100 Experience Points
An Adventure in Indie Game Development

Day 88: 15 May 2013

New update again. Here’s the link if you’re not getting the automatic updates already: http://100ExperiencePoints.com/daily/100XP-Setup.exe.

The armor is up and running. Give it a whirl.

There are a couple of things that I saw that I want to bring up. First, it seems like early on, different things would cause my ship’s armor to be reset to 0. I couldn’t ever pinpoint the cause, and it seemed to go away. But if you think you see this (perhaps on switching screens or restarting?) let me know so I can keep digging into it.

Now go ahead and read this second part if you want, but I think I’d prefer for you to go play the game and form your own opinion first.

The armor seems… too strong.

Let me start with a brief discussion of how it works, if you didn’t see any of my earlier updates. Basically, when any damage is dealt to the ship or a part on a ship, armor subtracts a certain amount, right off the top. A torpedo does about 5 points of damage. If you have an armor rating of 3, torpedoes will only do 2 points of damage for each one. Missiles do about 0.8 damage. They’ll be useless against a ship with an armor rating of 5.

Handling damage from beam weapons is a little more complicated, simply because they don’t deal all of their damage in an instantaneous impact, but rather, spread out over a period of time. But the general idea still applies.

So if you jam the armor rating on all of your ships to 5, they’ll be slower than snails, but only the rockets will be a threat.

Does it feel that way to you too?

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just a matter of some rebalancing in the game, but I’m also wondering if perhaps this particular model for armor isn’t going to quite cut it.

I wonder about the possibility of, instead of subtracting that amount off the top, it reduces it by 80% or 90%. (Instead of the full 100%.) That way all weapons still do damage, it’s just significantly less effective.

I don’t know. It’s something to think about, anyway…




16 May 2013 at 02:09 am

How about making it really complex? In most modern games armor works as a percentage reduction, with diminished returns per armor level. 0 armor is %0 reduction. 1 armor is 15% reduction. 2 armor is 22% reduction. 3 armor is 27% and like that. It generally stops at around 7-8 to have %50 ish damage reduction, next upgrades only add %1. more. However some games still use your aproach, each level of armor reduces 1 damage from incoming attack. In these games however, no level of armor can reduce the damage to 0. If an attack has 5 damage and target has 5 armor, it still gets 1 damage dealt. But you can combine these with a twist. It’s hard to explain so I will go with a series of examples. 1 damage vs 1 armor = armor has %50 chance to reduce the damage by 1 and thus 0 damage will be dealt. 2 damage vs 1 armor = armor has %45(open for balance) chance to reduce the damage by 1 and 1 damage will be dealt. so there is a %55 chance the attack will deal 2 damage still. 3 damage vs 1 armor = armor has %41 chance to reduce the damage by 1 and thus 2 damage will be received. there is a %59 chance 2 damage will be dealt.

But here it gets interesting.

1 damage vs 2 armor = armor has %30 chance to reduce the damage by 1 and %30 chance to reduce the damage by 2. thus, with %50 chance, no damage will be dealt. Next example will explain additional detail. 2 damage vs 2 armor = armor has %30 chance to reduce the damage by 1 and %30 chance to reduce the damage by 2. This works from top to bottom, so armor first checks to reduce 2 damage, which is %30 chance, and if it fails, it checks for the chance to reduce 2 damage. I am not good with maths, so numbers may not be balanced at this moment, but I believe you get the idea. With this, you have a chance to get 2 damage, 1 damage or 0 damage as result. And if you have 3 damage vs 2 armor, you have chance to get 3 damage, 2 damage or 1 damage dealt.

Here comes the final twist: armor gets heated, and as it gets heated, its chance to reduce damage is reduced, which maxes at half the normal chance. So if a 0 heat armor has %50 chance to reduce a damage, a fully heated armor has %25 chance. Each hit increases the armor heat by some amount, but lasers and beams do deal more heat. A gatling laser with 1 damage per “bullet” will deal very insignificant damage at first, but if the engagamenent continues, enemy armor will get heated and damage per minute will increase significantly, perhaps will be doubled.

Now imagine armor cooler upgrades, armor piercing bullets, all the disengagements from combat to give time for the armor to cooldown, “cold” areas of space where armor don’t heat at all (or heat slowly).

I know it’s too much complicated, but maybe (hopefully) some of these will ignite a spark which will lead to a whole other kind of armor system – or maybe entirely other systems.

Nice work with the game btw, it’s a thrill to watch you go at it. This is one of the awesomest things ever done! 🙂

Best Regards -Wind.


17 May 2013 at 02:02 am

There are a couple typos in my explanation.

“1 damage vs 2 armor = armor has %30 chance to reduce the damage by 1 and %30 chance to reduce the damage by 2. thus, with %50-ish chance, no damage will be dealt.”

“This works from top to bottom, so armor first checks to reduce 2 damage, which is %30 chance, and if it fails, it checks for the chance to reduce 1 damage.”

Regards! -Wind.

RB Whitaker

17 May 2013 at 10:47 am

These are good suggestions, Windwalker, but I’m certain I shouldn’t do them all combined together. (You knew that though.) There will come a day when somebody says, “How the crap does this armor stuff work?” I need an answer that better than, “An unholy combination of dark magic and kaleidoscopes.”

Having said that, I really like just the simple idea you mentioned about having higher levels of armor decrease the total percentage of damage taken, instead of 100% of the first X points of damage. Like you said, something so that at level 1, there will be a 15% reduction, at level 2, it’s 25%, at level 3, it’s 30%, at level 4, it’s 33%, etc. I agree that a maximum of around 50% makes sense.

Truth be told, that sort of model will (I think) be better balanced, be easy to explain, and I think will still be a lot of fun to work with.

To make things more interesting (you did it, now I have to, too!), I’ve mentioned before that weapons are intended to come in different flavors: Kinetic, Thermal, Ion, and Nuclear. While I don’t think I’ll address it right away, the end goal was always to have it so that you could have armor that is more effective against one particular type of damage (and completely useless against others). In this case, you might be able to cut out 80-90% of thermal damage (instead of the 50% of “normal” armor) but you’d be vulnerable to every other type of damage.

It will create kind of a rock-paper-scissors thing where you have to balance your armor choices against what weapons your enemy will be using, and only engage against ships that you won’t be ineffective against.

Of course, all of this would require a bigger selection of weapons to choose from. That’s doable, of course, but I’ve got a lot of other things to tackle right now.

New parts is one area that I actually think the community (as small as it is) could potentially help with.


23 May 2013 at 11:31 am

Where can we download the game? Can you add a download page or a link in your sidebar?

I just came across your site today and would like to check it out.


RB Whitaker

23 May 2013 at 11:39 am

Brandon, here’s the link: http://100ExperiencePoints.com/daily/100XP-Setup.exe You’re right, it would be very cool to have the link in the sidebar somewhere. I’ll see what I can do.

Sean Moss

26 May 2013 at 01:38 pm

I installed the game, but right after the red progress bar at the beginning is done loading, it stops working. When I debug it in VS2012, it throws an XMLException, specifically: “Data at the root level is invalid. Line 8, position 9.”