Movement

I had guessed in my project proposal that nodes on this wiki would be essays. This relatively brief node concerning very basic game mechanics was my first real evidence that I was right. There is just a lot that needs clarifying. This page is important to me because it shows a transition. This page and the player page both feature traditional game-elements. You may notice that I mention Homeworld frequently here while discussing RTS-Style movement. When we get to Fly-Style, I've started talking about how this game is different than others, rather than how it's similar. In later nodes, the focus shifts entirely to what makes the Remnant game unique, which was the point all along, I think. Come and look at the ship-modification page.

There are two main styles of movement for players to take advantage of: RTS-style and fly-style. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages and switching between the two is fast and simple.

RTS-Style

This point-and-click style of movement is most comparable to Homeworld's and EVE Online's. The player selects the 'move command' and moves the mouse to a location in space. While the move command is active, a disk is displayed at the level of the player's ship. Every object in nearby space, whether above or below this plane, projects a vertical line (parallel with the Z axis) to that plane, showing the player where it is relative to their ship in terms of the X and Y coordinates.

While deciding where to go, a line is drawn on the aforementioned disc from the player's ship to their mouse location. Once they have selected a location, its coorinates on the X, Y plane are locked. The player can then move the mouse up and down, which draws a line parallel to the Z axis. By clicking again, they lock the Z axis as well. The player's ship now has all three necessary coorinates and travels directly to that point.

In addition to this manual inputting of coordinates, a player could simply click on the move command and then on another object, causing their ship to move within a reasonable distance of it.

This hands-off style of movement is best for large ships which have many systems to manage during combat, or for long journeys. Interstellar drives use this RTS-Style movement to pick a destination. It's further useful in large skirmishes where the camera is needed not for maneuvering, but for keeping an eye on and manually assigning targets.

Fly-Style

Fly-style movement is most useful for more maneuverable vessels with directional shielding or forward-pointing weapons. Essentially, the player’s camera is controlled by the mouse and travels on the inside of (and perpendicular to) an invisible spherical plane proportional to the size of the ship. When the camera is pointing in a direction other than directly forward (the way the ship is facing), the ship makes an effort to align itself with the camera by turning. The W, A, S and D keys move the ship in the four cardinal directions, relative to the direction the camera is facing. (For example, if you’re strafing left by holding ‘A’ while facing forward, then turn the ship ninety degrees to the right using the mouse, you will have to hold ‘S’ to continue to move in the same direction, which becomes ‘backwards’ in this case.) The spacebar and control key move the ship up and down on the vertical axis, respectively. Vertical movement is not the same, up and down, regardless of the orientation of the vessel.

Since most of this turning is handled by directional thrusters, not the main engines of the vessel, turning and ‘strafing,’ that is moving in any direction other than forward, is slow going. The right mouse button, in fly-style motion, activates the ship’s main engines, moving it as quickly as possible in the direction that it’s facing in addition to its directional movement as controlled by the WASD and Space/Ctrl keys.

This allows for airplane-style flight. By holding the right mouse button and ‘steering’ with the mouse, the player’s ship will fly forward and turn gradually, like conventional aircraft. It also allows for more complex movement with larger ships. By keeping the camera (and thus the ship) pointed at an enemy while maneuvering around him with the directional thrusters, a player is able to keep his most defensible and formidable side, in this case the front, pointed towards the enemy while simultaneously moving around him in order to target his weaker points.

Managing systems in fly-style is much more difficult, as is keeping an eye on the larger battle. The mousewheel, its button, the third mouse button and any additional mouse buttons must handle tasks such as firing weapons, targeting enemies, turning the camera without the ship (in order to target enemies beside or behind the ship) and managing additional ship systems.

Bring to Bear

When attaching weapons to a ship, their cones of fire often overlap. Of directional weapons, only those with overlapping cones of fire can be grouped together. (Homing missiles and other devices which operate effectively regardless of direction can be grouped with anything.) All other weapons belong to their own particular groups. Management of weapons grouping is done through the ship modification interface.

Note that the overlapping area of weapons groups is a combination of different sized cones and different ranges. There is an optimal point within each group's zone which is at the center of the most weapons' firing cones and in the most weapons' ranges. The ship's weapons will attempt to fire at their target, but the bring to bear command aligns that optimal point with the enemy.

If ordered to bring to bear, a weapons group will also adjust the firing rate of its weapons and its optimal point in order to 'lead' the target (the efficiency of which is can be improved through research and the processing power attribute). As projectiles travel at different speeds and some weapons fire faster than others, a ship with a weapons group brought to bear on a target will begin to direct its optimal point towards the area in front of an enemy ship at which the slowest moving projectile in the weapons group and the target would meet

Every weapon group has the option, in either movement style, to be brought to bear. Essentially, this causes the the player's ship to turn in order to point the optimal point in the cone-of-fire of the weapons group towards the targeted enemy ship. In RTS-style, telling the ship to bring a weapons group to bear will not interrupt its other move orders. Rather, it will move while keeping its selected weapons group fixed on the target, moving from point A to point B parabolically in order to keep the target within optimal range.

Roll:

Roll is not a major element of this game. Though ships do naturally roll while turning, they attempt to ‘correct’ to become completely upright afterwards. Ships do not correct for pitch in the same way, though NPC ships will attempt to make their pitch match that of nearby friendly ships.

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