April 17, 2016

Basic and Beyond

Now that version 0.2.0 has been released (yay!) with a basic version of most of the features I am working on, it’s time to look at what comes next! This post will serve as sort of an informal roadmap. Keep in mind that any feature I am considering may not make it into the game if it ends up being unrealistic or not fun.

spoiler SPOILER ALERT

Character Customization

Basic: Hair, eyes, skin, shirt, pants and shoe color are customizable. Also, two hair styles.

Beyond: I’m a big fan of character customization. I definitely need an artist that can draw a better character than I can. I’d like more hairstyles. I’d like an in-game way to modify your appearance, like crafting hair dye that lets you have neon pink hair. As for clothing, your gear will determine your look, but gear will also be customizable.


Personal Spaceship

Basic: Space potato with a crafting station, cockpit, and nonfunctional chests.

Beyond: Spaceships are really important. They’re your base of operation, your home, your mode of transportation. It’s going to be important to upgrade your spaceship to make it more functional. And I want the layout, color, and functionality to be customizable. Upgrades can be crafted from materials you gather throughout the galaxy.


Inventory, Items

Basic: Basic grid for berries, pelts, and jars of jam.

Beyond: I’m planning on having a lot of different kinds of items in the game. Mostly crafting materials, but also gear, food, tools, etc. I want an inventory that feels like the collection of stuff you’re currently holding, but not be unwieldy to manage. I will need to do some testing to see what kind of inventory interface will be the best.


Crafting

Basic: Super basic, craft 10 berries into a jar of jam.

Beyond: Crafting is one of my favorite game mechanics. I like crafting recipes to have some realism. Crafting food (recipes) will be different from crafting gear (schematics). Crafting will be the main way of acquiring upgrades for yourself and your ship. You’ll be gathering materials and schematics as you explore the galaxy.


Gear, Skills, Status

Basic: Static clothing, four skills (two you can level up), and Hunger you can manage by eating berries and jam (you can’t starve to death).

Beyond: Instead of just clothing, there will be space suits and blasters with stats and functionality allowing you to explore more extreme places as well as explore more efficiently. Skills will help you access new abilities. And there will be more effects than just hunger that you need to manage. Better space suits will help with managing status effects. And I’ll need to decide what to do about death.


Map

Basic: Map, zoomable, with a few markers.

Beyond: The map is fairly functional already. A way to place your own markers would be helpful. I may extend the map to caves, and even the galaxy/stars. One definite improvement needed is to make it render much faster than it currently does.


Quests

Basic: Three placeholder quests.

Beyond: The current quests are not the kind of quests I have in mind, but they worked as placeholders. There won’t be quests for simply exploring and surviving. Quests will be about revealing a story, local or galactic. You’ll never be forced to follow quests, but if you’re interested in what’s going on in the galaxy, quests will help you explore this aspect of the game. But if you just want to gather, craft, survive, and explore, that will be fine too.


Encyclopedia

Basic: List of everything you can currently discover.

Beyond: The encyclopedia will continue to grow as I add more things to the game. And I want more than just a list of things. I’d like a more graphical design that you can drill down and learn more about the things you’ve discovered in the galaxy.


Space, Stars, Planets

Basic: Galaxy, stars, nebulae, comets, blackholes, wormholes, planets, moons, asteroid belts.

Beyond: At the galactic level, I am pretty happy with how things look, but I will always be refining. I have more ideas for comets, asteroid belts, and gas giants than simply discovering them. And planet types will change and expand as I add more content. The interface is the main thing that needs a big enhancement. Things like radial menus, transition animations, and redesigning how the information about a star/planet is displayed.


Planet Surface

Basic: A few different textures, recolored to make 27 different planet surfaces.

Beyond: I will be adding more textures and other objects to add more variety to the surface of planets and help them feel less flat. I am interested in effects like moving water, fog, weather, night & day. Different kinds of planets need to feel unique and not just recolored.


Plants, Animals, Combat, Gathering

Basic: Habitable planets have berry bushes and bunnies. Step on bushes to gather berries, step on bunnies to “kill” them and gather their pelts.

Beyond: Berry bushes and bunnies barely scratch the surface. I need many different kinds of plants and animals for the different kinds of planets. Also need to simulate plants growing, spreading, dying as well as balancing plants, herbivores, and carnivores. Gathering will possibly involve some sort of minigame. Combat is another huge part that will involve weapons, actions, and more than just stepping on bunnies.


Caves

Basic: Boring square cave on every planet.

Beyond: I have a lot planned for caves. Multiple levels, darkness, loot, treasure, digging, mining, gathering are just some of what I have planned. If the surface of a planet is fairly safe, exploring the cave system should be much more dangerous. Probably not every planet will have a cave system. And caves are where I plan on adding most of my puzzle ideas with rewards being things like schematics and materials for crafting.


tagged: design