Documentation: Lessons Learned
Along the way, I’ve learned a great deal about the game. Some of my ideas I could not implement exactly the way I wanted. For instance, I wanted to have Ballistic Submarines and other naval units with Ranged Space capability. Unfortunately, I discovered that Crawler units are the only ones that can use their Ranged Space weapons on a Space unit that bombards planets. As it turns out, you can’t attack naval units with Ranged Space weapons, so even if naval units could use their Ranged Space weapons against Space ships, they would be invulnerable to Ranged Space attacks (this isn’t all bad, see below). Modifying the TARGET.DAT file made no difference. So I decided to make all of the PTS crawler units move zero, changed crawler units so that they can move only on water, and added several PTS naval units. So even though they are crawler units, they can only move on water.
To prevent the movement of the real land PTS units from moving into the water, I made all of their movement zero. They are still loadable, so that is the only way they can be moved.
I had to modify the DAMAGE.DAT file so that units with a low Attack Strength / Defender’s Armor ratio would not do very much damage when the made a hit, and units with a high Attack Strength / Defender’s Armor ratio would do a lot of damage. Before I made this change, a single Space Marine or advanced space fighter could destroy a Cloaking Dreadnought. Now, Space Marines and fighters can still hit them easily, but cannot destroy them single handedly and often only damage them slightly. Now units with high armor class or more likely to survive a battle, especially against foes with weak Attack Strengths.
Upgrading units presented an interesting problem in that only the first unit of the subclass can be used as a unit needed for an upgrade. So, unfortunately, there are several classes of units that once you upgrade, you can’t upgrade any more. To get around this problem, for instance, I wanted Chem Shock Legions to be upgraded to Genetic Warrior Legions and then the Genetic Warrior Legions upgraded to Rangers. To get this to work, I had to move the Genetic Warrior Legions to the Ranger unit class and make them the first unit in the subclass. Then I could upgrade them to Rangers. But other units, like the jet fighters are all in the same class, so that means only the Jet-Propulsion Fighter can be upgraded to the different fighter units and all of the others in that class cannot. To upgrade these units, you must first disband it back to the input unit and then upgrade it to the other unit.
Adding units was fun, but each class is limited to 5 subclasses, so I’ve already filled up a few of the classes, namely Space Fighters, Starbases, Submarines, Jet Fighters, Long-Range Bombers, and Infantry. The 6th subclass can only be added with the Galaxy Editor.