Infinite Dark Design Blog #3 - Vessels


Although one of the things that makes Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark special are its pilots, there's no denying that you can't play the game without vessels.


I settled on "vessel" rather than "ship", because a ship has a technical definition that wouldn't apply to lots of the vessels you'll use in Infinite Dark. You may field a mighty carrier (undeniably a ship) or you may be putting out an orbital police mech (definitely not a ship). But all of them carry a pilot in one form or another, so they all count as a vessel.


Anyway, that aside, you'll want to know about things like classes and suchlike. Well, early in the design process, after suggestions from my patrons, I decided to ditch classes for vessels in Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark. "Classes" are things like "frigate", "cruiser" and "destroyer" and I realized that this didn't fit with the three command levels. But, more than that, it didn't even really make sense in the context of spaceship combat. For that matter, it barely makes sense in the context of modern naval warfare!


Instead, vessels in Infinite Dark, regardless of command level, are defined in terms of two primary stats: Mass and Power.


Mass is literally how big the vessel is. Bigger vessels can pack in more stuff and can take more damage, but they are also harder to manoeuvre.


Power, meanwhile, is about the reactor(s) that the vessel operates. Vessels with more power can be more certain of doing the thing they want to do, when they want to do it.


Both MAS and POW run on a scale from 1 to 3. So the smallest, weakest vessel in a fleet is MAS1/POW1, whilst the largest and more potent is MAS3/POW3. From the MAS and POW of a vessel, you also get its points cost: multiply them together. So a MAS1/POW1 vessel costs 1 point, whilst a MAS3/POW3 vessels costs 9.

But not only that - it also tells you how many points you get to allocate to the vessel's stats. And we'll look at vessel stats next week.

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