World-Building, and Mobile Fixes

Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. I enjoyed a nice Father's Day weekend with the family, visiting the ocean, looking at old cars, eating yummy foods, and shopping at a retro video game store. Oh, and we bought a ladder. 'Cause that's what dads do, right?

Tiago sent me some updates today on his progress, and it sounds like he's got URL actions sorted out! As a refresher, this fixes the way the app opens URLs such that it uses the native browser instead of a browser-within-the-app. The benefits of this are two-fold:

1 - Opening links to the app store (reviews, rating) opens the store directly.
2 - Opening forums and other log-in sites takes advantage of any browser-based login solutions the user already has.

That should be a good step towards improving the app's interaction with web-based stuff.

And the remaining UI/UX stuff, such as swiping, panning, and zoom fixes, is nearly there!

In other news, I did a lot of world-building today for the space prototype. Trying to get the information organized and come up with reasonable explanations for things in the System. I've been working with a contract writer on some in-game brands and the lay of the land, and it's been super productive. More on that soon!


Asthepanda2iscool2's picture

So when do we see some weyland yutani dog chow :). Any idea what the full game is going to be like yet. I assume you have some idea since you're working with a writer. I understand if you don't, I've spent plenty of time murdering writers block just this summer.

Rar! Rar rar rar! Thanks for reading :)

dcfedor's picture

I'm hoping I can come up with something as memorable as Weyland Yutani :)

Only a rough idea of what the full game is going to be like. The elevator pitch is "Rimworld meets FTL, or Prison Architect meets Starflight, in NEO Scavenger's solar system."

The minute-to-minute gameplay will probably feel more like Rimworld, where the player is managing a crew, and keeping the tile-based ship running. All of that will be happening within the context of planning trips through the system, finding buyers/sellers, tracking down people, scouring for repair parts, or investigating mysteries.

And somewhere along the line, I want players to be able to design and build ships out of meaningful, functional parts. Except I don't want them to be building the ship as they fly it, so that's where this game departs from the Rimworld/Prison Architect mold. I have to figure out how/if the ship-building part of the game fits with the crew/flight sim part.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

ra1's picture

Perhaps allow modifying the ship only when in orbit of a planet/starbase, and then only with the resources available (from that planet plus what you brought). So a "stardrive" (or whatever) may take trips to three planets to get all the necessary material. Then, you send the crew on shore-leave while a skeleton crew does the upgrade -- provided pirates don't raid and strip it in the process. A dash of Privateer never hurt a space sim.

dcfedor's picture

Yeah, one of the ideas is a bit like that. Ship upgrades are only allowed when in dock, or in an "inactive" state such as drifting/orbit.

I still have some unanswered questions about major changes to the ship, though. Like, in Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress, you're expanding the base/fortress with new rooms, wings, and areas. I.e. changing the footprint

However, this doesn't really fit with the sci-fi fantasy most of us know. Han Solo doesn't add a new floor to his deck plans, Malcolm Reynolds doesn't double the fuselage width, etc.

It might only make sense to have free reign in the beginning, then limit mods and upgrades to minor changes during the game. (E.g. Changing room layouts, equipment, adding minor exterior features.)

And if the player wants to add an extra floor to their ship, they'll have to pay a lot and risk structural integrity issues.

Ultimately, it comes down to playtesting though. Whatever is the most fun!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Malacodor's picture

The ships you mention have to be capable of atmospheric flight, and as film ships they also have to look good and recognizable. For pure space flight with 1g (the Millenium Falcon can go faster than light) there really shouldn't be any structural integrity issues.

Ship building shouldn't have any limitations besides escalating fuel costs. It should just be restricted to shipyards. However, I'm not sure if allowing multistory ships were a good idea. It would complicate pathfinding and might take more time to implement than it is worth.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture

By structural integrity, I meant cobbling an addition onto a ship that wasn't meant to be there. Like, if you add a crapton of mass at the end of a boom that wasn't meant to bear a load.

Of course, that would assume the game has reasonable engineering simulation, which is no small task. So it might be a moot point.

Multi-story deck plans might complicate things, but possibly not pathfinding as much. In fact, doors might be a bigger complication because of their pathfinding state changes (open/closed/locked). The stairs are just another grid space, conceptually, with a deck's worth of grid spaces on each side.

However, multi-story deck plans probably would complicate things like UI and adjacency calculations. The single-floor keeps things nice and simple, while adding depth means voxel-like adjaceny.

Anyway, we'll have to see. It all comes down to trying it out!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games