Now that I finished Pong, over a year ago, it’s time to work on the next project. Space Adventure.
I’m calling it Space Adventure because I’ve not worked out a better name for it yet. Maybe I’ll call it “The Last Boundary: A Space Adventure” or something like that.
It is a game idea that I had while watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wouldn’t it be cool to play a game that’s like Star Trek? I’m not the only person who’s ever thought this because there’s a heap of Star Trek games. I’ve played a bunch. But it was never really like Star Trek, you know? It was always you conducting missions and getting into space battles, or it was leading an away team or something.
There was never a game where you played as the Captain, or the bridge crew, and you found a strange new phenomena and it turned out to be a relic from an ancient civilisation and it spawned a computer virus that infected the ship and you have to use diplomacy on a derelict AI satellite to convince it to disable the virus and return control of the ship back to you.
That’s what my game is about.
As you can see, it’s heavily text based. This is really my only option to get across the kind of game I’m talking about. Everything is presented from the perspective of you looking at the main viewer, like in Star Trek. Things like [Science] would be replaced with your science officers name.
Because everything is a little static I plan to make it a bit livelier than what you see in the mockup. For example, the image presented on the main viewer could be animated, though likely lightly animated. The main viewer may flicker or show some distortion when new Events start and stop. The blurts (what I’ve been calling them) being said above by the Science Officer and your Tactical Officer will fade in and out and will move up the screen. It’s also likely that the main viewer image will go blurry when the mouse cursor is over the options instead of the main image. The light strip at the bottom, that shows Red Alert etc would also be animated.
For now, the only features I will have are:
- Events and Episodes are randomly selected for the player to play through. Roughly three Events for every Episode. There’s no technical difference between how these are implemented, but I’m considering the Episodes to be like the main quest-line so to speak, or like the ongoing narrative episodes from The X-Files, whereas the Events are potentially smaller/shorter or are more like “monster of the week” sort of episodes.
- The names of your bridge crew and their stats are randomly generated
- The Events and Episodes have a fairly extensive set of options in the way they are constructed. I’ve put together a simple parsing language and a single Global Variable map so that one Episode can’t be encountered before others are (to allow for continuity of a narrative but still allow it’s precursor events to occur at random).
I think of this as the idea stage of the game. If I get that far and it works, I have the next set of features.
- Battles. You would target specific ships and fire at them, perhaps ordering your Tactical Officer to target specific sections (maybe you just want to disable their ship). This allows battles to end in numerous different ways, which requires the narrative of the Event or Episodes to cater for all eventualities.
- Your Tactical Officer and Helm Officer will develop “abilities” as they progress. These abilities are used in combat. Pilot abilities affect your positioning, so using a Pilots Ability this turn (it’s turn-based combat) could make it harder for them to hit you, increase your chance of acting first next turn, or make your targeting of their ship/s better next turn. The Tactical Officer will have different attack abilities like spreading the lasers or focusing them etc.
- Your Chief Engineer will have the ability to move power from Weapons, Shields and Engines. These increase or decrease different statistics of your ship during combat.
- Each turn you can only do things based on the skill of your officers. So each Crew-Member has a skill in each position. The better your Tactical Officer is at being a Tactical Officer will increase how often you can fire your weapons etc.
- Crew will be assigned to different positions on your ship. One officer might be good at two things, so which position do you put him in?
- You can get new crew members from Events and Episodes
- Sending people on Away Missions during Events and Episodes. Away Missions can either be Dangerous, Neutral, or some other thing. Crew Members that consistently go on Dangerous missions will get disloyal and will look to leave your crew at the first opportunity.
- Crew Members gain skill. Crew Members can die on away missions. A crew member has a survivability statistic.
- You can’t really do much on Away Missions… I’m not sure about this one.
- You can gain Items for your Crew (to increase survivability) and Equipment for you ship (to increase it’s stats)
- You can trade these things
- You need fuel and supplies because it takes time to get around on the
- Star Map. Because you’re a member of some alliance, some systems have intelligence which you can see, others are unexplored space. Different Events and Episodes would be geared toward different types of system, so could occur in any. The Star Map would be randomly generated for every game.
- Going to a system and docking for repairs/trade will cause unhappy/disloyal crew members a chance to leave. You can hire/recruit new Crew, but the best ones will come from Events and Episodes because…
- Events and Episodes can gain you equipment, items, crew-members etc.
I think you can see that I’m going for a Rogue-Like Star Trek game.