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 Post subject: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:07 am 
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My setback has really given me some time to think through the direction I want to go with and some of the design decisions that I really should have set in stone from the very beginning that I have sort of been making up along the way. I noted a lot of my guesses and what not from the original Ideas list but some of the ideas where frankly not realistic with time/effort, not realistic with tools available at our disposal or just not useful. While I have been deciding to add or change a few things, Slocket has gone with a more traditional recreation. In some ways I like that as then I dont have to worry about design issues. We all know the caveats of the original design and while maybe not perfect, it was certainly workable especially for those of us who revere and love our Star Wars.

The one thing that we have both attempted to give in our games is a bit more depth. We wanted the easy ability to add more ships, systems, and the ability for the player to add their own. What I would like to see is what everyone actually wants from a sequel/recreation. Have I been too ambitious with certain features? Feel free to list any problems with what I have created and I will try to answer my reasons. I would love feedbakc and I know this is almost a dead community but the ones left are those who know what they want most and Slocket and myself put in our effort for you guys. So here goes:

The few things that I decided to add or change about the original are listed here:
  • The ability to add, remove and alter your universe, units, and possibly missions/research tree
  • The ability to play in resolutions designed for newer generation monitors/PC's
  • 3D Galaxy Map with the removal of the jump anywhere approach.
  • New Interface Additions such as Planet List, Unit List etc etc.
  • Defectable Characters

The big problem I am having at the moment is to do with the 3D Galaxy Map. Sure it looks cool but I think compared to the original, usability is down. I have tried to make up for this with the ability of zoom in and out removing some information so you don't get crowded at max zoom but its probably still not ideal. The addition of the new interface screens are meant to help that as a quick reference for your planets and what they are building but still once again, not ideal. I would like feedback on what people think aobut the 3D without jump anywhere. It looks a bit like a cross between Sins and Rebellion in its play but the problem is Star Wars is designed to play over many more planets, and the sectors dont really feel definable anymore.

The next big thing is monetary systems. Some people want more complex, some want more simple. I want a fully fleshed out idea that is easy to implement. At the moment I am simply using a system like Rebellions where you have a cost with building and a cost with upkeep. No maintenance points its all based off the almighty dollar(or credit if you prefer) concept.

I havent really come across anything else that I wanted to add. I considered having experience for units however it would have expanded memory usage for no real benefit for me.

Thats all I can think of for now but hit me up guys :)


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:11 am 
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Alright! I've been waiting for the chance to give some feedback. Get ready, this is gonna be a long post...

Feedback is listed in the order you originally posted your changes.
1) The ability to add, remove and alter your universe, units, and possibly missions/research tree
I consider this a must. Particularly wonderful would be the option to create scenarios; i.e. the starting conditions. Sometimes I just want to start with a big fleet, not the pitiful junk the game opens with. I'm sorry, but the Empire had more than 4 ISDs when the Battle of Yavin happened. The ability to change starting conditions is a much-needed addition for replay value. To an extent, we can change vanilla Rebellion with RebEd and a few other tools. Keeping those options is very important, though importing RebEd cards maybe not so important. Changing ship models could be done easier than our current system.

As for missions and research tree, well unless you have changed the research tree from vanilla, we have need for only the options in RebEd. Namely, when is something researched, or is it at all. For missions, do you mean assassination/diplomacy/etc? Or something more special? Vanilla allows editing of diplomacy/etc through RebEd. Other things, like Han's event with bounty hunters, is hard-coded. I guess I need more info on what you mean by missions and the research tree before I can contribute to those subjects.

2) The ability to play in resolutions designed for newer generation monitors/PC's
This is even more critical than #1. If it doesn't run, no one will play it. If it runs poorly, no one will play it. And there is no reason not to make it support much higher resolutions than Rebellion does; though probably not necessary to make it support every resolution. Widescreen would sure be nice though.

3) 3D Galaxy Map with the removal of the jump anywhere approach.
After reading your explanation, I'm not sure I follow. You mean there is no "background" display, but rather a zoom system, like Sins? Fine with me. But that system has drawbacks too, as you have already mentioned. Information overload, no means of dividing planets into definitive groupings, 3D vs. 2D issues (and 3D is far more complex), etc. I hate the Star Wars: Battlegrounds approach. The way they do campaigns to take over the galaxy. Absolutely hate it. Its hard to control, there are no options for zooming, the planets are hard to click on and sometimes hard to see, etc.

