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Black Warp: Star Runners

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charlatan
(@charlatan)
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Greetings from the black!

(starting up an official thread here. My original thread for reference: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1159)

I've been working on an indie space project (tentatively entitled "Black Warp: Star Runners"). First key point: it's entirely free. I have a full-time game dev job during the day. This is my hobby project, so I'll be giving out for everyone to (hopefully) enjoy. This game is born out of my fantasy to have my own space ship and be a bit of a space pirate/vigilante/trader/merchant/warrior/rogue.

The general premise is not too far off from games like Elite, but I want a strong focus on your journey and diverse mission types. Not just "get commodity A, trade for commodity B, return".

Before we jump straight into media, here are some key elements to the game itself:

-Set in a world where humans left earth to colonize the galaxy. No life found, so we're alone. It's a gritty, unglamorous universe. Key stylistic reference would be Firefly/Serenity, but a bit less Western.

-Fully functional and explorable ship. You can play like any old space sim, pressing keys on your keyboard, or you can grab the mouse and "press" buttons on consoles. You can get up from the flight seat and walk around, explore the entirety of the ship. Sometimes this is necessary (manually overriding some task in the engine room).

-Gamplay is strong trade/mine/mission focused. Especially important to me is dialogue and a sense of story development.

-Combat is not a major focus. There will be light combat elements, but you are in a freighter, not a military ship. In this world, the dangers of fighting are real, and your life is on the line if you engage in hostile actions.

First up, here are some random assortments of art I've done. Mostly experiments to get the juices flowing. In the end, most of this stuff will be scrapped for better looking art, but it helps me get excited about working.

wall01b.jpg
wall01c.jpg
panelsnjunk.jpg
asteroids01.jpg

Ok, next up, some videos! All these are really old (made these about a year ago??). Posting here because they are kind of cool. Unfortunately YouToobz screwed up the aspect ratio, so they are kind of squished. Will update the vids if I figure out how to fix that.

[youtube]
Only real cool thing here is if you notice the ETA on the hud under the planet is 30mins. Kinda far away πŸ™‚

[youtube]
This features a quick test of slamming a ship headfirst into an asteroid field.

[youtube]
Featuring some on-foot walking about the ship. Ship art is obviously lol-worthy. time 0:40 will blow your mind πŸ™‚

Keep in mind everythign here is very early and subject to change 100% especially art! It sucks, and will be better later, i promise πŸ˜€


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Pinback
(@pinback)
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I like the physics based asteroids πŸ˜€ and Ive a suggestion for you to think about, instead of the normal shoot asteroid, tractor beam goodies into ship.

Do something similar to the idea that Tomorrow war used

In which the player had to scan the asteroids in order to find ore rich ones then land on the asteroid to deploy the mining machine.

This shot shows the scanning

SCANNER.jpg

You donΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ’β€žΒ’t have to land the ship on the asteroid the mining machine might be more like a probe which is fired at the target asteroid or even some sort of R.O.V robot which the player controls.

Thinking about it there could be a progression of better equipment for the player to purchase.

Starting with just shooting small asteroids then moving up to missiles to crack bigger ones then a mining machine for the really big ones.

No ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ…β€œLOADINGΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ‚Β screen when you get up from the pilot chairs and walk about the ship. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ 😎 😎 πŸ˜€

As I said before remember Sundog and it shunts.

Always been a fan of the battered used look for space craft ect and the texturing on the panel hits all the right marks for me πŸ˜€


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DarkOne
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Looks like you have been busy charlatan.

I especially liked videos 2 and 3. The interaction with the asteroids is great and that suggestion that Pinback made on scanning them is a nice idea instead of having to scan them all individually. The 3rd video was great in the fact that you can leave the bridge/cockpit and move about your ship (think that is what the art was about in the screenshots the interior of the ship?). All looks great imo and just seeing it running even in its rough state is great. Hope to see more of your project as the year progresses.

Oh and if you need a forum area for Black Warp just let me know.


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charlatan
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PINBACK: Everything in the world is physics based. At least in the sense they are rigid bodies with a certain mass and physical properties - but not realism in the sense of scale or true mass. I just do what "feels" right, you know? Great idea with the asteroids collection. I like that a lot! I had planned on basically using a mining laser to break down asteroids into smaller chunks, then using some mechanism to retrieve the smaller bits of ore. What you see in the video is a slightly upgraded mining laser that features auto tracking of targets. You can optionally switch to a laser-mounted camera and manually fire on targets. This is actually how combat attachments will work as well. Since your ship is a freighter and not a fighter, you swap out tool slots for weapons and use them the same way. Interesting point about that is if you're a civillian freighter with military grade weapons, you might get harassed by government forces. (A bit like carrying a giant machinegun in the back of your pickup truck :P)

de5me7: Very true! Smuggling and stealth are things I very much enjoy in games, and the thought of space smuggling gets my inner Han Solo all giddy.

DarkOne wrote:
The 3rd video was great in the fact that you can leave the bridge/cockpit and move about your ship (think that is what the art was about in the screenshots the interior of the ship?).

Exactly! For me, this game is less of a "space sim" and more of a "space ship sim". To simplify what drives my motivation for this project, think of this:

Some people play space games because they fantasize of the mystery and adventure of exploring the infinite vastness of space. I just want to have my own space ship.


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Pinback
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As the asteroids will have some physics to them any chance of seeing a cascade effects from destroying an asteroid ( at lest in certain radius )


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CaptainKal
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Shades of "Sun Dog" in this game?


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SolCommand
(@solcommand)
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The game looks good so far. Good luck with the development.


