Stations Fixed & Character Generation
Hey Folks! I managed to wrap-up most of the outstanding bugs on stations and transit today, and decided to start work on character gen!
The station wrap-up marks the end of my list of observations from when I was last testing the main game loop. The last remaining piece was getting the ledger working, to track player fees, debts, and expenditures when using station facilities. It's the "sink" in game design parlance. The thing you're running out of, and have to play the game more to replenish.
You're technically losing O2, water, food, fuel, and other physical resources, of course. And dealing with psychological needs, and (eventually) rivals and friends. However, a lot of this is replenished by paying someone to restock your ship. And the simplest way to do that is to pay them to do it.
Of course, getting money isn't always simple, nor easy. Money might come from people who owe you for services rendered, or for items you've obtained and sold at a profit. Or maybe just plain old piracy. But in order to navigate that social web, we need to know a bit more about the player and their relationship to the world. And that's where our next feature comes in: character creation.
I'm really keen to try a more involved character creation in this space prototype. NEO Scavenger was a decent starting point, with some really useful ways of handling stats and other attributes. So I think I'll be using a similar manner of describing things like "strong" or "fragile." However, I might flesh it out a bit. Whether that be through additional stats, more granularity, or whatever.
And as I allude to above, I'd like for this to also define some backstory for our protagonist. Where were they born? Where did they grow up? Was it a low-g environment? Are they physically weak as a result? Are their parents researchers at Voltaire University on Deimos? Or illegal immigrants on the relative paradise of Hangzhou Orbital? Maybe they grew up working the scrapyards of K-Leg for laborers?
All of these questions can tell us a lot about a person. Their physical and mental strengths and handicaps, but also their relationships, legal status, relative wealth and social position. And with that information, there should start to form some ideas of what the protagonist's goals are. Who they're hiding from, who they owe, who might bail them out.
This character generation piece will create the social web and context for our character. And I think what will shortly follow that is some sort of encounter system to let the player experience that web in real time. A way to have an event and respond to it, and for that to change the web and current status.
I'm pretty excited to be tackling this aspect! I think it's one of the last major pieces to the puzzle in making an engaging core game loop.
And, as usual, I'm also a bit nervous. It's a cool idea in theory, but heck knows if I can realize it :)