I would like to see the option to create choke points. Rebellion let anyone go anywhere, but the novels seem to imply that there are hyperspace lanes. Pilots must follow lanes, coming in and out of hyperspace occasionally. I don't think your version should be as choke-point oriented as, say, Age of Empires (build a wall over the pass and there is no way around but through it). But limiting the way ships travel could introduce a new level of strategy, creating tactical value to some planets, and create more depth. At the cost, of course, of added complexity.

If you want more feedback from me on the display, I'll need help understanding your system and/or your ideas.

4) New Interface Additions such as Planet List, Unit List etc etc.
I thought of Space Empires V when you mentioned this. I'm a fan of the Space Empires series, and one thing they have going for them (and have improved on over the series) is their ability to make it easier to find something in a huge galaxy. You can open a list of anything, be it planets, ships, production facilities, whatever. The list includes basic info, such as destination, current orders and status. Clicking on something allows you to view detailed information, or go to the part of the galaxy where that object is located.

These allow easy information-at-a-glance screens. You can also que up the same build orders for multiple construction facilities. Say you have four shipyards that need to build TIE Interceptors. Do them one at a time, or open your build list, tab to shipyards, and click those four to add fighters to their que en masse? I choose the mass option over the one-by-one option, myself. There should be a demo of SE:V; check it out to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about. Its made by Malfador.

I think if you do lists like this properly, it will be great. Incorrectly, it will be a worthless feature no one will use.

5) Defect-able Characters
While cool, this could also be aggravating. I'd like to see this, but its the weakest of your ideas. If you put it in, please include a way to turn it off, so if its annoying we don't have to use it (like natural disasters). There should also be a benefit when a character defects; bringing technology with them, or information on planets, fleet movements, something.

6) Money system
I'm undecided on whether I like Rebellion's system or not. I dislike loosing ships due to maintenance shortfalls, but also understand the tactical importance and the need to limit a player's fieldable navy in some way. I dislike the simplicity of just using money, but also dislike managing mines and refineries when I'd rather be planning my next assault on the Rebel HQ and couldn't trust the AI to manage it for me. I'll think about it some and see if any ideas come to me.

7) Experience system
We always think of experience systems as being complex. Two stars, or five; a digital experience counter leading up to "level ups". These are more complex than you need. Just make it so a ship is "new" or "veteran". In a galactic war, personnel shortages necessitate personnel transfers, and even when ships survive they often loose crew members. This means a ship will never have an "expert" crew. Perhaps an expert senior staff, but there are always newbies being trained. The exception is when resupply is impossible; in which case, they cannot replace losses, and even if the crew are all veterans, they suffer penalties due to personnel and material shortages.

In short, you should be able to have an experience counter for each ship. Make it a small number, something like a few bits or a byte (if your chosen programming language allows that). If a ship has been in X many battles, it is now a "veteran" ship. No need to keep track of further battles; once veteran status is achieved, that's it. You wouldn't even need an experience variable and a "isVeteran" variable if you didn't want. This way you get some experience benefit, but a low memory cost. Make that ship do more damage, or hit more often, or have a higher maneuverability or something.

Just an idea. I can also see the complexity of coding that for relatively little gain. And the if statements or switches (if veteran, do this) might slow down large battles a bit.

I'm not the best programmer, but I love designing and organizing. I'd be happy to share more ideas. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:48 am 
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Master_Xan wrote:
1) The ability to add, remove and alter your universe, units, and possibly missions/research tree
I consider this a must. Particularly wonderful would be the option to create scenarios; i.e. the starting conditions. Sometimes I just want to start with a big fleet, not the pitiful junk the game opens with. I'm sorry, but the Empire had more than 4 ISDs when the Battle of Yavin happened. The ability to change starting conditions is a much-needed addition for replay value. To an extent, we can change vanilla Rebellion with RebEd and a few other tools. Keeping those options is very important, though importing RebEd cards maybe not so important. Changing ship models could be done easier than our current system.


