Space Game
Space Game Design Doc


This is a game about space. It's called Space Game 01 because I can't think of anything else.


Universe Parameters

The game starts with presenting the player with options to begin a game:

  1. Choose the amount of mass to include in the universe
  2. Choose the number of systems this mass will be divied into. Some systems can converge during universe creation.
  3. Choose the age of the universe. This will determine how much time passes for each system deciding things like planet orbits and rings and moon collisions etc. It also determines how spaced-out the systems are in relation to each other.

Once these settings are chosen the player hits the "generate" button. This process may be very time consuming.

Game Begins

The player is shown a black spacey screen with some text. The text is randomly generated talking about the name of the people and their united world. Probably some sort of religious backdrop around the star and moon. It always ends with:

The people of planet begin their quest.

They click to begin.

Planetary Screen

At this point the player is presented with their homeworld. It has been named randomly. This is the Planetary Screen.

The screen features a view of the planetary system. The view can include, (some of these will not be present at the beginning):

  1. The planet in the center
  2. Orbiting moons
  3. Asteroids
  4. Orbiting buildings, star-docks, defense platforms etc. These are represented by monochromatic symbols in the players empires colour. They are listed along the top of this screen. I.e. not shown as an orbit.
  5. Current fleets present. These are listed as monochromatic icons along the bottom of the screen.

Some notes:

  • The view is zoomed out far enough to encompase everything that is orbiting the planet.
  • The orbit path of everything is shown in a deep colour
  • As the player hovers over an object, it's orbit lights up.
  • As the player hovers over an object, a tooltip appears giving some overview information. This overview is dependent on the object.
  • Clicking on an object will open a window that features far more in-depth information on the object. There isn't really any interaction to have here.
  • This view can be zoomed and panned.

Main Menus

Now that the player sees some info on the screen; they will want to do something.

This is where across the top of the screen is a "panel". This panel features all of the main menu options.

Research Menu

Research is the life-blood of the empires. It's here that you look into and research different scientific areas.

The available "points" you have in research is listed here. These points are affected by a combination of factors:

  1. The amount of budget which goes into scientific funding
  2. The general intelligence level of your people; this is in turn affected by the education budget over long term.
  3. Number and quality of research structures. These are built by the player at the request of research scientists on a adhoc basis (when research funding is low); or these are built automatically (when research funding is high).

These points are then allocated towards any scientific area. At first only a few areas are available; but over time, areas will begin to branch into specialized areas where more research can be placed.

The points available in an area are whatever is available in the area above it.

Rather than always needing to mirco-manage these, the available research points will always divide itself up equally among the available options. There are also buttons in place to select a focus; these focus points are represented by the top-level research areas.

Because the allocated research points flow downwards; the benefits from each sub or child research area flows upwards. What this means is that great leaps and strides can be made quickly in the more general fields; whereas the specialised fields will reap benefits much slower. Not 100% of the research goes up; some areas may have 100%, others will only trickle back results.

Some areas will end up having two parents. These areas will only become visible once the required research has been placed into both parent areas. In these cases, the amount of points available is limited to what is in its primary parent; and the benefits of research only goes up to its primary parent.

In addition, most research areas will have additional pre-requisits that need to be met before effort can be placed into that area. These may be things like specific scientific structures, which can only be placed on or near spaecific anomalies. This can result in some areas becoming an impoosibility to research.

Some pre-requisits may be that of the 6 possible pre-requisits; 3 need to be completed, offering flexibility.

As each area is being researched a bar increases from 0 to 100%. When hovering over the area (or maybe clicking), a tooltip will reveal what will become available at 100%. At times; the item will be greyed out, signifying that other pre-requisits need to be met in additon to the current research.

The speed at which an area gains a level is dependent on a few factors:

  1. The relative difficulty; it goes up for each additional level
  2. The level of specialisation; areas further down the tree take longer to research
  3. Special buildings and heros can change the rate of research.
  4. The level of practical development; this ties into the Development Menu; the more practical knowledge the empire has in an area, the faster it is to research additions to that area.
  5. The amount of research points placed into the area compared to the "optimal" amount of research points. (each level of area has an optimal level).
  6. Economic factors. If there's a consistent high demand of entertainment then research is allocated to these areas.

