Hello Hello Hello. It’s been a week of wrapping things up. I added a system to the game to create phenomenon that do certain weird things to ships that are near them.
This could be an asteroid field that sporadically does damage to all nearby ships over time.
It could be a cloud of gas that neutralizes ship shields.
It could be a crystal entity that spawns creatures aboard your ship or turns one of your crew against you or disables your FTL ability temporarily.
And I developed this “phenomenon system” in a way such that, if I need to, I can expand it easily with other events – if I come up with other strange things that phenomenon can do to your ship. For example, they could spawn strange particles aboard your ship that do damage if you are in them. That’s just an idea but if I get time to add more phenomenon events I will. I have enough to make them believable for now though, so I consider the system to be done for now.
Some of my favorite episodes of Star Trek are when the Enterprise encounters some phenomenon that Geordi LaForge has to wrack his brain to help the ship survive. Or Picard has to pull some risky maneuver to escape.
I hope I can capture this feeling a little bit when the game is mostly complete and the phenomenon are all set up in game.
That being said, I consider 95% of the gameplay mechanics and programming to be complete. I might add or change a few more gameplay mechanics once I start getting feedback when I release the first playable build. But almost all of what remains for me to do now is artistic. That’s not to say coming up with gameplay mechanics is not an artistic endeavor – but it also relies much more heavily on mathematical concepts and programming.
I have A LOT of art that I still need to do though. Even though I have enough animated character models to release a playable build, I still need to create a significant number of static models.
I calculated how many static models I need to create and I came up with 374. This might sound like a ridiculously large number but most of these will be variations on a theme – each species is going to have it’s own version of a console and it’s own version of each module type – but they will all have a similar form and function and will only differ in aesthetics a little bit.
Here is a placeholder console I have been using for a while:
Still, in order to get done in a reasonable amount of time – I need to average about 10 models a day for about a month and a half. This is certainly possible but also a little bit daunting as I know it is going to include many hours of me staring at my computer screen.
In a month and a half it will be the middle of June – and then I will start putting all these models together to form the basis of the game.
I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. The game is a game – nobody will be able to deny that soon. Is it a good game or bad game? Only time will tell – but it will definitely have some new and novel gameplay mechanics that are different from any other game created before it. That is one thing I am sure of. It is basically a poor man’s FTL, with the major benefit being that you are actually one of the people aboard the ship – and not just the omnipresent captain of the ship but a real crew member who can move about the ship. Will this two-mode gameplay system work? I don’t know yet.
But I did devote a large portion of my design effort towards ensuring that you can play the game focusing on just one of the two modes and still be somewhat successful. The management of the ship can be automated to a large degree if the player wants to focus on the FPS qualities of the game – or the player can hide themselves on the bridge if they want to focus on the ship management aspects of the game. – whether you want to play it as an FPS mainly or as a tactical starship simulator will be in large part up to the player. The player can focus mostly on the things that he/she likes the most.
So here I go on my modeling binge. Once I get into it I find it quite enjoyable – starting is just the tough part. Kind of like working out or going to the gym.