The editor will be in a windows based program. To add new models/change models you simply need to select the right name and add the "compiled" model(XNA must compile models for use within XNA programs) to the Content/Models folder. Ridiculously simple. Same with next characters. You add all the details in the program then simple add the compiled texture to the Content/Textures/ folder. I had about 15 different start conditions that generated my universe when I was creating it before. This altered many of the planet variables, starting number of planets. I didnt have fleet strength but I will now that I think of it. Totally forgot about that one.

Master_Xan wrote:
As for missions and research tree, well unless you have changed the research tree from vanilla, we have need for only the options in RebEd. Namely, when is something researched, or is it at all. For missions, do you mean assassination/diplomacy/etc? Or something more special? Vanilla allows editing of diplomacy/etc through RebEd. Other things, like Han's event with bounty hunters, is hard-coded. I guess I need more info on what you mean by missions and the research tree before I can contribute to those subjects.

Researching needs to be looked at because when someone adds new ships they need to be able to specify when and how it is research. I could add simple field for the date after which you can research but IM not too sure. With regards to missions, I wanted to people to be able to edit their likelyhood of success. I also wanted to make missions be user-creatable in my editor. For instance. You say Target = Own Team, Enemy Team, Neutral, TargetType = Facility/Troop/Character, Outcome = Destruction/Disable/DiplomacyChange etc etc. Could be too complicated though and will probably be much easier to just hard code standard missions and allow likelyhood editing. Will need feed back on if we want any more missions though.
Events I haven't looked into yet but I will be doing random universe events.

Master_Xan wrote:
2) The ability to play in resolutions designed for newer generation monitors/PC's
This is even more critical than #1. If it doesn't run, no one will play it. If it runs poorly, no one will play it. And there is no reason not to make it support much higher resolutions than Rebellion does; though probably not necessary to make it support every resolution. Widescreen would sure be nice though.

I develop in Widescreen so it will offer every available resolution from 800x600 to 1920x1200. Since I am no professional coder, the game will work best in a 16:9 ratio but I will try and work the game so its fine in 16:10 or even 4:3

Master_Xan wrote:
3) 3D Galaxy Map with the removal of the jump anywhere approach.
After reading your explanation, I'm not sure I follow. You mean there is no "background" display, but rather a zoom system, like Sins? Fine with me. But that system has drawbacks too, as you have already mentioned. Information overload, no means of dividing planets into definitive groupings, 3D vs. 2D issues (and 3D is far more complex), etc. I hate the Star Wars: Battlegrounds approach. The way they do campaigns to take over the galaxy. Absolutely hate it. Its hard to control, there are no options for zooming, the planets are hard to click on and sometimes hard to see, etc.

I would like to see the option to create choke points. Rebellion let anyone go anywhere, but the novels seem to imply that there are hyperspace lanes. Pilots must follow lanes, coming in and out of hyperspace occasionally. I don't think your version should be as choke-point oriented as, say, Age of Empires (build a wall over the pass and there is no way around but through it). But limiting the way ships travel could introduce a new level of strategy, creating tactical value to some planets, and create more depth. At the cost, of course, of added complexity.

Ill add some screenshots so its easier to see what I mean. Its more 2.5D than true 3D anyway. Currently you have multiple lanes per system(sometimes only one). Have a look and feedback.

Master_Xan wrote:
5) Defect-able Characters
While cool, this could also be aggravating. I'd like to see this, but its the weakest of your ideas. If you put it in, please include a way to turn it off, so if its annoying we don't have to use it (like natural disasters). There should also be a benefit when a character defects; bringing technology with them, or information on planets, fleet movements, something.

Noted. Will make it a game option.

Master_Xan wrote:
7) Experience system

The problem with your idea is that currently each planet tells me that I have say 3 mon calamari cruisers. Now all my stats are simply just checked against my encyclopedia and used from there rather than storing each one in a planet instance. The next problem is transferring that data to the opposing player(networking is in and currently functional) and its complexity rises. The system will most likely be an after thought rather than integral piece of release.


Here are two screenshots from ingame about the 3D system. This first one shows a fully zoomed out of the galaxy. As you can see while there are choke points they arent everywhere and there is several ways around. This is editable and changable to be more or less pathways int he editor.
Image

This next one is there to show a closer look at some of the central planets.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:35 am 
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I'm using this as an opportunity to amalgamate some changes to the base engine.