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SpaceRider
(@spacerider)
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Hi Charlatan,

I also want to encourage you to continue development. This seems to be exactly the type of game I like and I look forward to check out a first playable version. Good work so far!

Regards

SpaceRider


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Valar
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I'm in, the walk around bit and the real physics sold it! Please continue development πŸ™‚


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BrianRubin
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This game looks sexy as hell. If you need donations or anything to further development (like Minecraft and such) don't hesitate to ask.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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Which ESC for Firefly universe. The key issue is that tax evasion rather than grind art. What strategies will be provided to the player to escape, disguise, out of manovour, or the navigation wheel to oppose it?


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TimeSim
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Hi Charlatan, this is great, its just what im looking in a sci fi game or space sim. I hope its not a joke, becouse ur nik "Charlatan" lol. Hope you done it, im looking for a sim like this from a years. I think if i am out of space my home is my ship. Dont leave it, maybe you can get into business entertaing. Put some other races can make more people interested i think. If u can walk around the ship it will great if u make a deck, like after u fly into asteroid belt to be able to mining you have to leave the command bridge, that is make only for navigation and fight, and go to research or mining room where the equipment about is. Just for talking, hope u get done it, i like so mutch. (sorry for the bad english, but it is not my native language)


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ollobrain
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been a while sicne he posted here hope his still going


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TimeSim
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Oh! Bytheway, im new here, but the Charlatan project is so interesting that i forgot to tell im new lol. I saw another post here about Black Warp, were charlatan said something about portals. I hate portals lol, every scifi is full of portals, portals everywere. The scifi sim of my dream have to be free from portals, just in exeptional case. Like, if you have to travel from 1 colony to another for sell the resouorce, the portal can make the trip short. But in deep space no portal, my ship have the warp device and cruice speed navgation. So no sectors, only universe. In open universe i have to scan it for anomalies in a specific range, after set the autopilot for an specific route and let it doing his job i change my sit whit the scanner desk, here i can set the radius and distance for scanning enemyes and anomaly like, any cargo lost from another ship or asteroids for mining. All this while my ship is still going on a route. Alarm if any ship get close to mine, no matter if enemy or not, i have to reconise it. If my ship take any damage need to dress the suit and go out and repair it from outside, x3 have this i know, but not the other things i said lol. And last for now, becouse my list is long, i like big ships, the huge ones.

Of corse, all this things in a good or accettable graphics to not get bored, becouse something like that there is, but is the same engine which was used to make pacman lol. Just telling what i wish from a sci fi sim as a presentation of what i think space sim have to be.


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voxel
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Anyone have a way to bother Charlatan about this and see if he's still working on this? Because showing me this and then telling me I can't have it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment


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charlatan
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Hey folks! Sorry I haven't been around. Work has been very very busy and as such, not a lot was done on the project. I have been spending time working on other smaller projects, but now that I have a little free time, I'm going to be jumping back in soon! I think you guys would like my other project as well, so I'll bring news for that when it comes time.

There are a lot of things I want to rework, so having all this time off is a good thing.

I haven't checked the forums in eons, I'm quite surprised so many people here are interested in my little game. Keep the feedback coming - its fun to read (even if half your ideas will never make it into the game before I die of old age πŸ˜› )


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Pinback
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Nice too hear you still working on the game Charlatan. πŸ˜€


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DarkOne
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I can't want to see your ship interiors with the textures you were making in earlier shots. The life of a one person development team πŸ™‚


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charlatan
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Just so you guys dont feel entirely ripped off, here's a snippet of some music I started making for the game. I'll probably get a real musician before I finish, but hey.. it's fun!

http://soundcloud.com/jm0/black-warp-title-screen

and a stupid ambient thing

http://soundcloud.com/jm0/space-thing


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DarkOne
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I think these sound great, did you make them yourself Charlatan?


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charlatan
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Thanks! And yes, sir I did. Jack of many trades, master of none!


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yasql
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merry christmas to you all, oouh and im starting to love that simulator πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›


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charlatan
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Hey guys. I'm back on this again. Right now I'm working on some core "systems" setup. That is, the ability to wire together various components to build complex systems. The goal here being that everything on the ship has a logical function instead of just scifi space magic.

An easy example of this: In most games, to have an automatic opening door you would place an invisible "trigger" box near the doorway, with some type of game script that says "move door 25 units to the left when a player enters this box.

In my game, things are set up in a more logical manner. You have a power source that connects to a motion sensor, the motion sensor connects to a set of actuators that move the door. Essentially there is no arbitrary game script that comes up with the logic. You have small components sending flow of data to each other, and you build complexity from that.

It's not a real simulation by any means, but it's a model of a skewed reality, which helps increase the tangible nature of the ship.

Here's a simple screenshot of the basic "component" system functioning in the engine.

systems.jpg

Frame1: A simple power source (battery) is wired to a switch, which is wired to a light. The switch is on, so the light lights up.

Frame 2: Now, there is a laser sensor in the circuit. The light will only light up if laser is tripped.

Frame3: An object blocks the flow of the laser, causing the light to trigger.

Ok, now here's where you guys come in. I want to have fairly complex functional systems in the game. These here are micro systems, I need help with the macro systems like Life Support, Energy, etc. What are some cool ideas for how the major systems should function?


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Pinback
(@pinback)
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Welcome back Charlaten

Will this allow the player to fiddle with ship system in the game like you can in Sundog. ❓


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charlatan
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Yes sir! That is exactly the point. I want to capture the feeling of being in your own physical ship. Part of that means when something breaks, there's no repair man to call. You have to figure out how to fix it yourself. Since this game is not based around combat, maintenance, repair, and upkeep will play a large part in the overall gameplay.


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