<intruder>
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<INTRUDER DESIGN DOCUMENT>

<[3.0] Components>

The first four components listed here require development before we start on further components.

<[3.1] User Interface>

The UI for Intruder is keyboard and mouse driven. Contrary to design practices for most space games, Intruder postulates that most navigation and piloting functions are executed with precision by on-board computer systems (imagine that!)

The current vision for the UI is a departure from the usual "HUD on the canopy" fighter-combat paradigm. Instead, partly as a nod to movies like Star Wars and Star Trek: Wrath of Khan but mostly because it makes sense, we're assuming that combat takes place entirely by instrumentation and not by the pilot's visual acuity. This means that the most important display on the screen will be the Central Tactical Display.

The CTD is a 3-D representation on the screen of a globe of space that surrounds the player's vessel. The range of the vessel's sensors dictates the extent of the globe, and adjusts accordingly. Detected contacts within sensor range are tagged, and selecting a specific contact reveals resolved information. Beside or surrounding the CTD are smaller windows that show optic or other sensing information, delta vee status, systems status, and software operations.

<[3.2] Tactical Engine>

The core of the tactical engine is divided into several modules.

<[3.3] Intruder/Fleet Design Module>

<[3.31] The Intruder>

The Intruder will be designed principally by a human player if one is available to play the Intruder. It will be selected randomly from pre-configured designs in single-player games where the player elects to control the Fleet.

<[3.32] The Fleet>

The Fleet(s) will be partially assigned to the human player(s) controlling them with components selected from pre-configured ship lists. A certain number of ships are assigned arbitrarily, perhaps with influence from the scenario engine. The remainder are selected by the player, within constraints based on the Intruder's strength and any scenario constraints that apply.

<[3.33] Pre-configured Ship Designs>

The process will vary somewhat between the Intruder and the Fleets. Intruder vessels are generalized, as their design intent was aimed at (hopefully) making them capable of handling anything they come across in their interstellar voyages. The Fleets, on the other hand, are specifically designed for combat with other human-built Fleet craft. As such, the Intruder fitness algorithms will be general fitness tests while Fleet designs will be tested against other Fleet designs in combat simulations.

<[3.4] Software Design Module>

<[3.5] Strategic Engine>

Although Intruder is inherently a tactical game, the game model lends itself well to the application of a "Strategic Layer" that allows for a campaign game with a massive number of players. The ultimate goal of the game for the Fleet is to find the Intruder staging world, destroy the repair depot, and hunt down all of the Intruders in the local star cluster. All the Intruder has to do is find and destroy the home planet of the Human Fleet, namely Earth.

Maneuver and position within the strategic game is facilitated with the use of Jump Lines, links between star systems that can be used by Jump Ferries and Intruders and the limited number of vessels (in the case of the former) that can travel with them. This will dictate positions of importance within the campaign, as certain star systems must be captured to allow for a jumping-off point to other systems.

The central screen for the strategic component will be the System Map, where the various star systems and their production values are displayed, along with a web of Jump Lines showing which system can be used as a jump-off point for the next.

Each System is also rated for Resources and Recruitment. The first value indicates the number of Resource Points the System generates each "turn." The second value indicates the number of crew produced per time unit for use in the Fleet. Both resources and crew are necessary to build and man new Fleet ships. The Intruder has no such limitation.

But on the same note, the Intruders cannot build more of their kind, and are instead given a reinforcement schedule. All reinforcements arrive at the Intruder staging world, where damaged Intruders can be repaired and rearmed.