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  • #61128
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    It has been just over a month now since I started working on this, and it has come a long way but it has a ways to go. In the beginning it was just a white triangle on a black screen with some random pixel star field. I spent many late nights debugging and many long days slowly adding features and testing as I went along. So here it is although not done; its very close to being done.

    Some Background

    Originally Sector Space was a game idea I had back in the day when I played another game by the name of Hostile Space. I played Hostile Space for many hours and really truly loved it, then one day the server went down… and it never came back up.* Ever since I played that game I have wanted to make my own. I moved on years later to a game called Star Sonata but became bored and frustrated with its community as well as my progress through the game, it stopped being fun. I later moved on to playing games like Spore, Dwarf Fortress, Path of Exile, Starbound, Terraria, EVE, Space Engineers, and Minecraft, many of which I still play to this day. But my heart desires retro space games and so I have tried 3 times in a row now to make what I desire to play. This version of Sector Space is my final and hopefully successful attempt to do just that, and it adopts ideas from and references all the games I have mentioned above.

    *(I am aware there is a reboot version of Hostile Space now hosted by different people trying to revise and revive the original game.)

    537426_orig.jpg

    The above image shows the current progress as of this morning. I am implementing Jump Drives, and Devices at this time and fleshing out the menu system. I have yet to add Crafting, Building, or AI generated Space Stations, Trade, or Factions. The game isn’t playable (as a game) in this state however it does run. World generation is done, the database system, loading, saving, combat system, item mods, graphical effects, sound, weapons and gear, mining, Ship AI, inventory, the chat system, exploration, etc. are 90% finished. I just lack a lot of user interface stuff to interact with the game at this time.

    About The Game

    My aim was to make a game which didn’t require a gaming computer to play but still looked visually pleasing, that could be played on a low (small) or high (large) resolution monitor, and had a retro look to it. I wanted a game I could play and not know everything about even if I designed it myself, so I deployed the only tool I knew which can do that: procedural generation.

    If you have played Terraria, Starbound, Spore, or Minecraft then you will know what that is about. Of those games I adopted the world approach of Terraria. That is to say you can have multiple “worlds”, and “characters” can jump between them. So if you run out of resources or don’t like your world but still have cool stuff on your character-then you are not stuck with the world you were given. The worlds are seeded and pseudo-randomly generated, they are not technically infinite but you can travel virtually forever out into space past the limits of the galaxy you are in (careful the Reapers live out there… in the void). In these worlds are all the space things you expect, stars, planets, nebula, wormholes, friendly and enemy ships, alien creatures, asteroids, and black holes even. Regions of space define what spawns there, what lives there, and the chances of things happening. Just like the games I mentioned, you will be-able to explore, fight, colonize, gather resources, craft, and build.

    2229165_orig.jpg

    Most maps typically look like the one above. On average you are given about 9800+ sectors to explore, of which you can expect 3000 or so different star systems. If you go into the blue area (void) you wont find much. Void on the map does have stuff in it but void off the map wont, when you reach the edge of the map you can travel endlessly into void. I am still going to utilize void to spawn things however you cannot build in void outside the map as I do not run save/load methods off the map. It will generally get more dangerous (higher level) as you move away from origin (0,0) center of the map in “protected space”. Purple and green squares here represent things like the equivalent of space dungeons. Blue-ish white is completely safe space, yellow is neutral, orange and red are more dangerous hostile space. Other features you see are asteroid fields, nebula, and star systems populating the regions.

    5189238.jpg?798

    Here you can see what it might look like to have a end-game ship filled with equipment, sorry the icons don’t look that interesting I haven’t had time to make unique item icons for gear and commodities yet. The ships are stand-in’s, although they will have a similar simplistic look to them, just like in HS you will be-able to paint parts of the ship to customize their look a bit.

    The Core Idea

    Exploration and combat: a randomly generated world each time, map it out, find the location of wormholes, boss spawns, mobs spawns, factions, ideal planets for colonization, or other resources.

    Resource collection: resources will exist in the form of loot from enemy ships, alien creatures, planets, colonies, trading, or asteroid mining.

    Building and crafting: use resources to build yourself a better ship, modify existing items, build new items, or construct colonies on planets or space stations in… well space!

    Some Game Mechanics

    Ship systems: the squares with icons represent “slots” and the colors represent the kind of equipment you can install in them. Yellow is armor (bottom half circle), green is shields (top half circle), blue energy (bottom), purple cloaks (left), orange (single – centered square) is your engine / drive slot, and teal are devices (right). I haven’t implemented devices or drives yet so that is why they are missing. You can have multiple energy generation devices (reactors) or multiple shields, or multiple weapons, etc. The number of slots of each type are determined by the type of ship you have and your skills. The stats of the devices will stack together acting as one distributed system, like 3 reactors providing a total energy bank and recharge rate as the sum of the individual reactors. Each piece of equipment can be modded providing minor tweaks to all attributes in any combination.

    On the offensive: the game has nine weapon types, and two damage types. Electromagnetic damage, and Physical damage. Each type of weapon has a ratio of the two damage types, for example a Laser type weapon usually does 80% EM Damage and 20% Physical Damage, while a Rail Gun does 75% Physical Damage and 25% EM Damage. This is important to ship defense mechanics when taking damage or dealing it out.

