Ship Selection Running, Trait Selection Next

Hey Folks! I've been neglecting development for a couple days, so I decided to ignore the outside world and put my nose to the grindstone today. And I think my efforts were rewarded!

After another round of debugging, I think the ship selection is now working as intended. It's bare bones as all hell, but I can officially "finish" career selection now. Just to recap what that means, each career term there's a chance the special event for that term is acquiring a ship. And when this happens, the user can choose to either peruse the ships, or ignore it and continue their career.

If they choose to check out the ships, they'll now be shown a list of potential ships, and they can "preview" any one they want. Doing so docks said ship to their character generation room, so they can tour it and get a sense for what that ship is. Once they've finished checking the ships out, "selecting" the ship in the career kiosk will end the player's career, granting them that ship.

Now, from here, a few things can happen. The player can just end chargen right away and begin customizing their ship, before starting the game officially (need to add code for this). The player could also go back and change homeworld, appearance, or even reset their career and try again. (All of this works except reset, which should be a quick add.)

Or, they can move on to the "Self Care" station and fine-tune their character traits.

The image you see above is my mock-up of that self care station. Basically a pharmacy vending machine that dispenses medications for various ailments. It's an okay metaphor, but doesn't make total sense. For one thing, it also includes beneficial traits and even measures non-medical ones like citizenship. You can't buy medications for all that.

Also, not every trait seems like I could balance it. Some, like stubbornness, seem like neither good nor bad. Or maybe traits like those limit which responses and social interactions the player can use as captain? To be determined.

Finally, I'm not thrilled that the point-balancing is kind of resolved here, while parts of the trait list come as a result of using other stations (homeworld penalties, career/age penalties, etc.).

But it's not bad, and the best I've got for now. So I'll see if I can make it work.

I'm sort of picturing the left side as a scrolling list of shelves with products on each, and the user can toggle them on/off like they do in career selection. And the right side just shows info. Stuff like the current balance, context info on whatever the user is mousing over. That sort of stuff. I might also need some UI buttons or some printed instructions on the kiosk, which is why there's a blank red space reserved in the lower right.

Didn't come out too bad so far, but the proof will be in the pudding, as they say :)

Tags: Ostranauts


ra1's picture

Will you be able to import your character from Neo Scavenger? Even if everything doesn't cross over, it would be a neat way to tie the games together.

...ok maybe he could be your grandfather or something...

Soupy Delicious's picture
Soupy Delicious

That would only make sense if characters in the space prototype were descendants of Philip, and I sorta think that the whole feel of the game is one of 'from a nobody to a somebody' kind of thing.

dcfedor's picture

Both games take place at the same time, but won't involve the same people (for the most part).

A defining feature of the NEO Scavenger setting is that Earth is cut off from orbit by debris and automated weapons platforms. Trying to send anything into or through orbit is almost guaranteed to fail. It's part of what makes Earth such a mess (no global comms, navigation, surveillance, travel, etc.).

So there's no practical way for Philip to make that leap. Nor would he want to, as he's mostly stumbling around northern Indiana right now, trying to follow threads into his backstory.

There may be some day where Philip's story moves from the surface to The System. And when that day comes, he'll have to figure out if he wants to risk death making the launch, and how.

But for this game, it's a parallel story with new characters. And this time, the player will be able to name them, change appearances/gender, and customize traits. (And I suppose, in theory, that means you could recreate your Philip if you wanted. But I intend to continue Philip's story on Earth a while longer in future releases.)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games