Space Game of some sort

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Deckhead
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Space Game of some sort

Post by Deckhead »

I'm back. I've been away for a while. For anyone who doesn't know me, I made this website and have been effectively not making games for a long time. What I have been doing lately is writing a few novels, fantasy/sci-fi novels. I wrote four, one won't be released, two are released, and one more is going through beta reads before release. I need a break from that for a little bit, and after watching Yahtzee's Dev Diary series, I feel like trying my hand at hobby gamedev once again.

So, as per usual, I'm working on a space game. The reason is that space, in my estimation, is somewhat empty, so I don't have to create a lot of art. It's also full of things like planets and asteroids that are easy-ish to procedurally generate. As usual, I'm making my own engine from scratch. However, this time, I'm having a go at 3D. More like... 2.5D, but it's not 2D. This means I'm doing some modelling in Blender for space ships and stuff (hopefully not too hard to learn some bad modelling skills).

My idea is a top-down open-world space game. It's "open-world" but I've decided against procedurally generating a universe. I have a feeling that doing so will create a very boring universe of boring system after system, whereas I can manually make a well-crafted universe of some arbitrary number of star-systems, and make each system unique with some sort of interesting aspect. At least that's the idea. Things like radiation that messes with your ship, or a blackhole, or wormhole, or... I don't know... space things.

Part of the reason for this is to allow for a story. Much easier to do that in a crafted world rather than a randomly generated one.

Anyway, space will be laid out on a 2D plane. The player will be looking down on their spaceship and will fly around. I think for a lot of the time, i.e. when not in combat, the player will probably be using auto-pilot. Originally, I wanted a laid-back, relaxing game. So much so that I wanted to make combat differently than you'd expect. I wanted it to be more turn-based and strategic rather than twitch/reflex based, so I was thinking about using cards or something and deck building...

But that ends up with a game about deck building and playing cards. So I think I just need to make enough of the rest of the game interesting so that combat isn't needed.

I've decided on the top-down approach instead of the cockpit view... a lot of the reason is ease. Seems easier to handle things, modelling is probably easier. A big influence on this game is something like X3, and there's lots of other open-world space game with the 3D view. With a top-down view, I don't intend there to be any collision (except projectiles), so ships pass "through" each other, and all the planets and space stations are permanently underneath the player. This again makes things easier, but it also allows for the extra dimension of space, even though I'm in 2D. That's the plan anyway.

Aside from that, the player will mostly be taking delivery jobs, or buying and selling goods. There will be lots of different ships as well as upgrades etc to buy and equip. I think the story will evolve around a sort of economic war that's raging, and the player will take sides and do missions to progress one side or another.

Anyway, some screenshots of development.
ship_blender.png
ship_blender.png (772.25 KiB) Viewed 125 times
The player ship for now in blender

(output001)Birunji 2022-06-24 22-55-43.gif
(output001)Birunji 2022-06-24 22-55-43.gif (15.94 MiB) Viewed 125 times
A very early view of a crude planet texture and unfinished atmosphere shader with the ship above using an unfinished texture but showing off the specular lighting on the cockpit
Developer of The Last Boundary and webmaster of IndieGameDev.net
100goats
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Re: Space Game of some sort

Post by 100goats »

Nice prototype 3d art! I like the low-poly 3D remake style that emulates the graphics of the Nintendo 64 or PS1. Some people have remade games in this style that make me nostalgic.

Examples:
https://www.freegameplanet.com/abandone ... able-game/
https://www.freegameplanet.com/nordavind-download-game/
https://www.freegameplanet.com/they-wai ... able-game/

What does the gameplay loop look like for this game?

Also, in your experience, how was it like to write a novel?
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Deckhead
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Re: Space Game of some sort

Post by Deckhead »

Yeah, I was definitely thinking about old PS1 levels of detail. Not for nostalgia reasons, more that it's just the level of my ability.
100goats wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:09 pm What does the gameplay loop look like for this game?
There's hopefully 3 loops. The primary loop will consist of taking a job, completing the job, and getting a reward. I'm aiming for some variety, and will be aiming for a more Skyrim level of quest rather than your standard fetch quests.

It will be like:
  • Enter system
  • Eyeball the map to see if anything has changed since you were last here (the game world changes as this economic war is taking place in the background
  • Find destination and do the thing you're here for
The player will most likely be selecting destinations and auto piloting to the destinations most of the time. I will have fast travel, but I'm also thinking about doing a stock market sort of "day-trading" the player can do as well.

While in systems the player may have hazards to deal with. Things like radiation making the map useless, asteroids that cause hull damage while in system etc.

I'd also have some smaller things like mining or salvage as sort of small primary loop (flying around) things the player can do.

A lot of the game will revolve around economics. So as a sort of secondary loop, the player will have long term stocks that they can affect the price of in game world. For example, the player can assist a pirate faction which increases the demand for weapons. This would make the players stocks in weapons increase in price (or even the cargo of ammo they're carrying).

Finally as the outermost loop will be this war that's taking place. The story quest line will branch for the different factions and ultimately finish the story. I'm not sure if that's a loop in and of itself, but there would be gameplay reasons to perform different choices in the story (siding with pirates gives you something you wouldnt get if siding with megacorp).
100goats wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:09 pm Also, in your experience, how was it like to write a novel?
Fun. Different. It wasn't as hard as I thought. Very much like a problem solving experience (how do I resolve this story thread in a way that makes character sense etc etc). It does take some initial harsh learning to realise how bad your first writing is, but after that you just get better and better.
Developer of The Last Boundary and webmaster of IndieGameDev.net
100goats
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 9:29 pm

Re: Space Game of some sort

Post by 100goats »

Nice! The gameplay loop seems like it would be great fun.

I hope to try writing a story one of these days.
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