Terra Invicta Dev Diary #13: Habitats

For updates and discussion of Terra Invicta, a grand-strategy alien invasion simulator
Post Reply
User avatar
johnnylump
Site Admin
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:12 am
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Terra Invicta Dev Diary #13: Habitats

Post by johnnylump » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:50 pm

In Dev Diary #12 we described exploring the fertile ground of the Solar System. Now we’ll take on how to develop it.

A critical component of your faction’s efforts are habitats, or habs. You can build two types of habs: stations, which go in an orbit, and bases, which go at a hab site. Habs are composed of modules.

Both types of habs come in three sizes. Stations grow from platforms, to orbitals, and then to rings. Bases start as outposts, grow to settlements, and finally become colonies. The size determines both how many modules you can have (4, 12 or 20, plus the core), and the maximum size of each module.

orbital.jpg
orbital.jpg (233.67 KiB) Viewed 1873 times

All habs have a core module; upgrading the core upgrades the entire station and unlocks new module slots. Those slots have designated positions in the overall layout of the hab, so construction is a bit “on the rails” instead of freeform.

Habs, like fleets, belong directly to a faction. We had considered some kind of flagging mechanic for space assets, where they were directly associated with your nations, but discarded it as too fiddly. Instead, your hab may be nominally operating under NASA or the United Nations, but what matters is that its people are really working for the Resistance, Project Exodus, etc.

You can found a new hab in a few ways. One is to launch the core module from Earth, using boost. This can be a bit slow if the location is far from the homeworld. A second is to develop and build kits your ships can deploy when they arrive in an orbit or land on a space body. A third is to found habs from other habs in the same planetary system that have a factory module.

Habs need power generating modules for all non-core modules to work. Initially only solar power modules are available, but you can develop fission and fusion modules as the game goes on. It’s important to note that solar power output decreases dramatically the further you go from the Sun – and are unlikely to be useful beyond Mars, but the panels will have huge output if located near or on Mercury.

At present, there are 84 modules the human factions can build. Many can be built both at stations and bases, although some are hab-type-specific. Most need a project completed to unlock them. A few are faction-specific. Several are upgrades of prior ones: The materials lab can become a materials research center, which can become a materials institute at the largest hab.

HabDesigner.jpg
HabDesigner.jpg (533 KiB) Viewed 1873 times

So there are hab modules for research, hab modules for money and influence production, and hab modules that grant engineering project capacity. Most modules have a support cost, which is drawn from your space resources, if you have them, otherwise from your boost. And if you are out of both, or have insufficient mission control, your hab is much more likely to suffer accidents, and be much more willing to switch allegiance to another faction.

Five module types deserve further note:
1) Mines. Buildable only on bases, of course, these produce space resources based on the hab site’s profile. These are built with electromagnetic catapults that fling material into space and into your resource pool.

2) Supply Depots. These let your fleets take on propellant and reload weapons by drawing down your space resource supply, or boost. These can go on the smallest habs; we expect you’ll need a network of them around the Solar System to keep your fleets moving.

3) Shipyards. These let you build and repair your warships. Larger yards speed construction of the ships. You’ll have a shipyard manager interface with build queues so you can coordinate construction across your holdings.

4) Barracks. These hold Marines to defend your hab from enemy assaults. From stations in an interface orbit, the Marines can also drop to assault surface bases, as long as one of your councilors is present to lead them. Councilors can similarly lead Marine assaults from one of your bases against a nearby enemy base.

5) Defense modules. These mount antiship and point defense weaponry for space combat. If a station is involved in combat, the enemy’s objective is to destroy these modules. After the battle, the station can be boarded or destroyed. Defense modules on bases fire back when the base is being bombarded form orbit.
You can also send councilors to habs, either by spending boost to launch from Earth to somewhere in the Earth-Moon system, or by hitching a ride on a ship. Councilors may only board enemy human ships or the smallest habs if they have the “undercover” trait. But second- and third-tier habs are large enough that councilors may board freely.

Once aboard, councilors can run a number of missions, including sabotaging a particular module or persuading the hab’s leaders to switch sides and join your faction.