I will also be properly incorporating the GUI from the start(instead of tacking it on. It was getting to the stage was the tack was coming apart ;) ), as well as making sure the network code is incorporated from the beginning.

I separated engine code and game play code as all good programmers are taught however some of my engine code(such as Networking) needed to know things such as the size of information it was sending so I had to pull the unit information out into its own project and needless to say, was getting frustrating. It is now all one big project so no more issues there.

There were other small issues to do with unfamiliar code that I tried to plug into my program and I was struggling to understand how it all worked. I simply removed it now as well as some of the threading I was doing. The threads were causing loading issues.

All in all its been a bit of a step backwards however most of the code is still relevant (with minor changes) and I have made my life a metric tonne easier :)


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:56 am 
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I also forgot to add that I wanted to add mini-teams. Essentially smaller versions of the Alliance and the Empire that will kind of get in your way or help you. The imagined teams I had were the Smugglers Alliance and the Hutt Confederacy(or whatever they are called). Not 100% sure on that however I thought it might have added a bit of a different thing.

I considered having multiple players but battles then become auto-battles,
I also considered having real time battles so you could have multiple battles at once however it sort of messes with lore timing issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:23 pm 
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1) Great!

2) Ah, you are thinking more options for research than vanilla allowed. I'm okay with that :wink:

I personally can't think of other missions you'd really want to do. Except maybe planet sabotage or planetary improvements. Or perhaps a "sabotage everything" mission, where the character goes and sabotages everything at the target location (or perhaps goes down a list, so they hit this first, then this, then this). On second thought, I like that idea. If the target has been moved, the character doesn't waste two weeks traveling to and from without even trying to take anything down, but simply moves on to the next target. Yes, I do like that idea.

3) Dang, but if that doesn't look like Space Empires V, then I'm a goat. Did you use that game for inspiration without telling us? :wink:

The picture is actually from SP:IV, couldn't find one of five. Anywho, I like that sort of method. The Space Empires series doesn't use it for the main screen, just for a map. I'll be interested to see how it plays with that as the main screen.

5) Perhaps if a Jedi defects, as a Sith they get a special bonus to combat ratings and a penalty to diplomacy or some other stat? And vice versa for a Sith defector? Just an additional thought.

6) Still thinking.

7)
steel wrote:
The problem with your idea is that currently each planet tells me that I have say 3 mon calamari cruisers. Now all my stats are simply just checked against my encyclopedia and used from there rather than storing each one in a planet instance. The next problem is transferring that data to the opposing player(networking is in and currently functional) and its complexity rises. The system will most likely be an after thought rather than integral piece of release.

It certainly does add complexity. If your system always has a base reference for ship stats, how do you work with damaged ships?

You could have two ship values; new and veteran. So there is a NewMonCal object and a VetMonCal object. Each ship references one or the other. It doubles the number of things set aside for ships, but that shouldn't be too big a deal. Conversely, you could have the changed attributes calculated on the fly; MonCal has shield strength 500. VetMonCal gets all data from MonCal encyclopedia entry, then applies a *.5 + original value, so shield strength is now 750. This could be stored in memory for the battle and flushed, so no additional variables are needed. I'm not sure if that offers any advantages, though personally I don't think I like that approach.

As far as other sides go, there are/were lots of other groups out there. What is your time period? Same as Rebellion? If I recall, there were still the Hutts, the Smugglers, the Hapes Consortium, the Chiss (Thrawn's species), and maybe some other groups I can't remember right now. The Chiss might be hard to incorporate, they weren't really involved in anything during the Rebellion's time period. But there are other options. Multiple players, though, would upset the lore. None of those groups could take on either the Alliance or the Empire; to play one would upset the balance or force a player to be on the loosing side no matter what. Now If you set this to the post-Galactic Alliance period, when a fragment of the Remnant takes over... there are tons of factions in that period, all of whom were powerful. Two different Imperial groups, the Jedi/Alliance remnant group, the Corellians, the Sith, and I think one more I'm forgetting. But I digress, as that is most likely not the time period for your game (though it would still be a "rebellion", as the GA and Jedi were rebelling from the new Sith/Empire order...)

