Career Development, OOO Monday

Hey Folks! Work continues today on the career path part of character generation. Roughly 30-40% done with the list of careers I've set out to do.

I decided to try and tackle the more interesting careers first, rather than just going through each from top to bottom. This includes careers where I can picture how the character gets their first ship, as well as careers most likely to be selected first. So far, that includes: shipbreaker, squatter, doctor, law enforcement, private security, and prisoner. And probably some tech and pilot ones next.

I'm starting to get the hang of doing this, and each is getting faster. Mostly, I'm focusing on the skills available during each term of the career, and prerequisites to get in. And as a result, I'm finding myself splitting some careers into more specific steps.

The "medical" career I had, for example, now consists of undergrad, med school, medical residency, and doctor. But there are also some branches off of that, such as going straight into paramedic/rescue after undergrad, or following a nursing path after med school. Health admin is another related, but different path.

Similarly, law enforcement is going to have officer, detective, and probably pilot specialties. And at least in the case of detective, one will have to earn it through officer career.

Squatter is meant to cover situations where the player is basically homeless or a refugee on places like Luna or Mars. I.e. you're not "in the system," so a lot of your life involves scavenging and hiding to stay alive. Maybe crime.

And that's where prisoner comes in. Some careers run a high risk of getting caught, while others can have this as a special event. Whatever the cause, some things can land you in prison for a term. Like anything else, spending a few years in an environment will teach you things, and in this case, those things are usually taught by criminals :) And like real life, this will bar you from certain future careers.

Finally, shipbreakers are folks who professionally salvage decommissioned ships. Basically, working the junkyard to pull whatever they can sell. Some are on the books, others freelance. The one big place for this in the System, K-Leg, doesn't technically allow this. However, in practice it doesn't care too much if you stick to the lower priority hulks. They'll never get around to them anyway.

The one exception is if you find something good. And that's where the game's origin story comes in. I want most (all?) of these careers to offer some chance of starting the game with a ship. Whether legally or not, something happens in said career offering the opportunity to start with a ship. Could be a junker you bought and fixed-up. Could be a hauler you mortgaged. Could be a prototype you stole from a manufacturer. Whatever the case, this is where your backstory ends, and your game begins.

I don't exactly know how this'll work, but I'm roughly planning on the player starting with a budget to buy or build said ship. The budget only represents the value of the ship they start with, not money the player gets to keep. So the player then either shops through a list of ships for one that fits the budget, or builds their own from the budget. Then, depending on their situation, they either pay for it with career money they've earned (if they can afford it), loan it and owe money, or steal it.

I think that'll get players invested in their story quickest. It'll be their special starting ship. They'll have a backstory and connections in the world. Probably some friends and rivals to watch for. And immediate goals as a result. Or so I'm hoping!

Out of Office Monday

Also, Monday is a stat holiday here, so I won't be working that day. I'll see you all Tuesday instead. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tags: Ostranauts


Rovlad's picture

Looks more solid with each news post, keep up the good work!
Any ETA on when you might launch the store page? I understand that you probably want it to feature new art etc. though so most likely not yet. Still, figured it won't hurt to ask. :)

dcfedor's picture

Thanks! And the store page is pretty much as you expected. I'm kind of waiting for that right moment where the game looks like instant wishlist material. I.e. enough visual polish to make a good-looking teaser, then get a video and screens together for the store page.

Basically, comparable to Industries of Titan:

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games