Humble Beginnings and Fantastic Futures

(It’s early nap-time at the Saunders house on Christmas, and I get a little computer break.)

After the release of Approaching Infinity, I find myself looking into the future of that universe. I love the world I’ve created, and I continue to imagine events happening there.

I already have an idea for a spinoff: a game of a very different type, but set in the same world, and having many of the same characters. I’ve also had plans for a full-blown sequel brewing for at least 6 months. A lot of ideas and mechanics that didn’t make it into Approaching Infinity just might be used in AI2. Top of the list: design your own ships, and ship-to-ship boarding. Those are probably the two most requested ‘out-of-current-scope’ features.

But to look forward, I must also look back. I’m going through some old notes on the game, mining my discarded ideas. A few minutes ago, I found a text document, dated 08/19/13, called “endless space roguelike elements”. It’s a stream-of-consciousness listing of all the ideas I had in the very beginning, as fast as I could write them down. It ends with the first proto-story for AI, and I found it pretty interesting, especially since I had forgotten all about it.

You are a mercenary ship (or its captain whatever)
hired by a group of transcended aliens who recently came
back into the universe.

they are feeling nostalgic, and are looking for all their old stuff.
they are also lazy, and don’t want to find the things themselves.
they will pay you to find it.

you are in a dangerous area of space,
but there are space stations that are in constant operation.

is there perhaps a SUPER-RACE that runs the galaxy like
a business or even a pyramid scheme?
and they just sit back and collect profits from their
impervious space stations.

And that right there is how the Firaxughinians and the Bankers came into being. The other races were added as the game developed, often inspired by sprite artwork and general sci-fi tropes. I allowed some races to be absolutely cliché, like the space pirates, but I labored to give the others as much individuality as possible.

There are still lots of stories to tell in the Approaching Infinity universe. The main antagonists of the planned sequel show up in the current game, if you can make it far enough. Do you know who they are?



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