    On the defensive: you have two layers of defense before a weapon hits your Hull hurting you. Armor and Shields. Shields soak up EM Damage and reduces Physical Damage by a %, while Armor soaks up Physical Damage and reduces EM Damage by a %, when one or the other breaks you rely on the others soak or % reduction to keep damage to your hull at a minimum. If you hull integrity bar goes to 0 you die (the end). When you die you a returned to the last spawn point you set. Attributes like repair rate of your hull, armor, and regeneration of shields must be considered and balanced with your energy generation ability. Weapons use energy, some weapons take ammunition which reduces their energy cost but makes you dependent on carrying a supply. Other weapons use pure energy and will thus use more energy to deal the same damage.

    Well that is all I am willing to write about. I don’t want to hype it up too much, it will be a simple game at its core. The goal is to make something that is fun to play. It will be single player until I finish the core mechanics and fix up the look and feel of it. Then I might slowly introduce multiplayer functionality beginning with online chat, shared instance arena like sectors then if it works out fine I will move onto a server program which can be used by players to host their own worlds entirely.

    A few things I want to implement eventually:

    Landing on Planets ( using a specialized sector with wrap around coordinates – like a mobious strip, to emulate sphere like world surfaces. )

    Damaged Items ( Allowing things to be damaged and later repaired, right now everything has infinite durability and longevity. )

    Galaxy “World Map” Bridging ( Allowing the edge of the map to connect to another worlds edge similar to neighboring cities in Sim City. )

    MMO Support ( One day but not any time soon, its tricky to get an efficient robust online system for supporting anything more than a few dozen players, plus security issues and hosting costs. )

    I can’t give a release date at this time.

     




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    #107721
    AvatarBouitaz
    Participant

    Looks like something to keep an eye on in the future!

    One question though.. How are you planning to structure the camera and controls?
    Will the camera follow/center on the ship or will you be able to pan it freely sideways and maybe zoom in out?
    Or maybe both?
    Do you steer with the mouse or arrow keys? Are there many keys to keep track of?
    How will the ship handle? Inertia or inertia-less?

    I must confess that my preference lies in the EV Nova direction.

    Thanks for making your vision of a game. One can never have too many games. ,)

    #107722
    AvatarBouitaz
    Participant

    Apologies for the formatting of the previous reply. It seems that it wont accept breaks. And I can’t edit it either as it returns an error. Weird.

    #107723
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    Looks like something to keep an eye on in the future! One question though.. How are you planning to structure the camera and controls? Will the camera follow/center on the ship or will you be able to pan it freely sideways and maybe zoom in out? Or maybe both? Do you steer with the mouse or arrow keys? Are there many keys to keep track of? How will the ship handle? Inertia or inertia-less? I must confess that my preference lies in the EV Nova direction. Thanks for making your vision of a game. One can never have too many games. ,)

    The current system is a camera fixed over your ship so that it is centered on your screen, the A and D key rotate your ship, and W moves you forward, letting go stops you immediately, same goes for using arrow keys, you can right click anywhere in space and your ship can autopilot to that spot, holding the right mouse click down will continuously steer your ship in a direction and move forward similar to Hostile Space. Weapons are fired by holding down space bar and have full tracking (the fire key will be replaced with a semi-auto toggle later). The player doesn’t have to focus on maneuvering so much as leveling up skills, replacing or enhancing their ships equipment, or getting better ships, and exploring new places for exotic upgrades or using their skills at the right time during a battle.

    The way it is programmed a moving camera is possible as well as zoom and inertia but those are not implemented intentionally. The style of the game is such that it omits things like inertia and acceleration, its more a dungeon crawler in space that just happens to involve some real time strategy.

     

    #107724
    AvatarBouitaz
    Participant

    Ah, ok. Always good to know such things as it’s often omitted when reading up about games. Thank you for the quick reply.

    #107725
    sscadminsscadmin
    Keymaster

    Great ideas and looks like you are off to a good start on the core mechanics of the game. You mentioned creating colonies, what are your plans for colonies? Will they sustain themselves, will you have to manage them, can they revolt and start to work against you, etc…

    In glancing at the screenshots the interface your designing could possibly port over to mobile and since you said you wanted to be able to run it on low budget machines is that an option your thinking about? Just because there really isn’t a how lot of decent space games on mobile devices 🙂

    #107726
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    Great ideas and looks like you are off to a good start on the core mechanics of the game. You mentioned creating colonies, what are your plans for colonies? Will they sustain themselves, will you have to manage them, can they revolt and start to work against you, etc…

    In glancing at the screenshots the interface your designing could possibly port over to mobile and since you said you wanted to be able to run it on low budget machines is that an option your thinking about? Just because there really isn’t a how lot of decent space games on mobile devices 🙂

    I haven’t gotten to work on them yet so it’s most likely ill steal peoples ideas as they say them *writes down revolting feature*.

    I suspect it would port to Android because its java and isn’t using any advanced functionality in OpenGL but I have no idea about other devices, needs some heavy optimization for Android. The minimum resolution I work with is 1024 by 600 although the game would fit into much smaller screens some windows would have to be merged.

