Playing With Data: Italian Ship Design

I’ve mentioned in previously blog posts about the direction I’m looking to take the various factions. Been working on the Italians for a while and today I finally got back the first look at the Ship Cards.

Despite years of working with spread sheets, some times you lose site of the over-all effect you’re looking to create with your data. So below are three jpgs that show one ship’s line on a spreadsheet…it’s a very, very wide spread sheet. But to show it here, so it’s relatively easy to understand, had to split it into three sections to view.

Italian Ship Design_1.jpg

Italian Ship Design_2.jpg

Italian Ship Design_3.jpg

This spread sheet contains all the ships designed to date and really does a superb job of allowing me (and others) to design a ship in a codified way. This provides both a way to easily compare it to other ships to ensure it’s got a unique feel, and also makes it easy for layout to generate a Ship Card based directly off of this data.

Now if you’ve played with the Lieutenant’s Manual (or had the chance at a convention to play with the Commander’s Manual), you’ll likely be able to decipher what most of the short-hand mean. You’ll notice that just as I described in the linked blog post above, the first take on the RM Cassipoeia makes it the fastest ship to date, with the most Miss Slots and it has the lightest Structural Integrity. That, combined with its weapon load-out, give it a little bit of a “Pontbriand light” vibe.

Don’t worry that you don’t see any torpedoes…because of that vibe, as described above, there’s no aerial torpedoes currently on this one…but have no fear, the other ships have a good pile.

Remember how I said above you can lose sight of things in a spread sheet? Well I’ve been staring at the data for a while and it wasn’t until I saw the actual Ship Card that I realized something’s not working as is. I wanted to change the Port/Starboard non-move Location Dice from DRed to DYellow on this ship to mix it up, but I felt I couldn’t change the move Location Dice to a DBlue or it’d match the Bow, which would just be odd (and making the Bow a DGreen would be too over-the-top(. However, looking at the Ship Card I realize that having both of those the same dice not only is a non-starter for game balance, but the in-universe aesthetic is too violated for that.

So now I either need to change it back, or take some serious look at the probabilities again and see if I can squeeze something in that would be between DYellow and DRed…perhaps 2DBlue…gonna have to review. Ultimately, these numbers are just the first step. They’ll go through some heavy playtesting to ensure the ship has its own unique feel and isn’t too broken (i.e. either too strong or too weak).

Either way, still great to reach this stage of design and can’t wait to get these off to playtesting this week.

See ya next duty shift!


Comments (8)

FrancescoDecember 28th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Hello, I’m italian and I’d like to contribute with a little “hint”: the real italian name is “Costellazione” (without the “n”), singular, or “Costellazioni” (plural). Also, you have “Cassiopea”, without the last “i”.

Thank you Catalyst’s people for all the amazing stuff you continously produce!!

RandallDecember 29th, 2011 at 10:41 am

Thanks Francesco. We’re always open to suggestions, especially if it means correcting language issues. Again, thanks!

ToolianDecember 31st, 2011 at 9:42 am

damn, 14 MP!

RandallDecember 31st, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Yeah, Toolian, absolutely worried about that speed…but we’ll see if the weaker Breach Numbers and SI make up for that, or whether I need to trim that back a hair.

blackbrunswickerDecember 31st, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I like seeing the rough Italian designs though. I am a bit worried about high speeds myself. Not necessarily for unbalancing the game now, but I am wondering if faster ships will be able to make an appearance as the timeline progresses and technology improves.

RandallJanuary 2nd, 2012 at 11:06 am

I doubt we’ll do much faster…instead ships will be able to carry more armour and more weaponry while retaining high speeds.

blackbrunswickerJanuary 6th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Ah, I see. I suppose that’ll work. Thanks for the insight.

Bvlgari EyeglassesJune 28th, 2012 at 7:33 am

Incredibly cool! I assistance your view!

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