At the 2021 campaign’s start, the only hab is TI’s version of the International Space Station. It will typically start belonging to the Academy faction. It’s a platform with a core, two solar power modules and a space science module. Pretty, ain’t it?

smallspacestation.jpg
smallspacestation.jpg (254.93 KiB) Viewed 1873 times


Next up: Ship Design.

FlowBeatBox
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #13: Habitats

Post by FlowBeatBox » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:12 pm

This looks great, but I apologize in advance for how many questions I have. Will there be any advantage to having certain modules closer/having a specific layout for what type of habitat you wish to create? Or vise versa, distancing some modules too far apart, causing a delay in some sort of manufacturing/delaying research? I know it was mentioned that the building of modules is not free-form, so I'm assuming there is some sort of process required to finishing a set of modules.

What kind of weapon/defense systems go onto defense modules? Would bullet proof dome-like glass structure upgrades be unrealistic for any type of orbital bombardment (could be useful for protecting a barracks, to prevent any type of land-based defense), considering the only objective of the enemy is to destroy the defense modules? Lastly, how would these types of bombardments be viewed from the characters perspective? I'm assuming it would be vaguely similar to Stellaris - where you can really only see the ships firing nukes onto the planet; although viewing the defense modules firing back in real-time would be awesome.

Lastly, switching allegiance to another faction. After a habitat has gone through enough grief/lack of resources from their mother faction, how do they determine which faction to flee to? Would this be a narrative event, starting off with an outcry from the hab with another faction infiltrating and instantiating the outcry? Or is this somewhat foreseeable based on likeness factors from the hab and how much they politically support all factions based on percentages?

I can't wait to see the ship design diary, I look forward to that :D .

User avatar
johnnylump
Site Admin
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:12 am
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #13: Habitats

Post by johnnylump » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:50 pm

- Will there be any advantage to having certain modules closer/having a specific layout for what type of habitat you wish to create? Or vise versa, distancing some modules too far apart, causing a delay in some sort of manufacturing/delaying research?
At the moment, no. May look at some proximity bonii.
What kind of weapon/defense systems go onto defense modules? Would bullet proof dome-like glass structure upgrades be unrealistic for any type of orbital bombardment (could be useful for protecting a barracks, to prevent any type of land-based defense), considering the only objective of the enemy is to destroy the defense modules? Lastly, how would these types of bombardments be viewed from the characters perspective?
There's an algorithm that installs the most powerful weapons you've developed so far. It upgrades automatically.

Module-specific upgrades that don't upgrade the module itself to another module might come through a project.

We've been working on visualization of bombardment in the strategy layer recently. Ships in orbit will rotate and fire at the ground location as they pass overhead. (Not quite sure if that's what you were asking, sorry.)
Lastly, switching allegiance to another faction. After a habitat has gone through enough grief/lack of resources from their mother faction, how do they determine which faction to flee to? Would this be a narrative event, starting off with an outcry from the hab with another faction infiltrating and instantiating the outcry? Or is this somewhat foreseeable based on likeness factors from the hab and how much they politically support all factions based on percentages?
So the first way is they change sides when a councilor goes there and runs a mission asking them to do so. There's an ideology-distance modifier that's part of the success roll.

May work up an event where they spontaneously do so, as well, and if I had that they'd presumably tend to go for a nearby ideology.

Rathalos
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:20 am

Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #13: Habitats

Post by Rathalos » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:02 am

Are habs only involved in combat when specifically attacked, or also involved if any combat takes place in that orbit? In other words, is it possible to create defence stations purely to guard an orbital body?

Also, just to be clear: the aliens will also be building habs and surface bases?

asaz989
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 10:27 pm

Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #13: Habitats

Post by asaz989 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:36 am

Looking at the production numbers on that Arcadia Planitia screenshot - are those all in the same units of mass? Or are they some number normalized to the normal usage quantity of that resource? Because if the former, that's a lot of fissiles.

User avatar
johnnylump
Site Admin
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:12 am
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Terra Invicta Dev Diary #13: Habitats

Post by johnnylump » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:26 pm

Aliens will build habs.

Habs are generally going to only be involved in combat if they are specifically attacked (or a fleet docked there is attacked). Active interceptions are best left to fleets.

Post Reply