Working On PAX Demo

Hey Folks! I'm overdue to post another update, and we've been up to a lot since the last one. So I figured I'd catch you all up.

The big thrust right now is to get a playable demo ready for PAX East, which is in about 3 weeks. It took a bit of trial and error to decide on what the demo would be, but I think last week mostly got us on track. So now it's all about execution.

Roughly summarized, we want the demo to leave players feeling like the game will let them:

  • find a bucket of bolts
  • fix it up
  • fill it with their space friends
  • and fly around making adventures

And to do that, we're going to have a demo that lets you customize your captain, define a backstory that gives you your first (broken) ship, patch-up that ship to limp to port, try to hire some crew, then set a course to somewhere in the System.

The captain customization is a lot of the stuff we already had, but spruced-up and refined for public consumption. We trimmed out all the debug stuff, so the player can just focus on their appearance, name, career events (and loot!), plus optional personality traits. Then, they launch!

Once launched, they're on their starter ship, which needs some TLC to get working again. Basically, a brief tour of the physical salvage type stuff you can do, until the ship can fly. Once fixed, that will likely trigger a fast-forward/teleport to the next scene, so PAX players don't have to wait too long.

In the next scene, we'll have some crew the player can recruit. And each potential candidate will require some social (and maybe physical?) tactics to hire. Use your social moves to figure out who you want to hire, then more moves to convince them and deal with their baggage.

Finally, you're ready to start your adventure, and we're hoping this is where we can give folks a bit of hands-on time with the nav station. We'll likely book-end right around here with a summary screen, so the next PAX person can hop on and start the process all over.

It's a lot of visual polish, user-experience (UX) work, design tweaking, and content generation work to be done. But for the first time in a while, I feel pretty confident it'll work out. Late winter was really starting to get to me, and I wasn't sure of the correct way forward. But this exercise has brought a bunch of systems into focus, and now it feels like we just have to build the thing. It's a nice change of pace!

Anyway, we're still working away over here. And we can't wait for fans to get their hands on it at PAX to tell us what they think!

Tags: Ostranauts