hope to settle peacefully with the Yetti because we cannot afford to wage war on two frontiers.
  • Inferno: A planet rich on several crucial metals for the war industry. It took us long to capture it from the Jaggi. Then we started mining in the planet; we did not expect a rebellion. The miners refuse to obey the Central Command and join to the war efforts. They complain on hard conditions, heat and radiation. As if they did not realize that everyone must bring sacrifices if we are to win this war. But we will crush these insolent fools!
- - -
And one final note:
Comparing Fractalus to an "Average planet"
Just like with player's crafts, when I think that something should be stronger, higher etc. (or vice versa) in a typical mission of my dreams (to achieve what I consider a high enjoyability), I simply say that on Fractalus it is weaker, lower (or vice versa) than in most planets.
Btw. I think that in an enjoyable game of clever maneuvering, the turrets should deal less damage per second than in Remake 1.0.0. In my posts I suggest three ways how to do it while keeping as high compatibility with Remake 1.0.0 as I can achive (that means that planet Fractalus and player's craft Valkyrie will behave very similar to 1.0.0, but the player can choose a different planet and/or aircraft to fly). I just want to note that using all three ways might be too much, so some of them (probably the third one) can be left out. The three ways are to say that:
  • Valkyrie is more prone to enemy fire than other player's crafts.
  • The most typical turret model occuring on Fractalus is not the common weak turret, but a stronger-firing (but much less resilient) "stinger turret".
  • Stinger turrets on Fractalus have more firepower than on other planets. Btw. this probably makes sense only if we decide that the turret design list is basically the same on all planets - such a decision would slightly decrease the feel of distinctiveness of planets from one another (and it is not realistic that different races will have the same designs), but it would make it easier for players to remember the traits of each design (which they will discover only very slowly, bit after bit). So I leave this question open.

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Joined: 2013-May-09 08:48

Re: Fractalus 1.x: ideas for future updates

Post by Michael » 2022-Apr-28 21:04

Don‘t know if this is possible, but I would love to see missions where you need to fly inside a cave to rescue a pilot.

Back in the beginning of Lucasfilm Games Group they released 3 games with the fractal engine, where Fractalus was one of them.
The other two were The Eidolon and Koronis Rift.
The Eidolon played INSIDE a tunnel (cave) system where you needed to fight monsters and find a way out.

Koronis Rift was an open surface game where you drove your vehicle to collect things and fight (shoot) aliens.

So my original idea was to combine those 3 games into one.

But maybe flying through caves would be enough for starters, where you rely on your ping signal to get closer to the pilot.

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Joined: 2013-May-09 08:48

Re: Fractalus 1.x: ideas for future updates

Post by Michael » 2022-Apr-28 21:13

This one is purely cosmetic:

The original manual shows a picture of the Valkyrie fighter together with some specs.
It would be cool to see this as an intro, where you see the wireframe of the fighter and read through the specs in a briefing room similar to that in X-Wing - would be awesome!

And next to the fighter you could also see some specs of the enemy turrets, saucers or own pilots as well how much points you get when you shoot them down.

Of course, since the missions are always the same you could see that as an intro similar to that of earlier coin op arcade games.
When you don’t do anything this intro starts to show your fighter and the other objects.

Posts: 10
Joined: 2013-May-09 08:48

Re: Fractalus 1.x: ideas for future updates

Post by Michael » 2022-Apr-28 21:21

Another cosmetic thing:
I’d love to see an intro that shows the logo in a similar old fashioned way as the original game.
With the same music and the blink.

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