    #107727
    sscadminsscadmin
    Keymaster

    Do you have a website or blog for sector space? Trying to update my game listing and couldn’t find anything when searching google.

    #107728
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    Do you have a website or blog for sector space? Trying to update my game listing and couldn’t find anything when searching google.

    I set this up temporarily a few months back.

    http://sectorspace.weebly.com/

    #107729
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    Just an update still working on this, only get a few hours a weekend to code. Been fixing bugs finally got spawn and drop tables working. Mostly been making items, ships, gear etc. Writing in descriptions, coming up with names, and balancing item stats. The gfx are simple but still take time. The major slow downs have been learning better coding practices, many times I’ve had to rewrite large sections of code when I needed to implement a new features. Will try to start uploading betas to the site soon depending how stable it is after I update the world gen code to spawn the mobs.

    #111137
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    Started working on this again after what 2 years?

    While the game is now “playable” in that you can level up and there are plenty of AI are now spawning (including bosses) it is still much a demo. I will continue to add to it so expect some new content soon. In the meantime you can play normally however if you just want to play around you can put the game into developer mode and spawn some money. Just a warning the next update will be incompatible with current save games!

    To cheat simply launch the game, make a character and a world then exit out of the game after you spawn in that world. Go to the location the Jar file is stored and locate a settings file “settings.ini” at the top set “developer mode=0” to “developer mode=1” save and close and then reload the game. Now you can teleport using the arrow keys, spawn credits with the “O” key and randomly change your profession or level with the “L” key. You can buy any item in the game by traveling to Sector[48,48] and docking at the developer station.

    Depending on what random profession you are you can have 2-6 fleet ships, simply purchase a ship and drag it into the slot in the Fleet Management window. You will need to open their equipment window and install gear into them to make them useful.

    Have fun!

    Preview Dev Station

    The next content planned is to introduce extractors for planet resource collection. This should supplement the mining content or at-least provide an additional source of income in the game.

    Still for download at: http://sectorspace.weebly.com/

    Version 0.2.6.0 – 10 March 2018

    Weapons now have a base 10% chance to hit a 50% damage critical hit!
    Asteroids now have a harness attribute which increases their hit points, more challenging mining in higher levels.
    Mining weapons only inflict base damage (exclude bonus weapon damage) to asteroids hit points.
    Adjusted damage and energy values for all weapons, generally more energy is needed to fire weapons.
    Windows are now instances rather than static allowing for multiple copies linked to different ships open at the same time.
    You can now drag and drop items and gear from one ship owned inventory to another.
    You can no longer dock at a space station if it is angry at you!
    Revamped AI code base, AI behavior similar to before however now AI can fight each other and follow proper detection and Faction rules.
    Trade window revamped, now buy and sell are combined into one tab so you can see what is for sale and what can be sold at a glance.
    Trade window dimensions increased.
    Cloaking now functions correctly.
    Added cloaking effect to ships and for players a particle ring to indicate detection range.
    Moved skill training into skill training tab of station.
    Fixed ID bug, tracker wasn’t handing out unique ID’s to all SpaceShip instances.
    Players can now have AI allies follow them around and fight, their gear layouts may be customized.
    Target overlay now includes a health % above to help you gauge the total wellness of your target and friends (combines shield, armor, and hull together).
    Added 6 more ships, 3 are industrial barges for purchase which should help people who are trying to mine rather than combat. Barges are only at industrial stations, cargo ships are at industrial stations and capital stations.
    Added install all or uninstall all buttons to corners of equipment layout screen.
    More content added to world generation, random cargo containers and low level AI are more numerous now.
    Limited item drops to 1 of each kind during loot generation but raised looting chance to compensate!
    Added debris and spark effects for AI death.
    Drone graphics added for future drone content.
    Minor bug fixes.

    #111148
    sscadminsscadmin
    Keymaster

    Hey Spiritofthepoor

    Glad you didn’t give up on the game 🙂 I am time limited myself so i know how that feels and definitely puts a strain on what I would like to do. You state the game is in a ‘demo’ state, when do you think you will have a ‘alpha’ for Sector Space?

    #111151
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    I am planning for the end of this year (2018) to develop it to a state where I can remove debugging code and unlocked developer controls from the game. At that point I will reset the versioning to 1.0 and consider it a proper alpha release.

    Working on learning how to use chip tune trackers, the game is missing music. Originally planned to have a very 8bit like music in the style of Stellardrone. Art changes are on-going but I am starting to settle on a style that’s a bit industrial a with highly greebled metalic ship designs. Expect the next few updates to be core mechanics. On the website I usually post at the top of the download page “In development” versions and start listing features that are being worked on for the next release.

    If it is allowed I would like to make a new thread after the major alpha release on this site? I am unsure of the correct section to post that in however.

    #111157
    spiritofthepoorspiritofthepoor
    Participant

    I do not know how to edit the first post to update content or information presented about the game so I just started a new thread with the up-front information on what the game is and where to download.

    Thought scrolling down to the middle of the thread to find the link could be annoying.

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