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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:24 pm 
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I personally love the Sins 3d galaxy. The ability to zoom in and out and get information at various scales (whether icons to full ship 3d models) is incredible. Putting it all together in one interface without dozens of windows - that is the way to do it.
In that respect, I wouldn't implement predefined sectors the way Rebellion has it. Nor would I keep the same hyperspace-anywhere approach. This game needs hyperspace lanes for any kind of tactics. (Plus the idea that ships will travel from one side to the other without stopping for supplies is dumb)

To give the limited effect of sectors, I would have diplomacy and other events scale based on the distance from one system to the next.
If there is an uprising in one system, it will tend to spread to its nearest neighbors. But as it gets further and further, it will have little (if any) effect.
Death Star I would almost tend to make a global effect - just the fact is around should give everyone who would rebel fear.

So basically, I agree with you. A modern interface design is crucial for any remake to succeed. Plus a 3D engine would help with the scale to any resolution. Heck, I would even ask for multi-monitor support to put data on different screens (like Supreme Commander) like a minimap, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Master_Xan wrote:
You could have two ship values; new and veteran. So there is a NewMonCal object and a VetMonCal object. Each ship references one or the other. It doubles the number of things set aside for ships, but that shouldn't be too big a deal. Conversely, you could have the changed attributes calculated on the fly; MonCal has shield strength 500. VetMonCal gets all data from MonCal encyclopedia entry, then applies a *.5 + original value, so shield strength is now 750. This could be stored in memory for the battle and flushed, so no additional variables are needed. I'm not sure if that offers any advantages, though personally I don't think I like that approach.


I only partially implemented what is called Instances in my previous attempt. This was obviously a mistake and I need to fully flesh this out for the program to work. Essentially this is a massive memory saving feature where your units are all stored in your encyclopedia but there are specific variables attributed to each unit and stored in an instance. Things like hp, experience, damage etc are instanced while total attack damage and bombardment will be stored in the encyclopedia. I will simply add a number of battles participated and IsVeteran Boolean to these things and add certain bonuses because of that. What bonuses they are well, I will have to look into. I will most likely make you able to choose what two or three attributes you want the veteran ship to have in the editor.

Master_Xan wrote:
As far as other sides go, there are/were lots of other groups out there. What is your time period? Same as Rebellion? If I recall, there were still the Hutts, the Smugglers, the Hapes Consortium, the Chiss (Thrawn's species), and maybe some other groups I can't remember right now. The Chiss might be hard to incorporate, they weren't really involved in anything during the Rebellion's time period. But there are other options. Multiple players, though, would upset the lore. None of those groups could take on either the Alliance or the Empire; to play one would upset the balance or force a player to be on the loosing side no matter what. Now If you set this to the post-Galactic Alliance period, when a fragment of the Remnant takes over... there are tons of factions in that period, all of whom were powerful. Two different Imperial groups, the Jedi/Alliance remnant group, the Corellians, the Sith, and I think one more I'm forgetting. But I digress, as that is most likely not the time period for your game (though it would still be a "rebellion", as the GA and Jedi were rebelling from the new Sith/Empire order...)

My original time period will be the same as Rebellion. Though the editor will allow you to do it as you want. I was hoping some of the community would work on new scenarios and time periods.

Evaders99 wrote:
So basically, I agree with you. A modern interface design is crucial for any remake to succeed. Plus a 3D engine would help with the scale to any resolution. Heck, I would even ask for multi-monitor support to put data on different screens (like Supreme Commander) like a minimap, etc.

Implementing a second screen would be interesting. I will give it a shot see if I can. Then I will have to learn about RenderTargets a little better as I essentially will have two ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:43 pm 
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Master_Xan wrote:
3) Dang, but if that doesn't look like Space Empires V, then I'm a goat. Did you use that game for inspiration without telling us? :wink:

Combination of a bit of SE and a bit of Sins that made me do it this way. Im not going to do it exactly like either one as its more an inspiration than anything.
[*]I would like to add an overall minimap in the bottom right corner that can give a 'at a quick glance' infromation
[*]I would like to have a fullscreen look at the whole map similar to what I showed just before at the touch of a button. Say pressing tab brings up the whole universe allowing you to quickly move from one part to another or simply see in greater detail
[*]There will be the planet list as well so that should be useful. Also Fleet list, character list.


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Those lists would be great things to have on the second monitor. Keep the main display on the primary monitor, and the lists on the second (for those using dual monitors).

