As I mentioned in my last post, I am working on a new game. It has nothing to do with Approaching Infinity, but this is my blog, so I’ll write about whatever I like! Finally, this new game has a name:
It’s a Space RTS (Real Time Strategy game) that’s meant to be played quickly, with a small game being winnable in less than 10 minutes. Choose to play as one of five space-faring races, against one to three opponents in a quest to rule the galaxy.
One of the defining principles of NYS is the idea of “configurability”, a large, possibly-made-up word that means “play it the way you want to!” Here are some major features that can be turned on or off at the start of each game.
Research: With this feature on, your planets will generate “research points”, and you can spend them to improve certain aspects of your planets and ships (like the economy or the strength of your weapons). It also requires the player to “research” the larger types of ships before being able to build them. Without the research option, you start with all ship-types available, but you’re stuck with the base characteristics of your chosen race.
Diplomacy: With diplomacy off, there are no treaties; it’s every player for themselves. But with diplomacy turned on, you can forge binding agreements with the other players. Until, of course, you’ve built up your fleets enough to crush them.
Resources: Do you hate collecting resources just to build your units? Well, you can turn that off! You’ll still have to pay for them with money, but that is generated automatically over time. But, if you like the idea of going out and gathering what you need to build your killer fleet, turn “resources” on, and you can do just that. You’ll also receive a 25% discount to the economic cost of all constructions.
Weapons and Defenses: Now, don’t think for one minute that you can actually turn weapons off. What this means is, you can decide to just use “default” weapons for all your ships. But you can also play with 4 types of differentiated weapons: Missiles, beams, cannons, and mines. This also allows you to select one type of defense for every ship you build, which specifically counters one weapon type.
Ship Design: There are four classes of warships in Not Your Space: destroyers, cruisers, battleships, and dreadnoughts. Each is designed with a specific purpose in mind. But if you want to tinker with your ships, sacrificing armor for more attack power, or building a super-fast dreadnought, turn on “ship design” and you can endlessly tweak your fleet.
With everything off, its a relatively simple matter of expanding your territory, building your fleet, and wiping your opponents off the map. But with all those options turned on, you’ve got a deep strategic experience that requires a lot of thought, both long-term and in-the-moment.
So, how is the game coming? After a few weeks of development, it is possible to win. It is at least as possible to lose, especially on a large map. Just this morning, I taught the AI how to mine resources. It does a fantastic job, and adds a new layer of depth to the game. All the other “optional” systems outlined above are still “planned, not implemented”, but they are well defined.
The game currently uses very simple stylized graphics, with icons for different types of ships and planets, and each side having a defining color. Here are some of the Human ships:
What major hurdles remain?
Yeah, OK, that’s actually quite a lot of big stuff. But the core game is working and engrossing. I am thinking about a kickstarter for this. I am planning on a Steam release regardless of any crowdfunding. I also have ideas for some songs. WHAT?! Yes, songs. Gotta break out my old 4-track…