View Full Version : Question: trade routes, possible to mod?
October 13th, 2003, 04:21 PM
One of the comments I've seen here about Starfury is that the gameplay doesn't have a whole lot of depth.
I was thinking that more depth and an interesting alternative mode of play could be added if "trade route" functionality could be modded into the game.
All of those who remember with a certain fondness (as I do) games like Starflight2 and Elite know what I'm talking about. The ability to buy trade goods low on one world and sell them high at worlds in other systems. Finding the places where you can buy low and sell high and creating your trade routes accordingly is part of the fun.
Looking over the text files some, it seems that a lot of this just might be possible to do. You can add custom tabs to the spaceport screen and call it what you want to: "trade goods" for example. The game already has trade goods that are byproducts of the merchant jobs you can take but you get paid for delivering them and you don't buy and sell them yourself (though you CAN sell them). In other words, you're just the FedEx guy. I'd like to go into business for myself.
The mod would require (at least):
- A "Trade Goods" tab in one of the spaceports in every system.
- A standard set of trade goods, some of which would be unique or specific to alien races.
- Some very high priced artifacts (to add spice and interest).
- Illegal trade goods (high price, high risk).
- A different set of prices for trade goods in each system. Variability in the prices as time passes would be nice, too.
My question is to the Starfury beta modders who already have some good experience in modding the game: Do you think any of the above is possible? In general terms how would you go about it (which text files to mod).
I don't want "Interstellar Trader" per se, but I think it would add a lot of fun to the game.
Anyone else interested in a mod like this?
October 13th, 2003, 04:45 PM
The only problem at the moment is the fact that price is built into the component itself, and shops only have one overall multiplier for buy/sell price.
What you could do, is use jobs.
Visit a variation on the commerce guild, and it would have jobs to deliver goods to the local system.
The key is that they don't give you the goods. You have to buy those goods elsewhere at regular prices. (All the local stores could be set to not sell the required objects)
October 13th, 2003, 05:33 PM
Ah crap, http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon9.gif I was afraid of that. You said, "at the moment"? Does that mean there's a chance Aaron might change this in a patch? I sure hope so.
I was thinking it would also be nice to be able to vary the costs of weapons, ships and components based on how far you were from any races home system. The further way, the more expensive. In pirate systems, the costs would be cheaper and you might find some more exotic stuff there.
Right now the galaxy is just too uniform. Everything is the same. The sameness of it all detracts from the exploration and discovery experience that this game should be all about. If we can't mod this, that's a big minus in my opinion.
Did this ever come up in any of the beta discussions?
October 13th, 2003, 05:39 PM
Oh, you can change the costs and where what show's up. It's just to change the cost you have to be sneaky about it.
Take the Anti-Proton Beam. You could have three Groups of prices:
Systems Bordering Terran Systems
Systems more than one warp away
Past that, they wouldn't appear at all except in wreckage. What you do is make three copies of the APB, changing only the CLASS name, identical except for the price.
Then you assign the first APB to appear in the terran systems, the second in the border systems, the third in the third set. The result is that to purchase an APB in the terran systems, it will be cheaper.
And the whole system is transparent to the player since you didn't change the class name. The only oddity is the selling price will be the same for any given APB no matter where you sell it.
EDIT: and in general, it works. I've been testing..and so far, it seems that as long as you don't stick the identical but differnetly priced components in the same spacedock, everything is fine. If you DO, Starfury either refuses to display them or crashes when you enter the spacedock
[ October 13, 2003, 17:06: Message edited by: Phoenix-D ]
October 13th, 2003, 06:06 PM
Good advice Phoneix!
I was wondering if one could do something similar, but instead, make multiple "space docs". If you look in the txt files, there is a seperate entry for each space dock (terran, pirate, alien, etc.)
I think you can add extra entries in here- so you could have terran1-spacedoc, terran23456789-space doc, and then add each specific space doc to a planet or system. You can then add, delete, or specify what appears in this type of spacedoc, and what the chances are of certain items appearing.
When creating systems, you specify which planets are inhabited, and what is available to the player when they visit (like if a spacedoc or a ship yard are available).
So you could list these space docks (or whatever you want to call them)
Some suggestions for space dock labeles (space docks are the equivelent of stores)
Outpost= bare minimum of things, exspensive. Everything is in high demand here, so prices are right for the seller, bad for the buyer.
Research station= non-weapons, or exotic-hard-to-find-weapons, exspensive. Can find artifacts here (people study them?)
Military base= weapons, armor, shields, etc. Need some type of permit to buy from them (or requires a bribe- is this moddable?).
Commerce store= general stuff, general price. Pays well for illegal contraband.
Pirate's Den= weapons, exotic ships, contraband, exotic weapons (rare appearence though).
Resort= general stuff, no weapons, illegal contrband for sale (lesiure=lax law)
Phong's Head Cantina....?
This is a little aside, but I was disappointed not to see some type of 'bar' in the demo (is there one in the full?) I thought it might be a good way to hear "rumors" (which you pay for) and get special missions, cargo runs, etc. Or you can buy one-of-a-kind-items, or just have story lines run through meet-ups at the bar.
It might add a bit more to the depth of gameplay...
October 13th, 2003, 06:08 PM
You can do the multiple space dock thing as well, or both at the same time. The only limitation on using space docks is you can't selectively make components more expensive; you have to make -everything- more or less expensive.
October 13th, 2003, 07:24 PM
I think that creating multiple classes of the same item will not really solve the issue. Once you sell the item that you got elsewhere it will stil be a different 'class' and will be priced differently than the items that are 'native' to the location of the spacedock. But maybe that's not a big deal since things 'disappear' when the contents are randomized by leaving/entering the system.
October 13th, 2003, 07:35 PM
Are you sure there isn't a value modifier you can enter in the spacedocs for item cost?
i thought I saw something like that... or at least I thought I did (maybe hopeful wishing)
A work around perhaps- adjust the value of item appearnce in the space docs by captian skill level so that 'general items'appear at 20 or 30 levels above your current rank- this might make it the items more valuable... then you would sell it at places where 'general items' apear at -20 or -30 of current captian level... maybe then it would affect price sell/buy...
October 13th, 2003, 07:45 PM
This kind of ties in here. How come I cannot view the system maps for the systems I've been in (like a drill down from the galatic map)??
I don't like haveing to draw maps so I know where a good run is.
If you implement a trade model (please god!) there will have to be a way to access prices at the places you've been (CONTACT is ideal here). Even if it is like a communciation thing.
[ October 13, 2003, 18:46: Message edited by: Pulaski ]
October 13th, 2003, 08:33 PM
I did suggest how to do this early on...
In each system, place a trade hub world or station, and have that place give out jobs to deliver the particular cargo that the system wants.
Starbase Terra could give out jobs to deliver rare ores and luxury items, while the New Texas Starbase would have more demand for items such as Terraforming units and complex manufactured goods.
The only place to get the rare ores that Earth wants would be systems like New Texas.
The only place to get the manufactured goods would be developed worlds like Earth.
There's no real time constraints, since you collect the goods of your own volition, and then visit the Hub World for a 20-day delivery mission to a local planet for a small profit margin.
October 13th, 2003, 10:53 PM
The problem I found earlier was just a typo issue actually. SF doesn't like it when you specify 17 entries but only give it 16. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
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