I like Evader's idea for the limited effect of galactic events, thus giving some sense of location. It would be nice to see the radius of effects too; so you could, say, select a planet, turn on that view, and see concentric rings of a color. The darker color bands correspond with more impact, and as you move away the color bands get lighter. Planets close by fall into darker color bands, and are affected more by revolts or whatever. A good idea, so long as the player has some way of knowing the distances effects will travel.

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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:32 pm 
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Wont be doing multiple monitors. Its just not implemented in XNA and I dont have time to dig deep into pure DirectX to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:17 pm 
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First, nice job steel, glad to see your still working on it, it is good to have more than one option in case one does not make it. More choices, more fun, more chance to please everyone and get one finished before the universe expires. 8)


I do like defect able characters and traitors.

A true 3D galaxy is not necessary. Nice to look at, many people like the scroll zoom of Sins. 2D maybe more practical. But 3D may scale better as Evaders99 said. If the computer can handle it, not so bad either way. neutral on it.


I do find myself extremely frustrated with working at 4:3 and only 1024*768. I am seriously think just dumping 4:3 and go with wide screen 9:16 only. Plus a lot more real estate to work with more modern 1080 monitors. So what do you think? No support for older 4:3 square monitors? As you can see, the pictures look much nicer and much easier to get the information onto the screen.


Hyperspace lanes , well good and bad. I think they restrict sabotage missions too much and make espionage mission a moot point. No need to fear a strike behind enemy lines. So it would seem it would make espionage more useless. it would be hard for one that is losing at 4/10 galaxy control to ever be able to make a come back, so a lot of peeps will quit once they start to loose a little bit.

Traffic for moving facilities, from construction yards, that are built must move along open continuous controlled hyperspace lanes, could be a problem.

But biggest hyperspace lanes or jump any where question. Hyperspace lanes would mean there really is no use for espionage or rebel hit and run sabotage tactics. It will boil down to a "choke point slug fest" like any other RTS game out there.

That is my fear.


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:49 pm 
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EaW tries to avoid that by allowing infiltration at least one system behind-enemy-lines.

Also to avoid such situations, you really have to design a map with multiple routes to different systems.
Removing all choke points isn't the idea - but limiting them so that entire game isn't choke points is better.
Especially in the core regions (not Deep Core), you should have lots of travel lanes - while further out in the Rim you should get less accessible.

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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:38 pm 
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I could have it so only the fleets are specifically tied to the lanes. Missions/Facilities you can argue are small enough to not be noticed when passing systems that they would be prevented from doing that.

4:3 is a dying format. None of my friends nor I have used 4:3 since about 2000. 16:9 and 16:10 will be 90%+ of people probably.

3D Galaxy like I said is an interesting one. I spose it cant hurt to try.


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 Post subject: Re: Remake Ideas Revisited
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:49 am 
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I'd think espionage and sabotage should be allowed past enemy lines. You could have a chance of detection for every system that is crossed; so deeper in is harder to reach, but not impossible. Or you could base the detection chances on what's in the system they are passing through; perhaps a small base chance of being detected per system, with additional chances to detection based upon in-system defenses, primarily fighters and other patrol craft.

Which would make patrol craft useful. In Rebellion, nothing from that class of ships was worth while- they were too weak for capital ship combat, and not as good with taking down fighters as light capital ships like Corellian Gunships or Lancer Frigates. Having patrol craft boost chances of detecting operatives would be a fun addition to tactics. But it is, again, more complexity.

If you wanted to expand things more from another angle, you could make ships or a class of ships designed to increase penetration abilities. You could say operatives working without a ship are booking passage on transports and such, while those on ships have more control over their hiding and are able to better avoid detection (like the cloaking ship from Force Unleashed), or able to bring more equipment with them rather than having to get it in the target system or hide it on a transport (increasing mission success rates). Ships like this could be stored on capital ships (taking the place of a fighter squad) but could carry personnel. Modified freighters come to mind (like the Millennium Falcon, able to blend in but offering more options for escape if detected).

Personally, I would think shipping a facility would take larger freighters, and thus be more noticeable. I'd think sending a facility, you would need to control the lane or send an escort to punch through. Unless the facility is shipped on multiple freighters, in which case you could argue its small enough to get through.

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