Keywords: design, motivation
I recovered the source code to this game so I can continue work on it.


I got a great little space game framework here. I got a universe that generates solar systems. The solar systems generate planet. The planets that generate terrain. I got dynamically spawning ships with interiors that player characters can wander around in.

Yet, often when I work on a game, I get a sense that there's a certain something missing that's hard to put my finger on. The game might be capable of doing some pretty cool stuff, but there's something indispensable missing that I simply do not want to release the game unless it's done.

I think I might have figured out what was missing: I want the game to be fun. However, "fun" doesn't come with a complete application design. You can have a technically faultless computer game that is about as fun as doing your taxes.

What's lacking from this project is a real cohesive idea of the kind of experience I'm looking to present the player. I've got the place it takes place in, but I can't decide if this is a single cahracter RPG, a squad-based tactical combat game, a world building game, a 4X space game, or a mixture thereof. Until I figure that out, it's really no wonder I can't bring this game to completion.

That said, I don't think it's the designer or coder's hat I particularly need to worry about. I think the hat I need to think about wearing is that of the writer. Deciding on an central enjoyable experience is key.
The planet looks terrific.

Thanks. I can't take all the credit, as my method was to hit up some royalty-free art repositories for some planets, open them up in Photoshop, and rather painstakingly remove the backdrop, and shrink them down to the appropriate resolution. Because it's being displayed against a black background, I didn't need to be pixel-perfect on my removal of the background.

If you look at the upper right corner where it says "Geldonyetich's" that orangish ship icon is generated from the ship's floor plan upon its creation. I had a plan to allow players to customize their own ships.

At this point, I'm probably going to take a lot of that back to the drawing board. I'll keep the universe generation method, but the players' role within the universe needs to be tweaked. Part of that is because I don't think BYOND can comfortably accommodate several player ships. However, perhaps one player ship they all crew? It's not the first time I mentioned that idea.