I'm starting a separate conversation thread to discuss doing CtF in EE. We had started this conversation in another thread, but I think the topic deserves its own unique thread. My hope is that we can collaborate to develop this capability.
Here's a recap from the other thread:
I had originally asked Daid to "Please consider adding a "Flag" object that can be picked up, carried, and dropped by ships. This would be so we could have "capture the flag" scenarios. Please also consider how this would be prevalent on a scan or visual identity of a ship. "
Daid responded: "As for a "flag" object. You could make that with mission scripts. The Artifact object can be used for this, with the allowPickup function. And a custom button to the ship to drop it again. It's a bit tricky to setup, as you need a way to find the player that picked up the artifact (a callback would have been useful here) but you could find the ship that closest to the artifact when it is picked up. As that's the one that did the pickup. "
Xansta added: "This is the second time I've heard interest expressed in a "capture the flag" scenario. I'm writing one based off of the interest. I'll put it in an EE pull request after I've worked out the bugs. "
"Wow. That's cool Xansta. Thanks for being willing to take a crack at it!
My principle interest for asking Daid about it is because my main audience for the teambuilding/leadership labs I've run in the past with Artemis has been the Scouts. We play CtF (in person) in a forest setting, and they really enjoy the challenge and get into it. So I thought they would be enthusiastic about CtF in a bridge sim environment.
There are some mechanics I'm not sure about though. For instance, when we play in person, there are boundary areas and territories. You can't be tagged in your territory, but can be in the "enemy" territory. You have to get the flag and run it back to your own territory without being tagged. In other FPS games that have a CtF variant, being "tagged" usually means being "killed"; your avatar drops the flag and you respawn at a home location. Translated to EE, does this mean a ship has to be destroyed in order to get them to drop a flag? That could make it more difficult than it should be to get a player ship to drop a flag. I was toying with the idea that perhaps it should only take a single missile hit to tag a flag carrier, and that would force the flag drop. Ships could still destroy one another if they wanted to, forcing a time penalty in the respawn. One might think a single missile hit would be too easy, but at our recent EE event, I had a ship with a verifiable mad man at the helm who could dodge just about every missile shot at their ship, and it was great fun to watch. 8-)
Please take into consideration that when we run our events, I usually have 6 ships/crews running simultaneously. (Yes, we fill all positions! It's a big event for us. Each ship/crew gets their own room, and it can be quite the ruckus!) So, a CtF event for us would need to accommodate several ships. I also had the idea that instead of running "large" ships (like the Atlantis with a full bridge crew), we would instead turn every console into a fighter and let each player act individually. This would be a great big fur ball and a huge amount of fun! If we have 6-8 people per bridge crew, but then turn them into a squad of 6-8 individually managed fighters instead, we could divide the whole lot into two teams and make them coordinate over separate TeamSpeak channels (we run our own local TS server at these events).
Running a bunch of fighter class ships will also present the teams an interesting challenging if the ships only have a small number (1/2?) of available missiles before they have to go resupply from a base (presumably deep behind their own lines). This will cause them to be judicious in firing solutions and to coordinate their defenses! 8-)
Regarding victory conditions, I had been thinking about two victory paths: either successful flag capture, or total number of "victory points" if time runs out without either team successfully capturing the flag. Victory points could be: 1 for scoring a successful missile hit; 5 for destroying an opposing ship; and perhaps give a "yardage" (ha) award for carrying a flag so far, even if it doesn't win the game (i.e., you carried the flag for 40U, you get 40 VPs, or something like that; I haven't worked out the math to see what would be fair/balanced).
And regarding flag drops, when we play in person we typically play by the rules that if a team manages to move an opposing team's flag down field but is forced to drop it, the flag stays where it is -- the owning team is not allowed to move it backwards or reposition it. In essence, this allows for the tactic to move the flag down field by a number of successive sacrifice plays as opposed to retrieving it without being caught.
There should also be some sort of penalty timer if you are carrying the flag and are hit/forced to drop it. You shouldn't be allowed to immediately pick it back up again. Some time should have to elapse first. (30 seconds? 60?)
Well, those are my initial thoughts. Sorry for the long post. Was excited that you were interested in perhaps trying to implement."
Daid replied: "If you don't want the ships to get destroyed (which can get complex with rejoining the game) Then you could drop the flag on hull damage (so shields are your defense against flag drops)
And when hull damage is too low, you teleport the ship back to base, and repair the hull, or to a respawn area where they have to wait.
Alternatively, to prevent the "rejoin a ship" issue, you can use the "transferPlayersToShip" function to transfer the crew to a new ship just before it gets destroyed.
The new "zones" feature sounds perfect for the enemy/friendly areas."