Sunday, November 13, 2011

Game Chapters

Spent a good portion of the weekend working on the game.

First off, the AI manager has been completely rewritten.  The way I had it before was not object oriented at all, so changing things around was a huge pain in the butt.  This new way is much, much simpler and lets me give more complex actions to the creatures (and it's also OO proper).  My first action with that was to give Matterholes the ability to jump.  'Jumping' didn't really seem like it'd fit their character much, so they actually kinda float up.  It's cute to see.

The player now has a consequence for dieing.  First off, they lose their whole inventory.  They have plenty of time to get it back (around 5 minutes) though.  They're then teleported back to where their beacon is.  If no beacon is set, the spawn point is used.

Those are the biggest additions to the game.  There are lots of minor ones and you can see them in the changelogs at

I'm going to have the major versions of the game be released in chapters.

Chapter 1
This is the beginning of the game.  Chapter 1 is where you gather resources and build your base.  You learn how to control your ship, how to defend yourself from the enemy and how to survive in the asteroid belt.  What's the point of building your base and learning all this though?

Chapter 2
Chapter 2 is where you terraform the asteroid you've taken.  Your ship is nice and all, but you can't spend eternity inside of it.  Once you build a secure base that can successfully withstand assaults by Spies and explosions by Matterholes, you need to create a secure room in which to terraform.  The room has to be sealed so that no air can escape, but you still need to be able to get in.  Do you do this using laser doors?  Water?  Speaking of water, what's the point of gathering it all?  You'll also need to weigh your options.  It seems that ever since you've started terraforming, you've attracted a new type of enemy.  One that looks a little more mechanical and less biological.  You need to find ways of hiding what you've built so the new enemy can't find you.  You need to build some new defenses that can withstand this type of enemy.

So now the base is terraformed.  You have oxygen, plant life .. you can get out and walk around.  It almost feels like home.  Almost..  now what?

Chapter 3
Time to figure out how to leave this chunk of rocks.  You start building a device that lets you find other bases and possibly your home.  Once the device is built, you'll be able to travel to other worlds inhabited by other players.  You can exchange resources, building ideas and maybe even helpers that you've built along the way. You'll also have the option of going home here.  Maybe you like your new base and you don't want to go home.  The choice is yours to make.

That's the global picture of the game and all the chapters.  Chapter 1 is going to be the free version.  Gather resources, fight enemy and build a base.  Chapter 2 I haven't decided yet but Chapter 3 will definitely be pay (since that'll require me to run directory servers).  You will only have to pay for the game once and you'll get all updates and chapters released.

I do have some ideas for a possible Chapter 4, but I'm thinking way ahead of myself for that.  I also sketched some ideas for a new game idea I have, but I most definitely want to finish this one first.

Anyway, back to programming.  I'd like to add a new enemy and structure this week.  Testers have given me lots of good ideas which I've implemented.  I was going to release the public version of the game this weekend, but with Skyrim and MW3 being released, I thought I'd hold off until next weekend so I actually have some people that might be interested in playing.

I will leave you with a screenshot of my Matterhole farm.  They're really cute.

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