(Note that the combined level of research + the practical knowledge level is the Knowledge Level of a particular field/area.)

It's also worth noting that all research points must be allocated. This may have the affect of some areas not having the optimal level of research points.

Note that when the economy has a high demand of a product that's resulted from a research area/s, these area/s will automaically be assigned some of your research points. These will be locked and cannot be modified.

Some randomisation is also done; of the 1000 different things that come as a result of research, a single empire only ever gets 600 of them. This is allocated at the start of the game.

This method of research means that a player will never know what the next line of research into a specific area will give them. The areas themselves will remain the same as always.

Research is not enough; there are also practical considerations to consider for development.

Development Menu

Development is how an empire takes researched ideas and begins putting them to practical use.

Once an area of research gains a level the specific technologies unlocked by that level will now be available for development.

Each individual technology is developed.

A technology is displayed in the Development Menu once a research level unlocks it. This means that if a technology required 3 different research areas to reach a specific level before being unlocked; it will only be shown in the Development Menu once it's fully unlocked. Technologies may also have dependencies on other technologies.

A single technology can continue to be developed; though some will have a limit.

Developing a technology will result in either new products / items which can be created; or improvements to existing.

To give an example; firearms:

  1. Minerals and Compounds Research Area gets to a level which unlocks "Gunpowder" research area.
  2. Gunpowder research gets to a level that enables the development of cannon
  3. However, cannon also required areas from foundry or metals etc
  4. In the development screen; cannon can continue to be developed.
  5. Personal Firearms is a technology that can be developed once cannon is developed to a particular level, and once gunpowder is researched to a particular level.
  6. Further development of firearms or cannon can continue until another research requirement is needed; or even another technology requirement is needed. Each additional technology level increases practical knowledge and gives either bonuses to existing weapons or unlocks new weapons for manufacture.

Technologies are developed all at once. The technologies that will be developed faster than others is determined by:

  1. The economy. High demand forces private enterprise to develop that technology faster
  2. Government Focus. The player can increase the development budget which gives them points to expend in a technology. Not expending these points results in random areas of investment.

Production Menu

Development of a technology leads to the availability of an item to be made. This is done via the Production Menu.

Production is a part of the economy.

An item for production will have requirements in resources and indutrial capacity.

The Production Menu doesn't allow the player to do much; only see an overview of current production and trends in production.

Industrial Capacity

Is determined by:

  1. Manpower in the manufacturing sector. This is lowered by higher education
  2. Robotics in the manufacturing sector. This can help offset the higher education levels.
  3. Industrial Level; this is in turn determined by the amount of industry developed by your empire. An economy that revolves around production will result in a higher Industrial Level.

The higher the Industrial Level, the faster resources are used up.


There are stockpiles of each resource. These are created from the primary industries and secondary industries.


Individual Items are not manufactured. Instead, things are manufactured in bulk. The purchases are made by either:

  1. The "economy", meaning that some industry needs x number of items. Industries could be other manufacturing, or civilian entertainment industries etc. These orders are made organically.
  2. The player. Whilst the player doesn't create an order directly, they can influence orders by assigning the military to purchase the latest equipment and keep a high surplus. Or the player may change policies and laws to lower the effectivness of the entertainment industry, resulting in less television purchases. In addition, the creation of fleets and ships as well as the recruitment of regiments will organically create orders.

The idea is that the player has no direct control over what's manufactured, though they can influence it via their actions.

The time it takes for items to be manufactured is based completely on the amount of industrial capacity needed for it (assuming resources are available).

Fleet Menu

The Fleet Menu is where the player constructs fleet designs and assigments and orders the commision of new vessels. The commission of new vessels results in orders in the production menu.

This menu isn't only for the production of military fleets. It's also where scientific vessels and colony ships are commissioned.

Generally, single ships are not purchased. Instead a fleet is designed (this fleet may contain a single ship); the fleet is then put together at the requested location from either ships already commissioned which are not assigned to a fleet, or they are manufactured.

The Manufacturing of a ship takes place in the Manufacturing section of the Production Menu. Orders are made for the ship; which results in orders for parts. Once the base level orders are met and shipped, the next part continues. The time it takes to assemble the parts is on top of the time it takes to manufacture and ship them.

Example Throughput

This is an overview of the throughput from resources all the way to production