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Shallow Space - a 3D RTS


MawhrinSkel
(@mawhrinskel)
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My name is James and over the last 3 months I've been working on something quite exciting.

 

I was disappointed when Nexus 2 got shelved and by the time Homeworld 3 comes about another decade might have flow by - so i'm a pretty good programmer and i've been at since I was 8 years old, I have an eye for detail so I thought lets open Unity and see what I can put together and I must say I've suprised even myself with the results. We are now a team of 2, myself who created the idea and completes all the programming and Enry who is a 2D artist. We also have professional auxiliary programmers and 3D artists helping out with the project.

 

Here's the blurb:

 

Take command of the Terran Confederate Navy’s Gamma fleet as you dominate sectors of space tending to both random encounters and storyline missions. Mine resources to advance your capital ships, engage your capital ships in combat to improve your officer’s skills and produce smaller ships to compliment your fleet.

 

Your fleet will be comprised of smaller sets of ships called packs. Packs are a logical grouping of ships that the player will use to respond to incidents in the currently occupied sector comprising of Capital ships, Cruisers, Frigates and Wings. Wings will form a grouping of the smallest ships such as Fighter Drones and Corvettes. The player will also be assigned special capital ships such as the Leviathan and Capital Carrier, these special ships house resource collectors, autonomous ship production facilities and special heavy weapons.

 

The player will occupy one sector at a time providing policing and escort duties, harvesting resources and responding to random encounters. The fleet will be spread across the sector requiring the player to sometimes direct action on multiple fronts. At the same time TCN command will call upon the player to progress storyline missions. Each class of ship will have several variants for different tasks, each task will require the player to assemble packs to respond appropriately and that appropriate response can take any number of forms making for very dynamic gameplay.

 

You can find lots more information on the game on the blog here http://shallow-space.com including the back-story and latest news and i'll leave you with the latest promo vid, be sure to crank up the volume and set it to 1080p - thanks for reading and happy to answer any questions.

 

 

 


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DarkOne
(@sscadmin)
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I would have liked to see a Nexus 2 game as well 🙂

 

But with time and effort can't see why Shallow Space cannot take its place.

 

Couple of questions on gameplay and design;

 

1. Like in Nexus, will you be able to click on the ship in your fleet and see which systems have been damaged?

2. Will you be implementing any crew type abilities or skill trees?

3. Will you have a 'free mode' where you can just move through space mining, refining and building a fleet and come across other fleets or bases and let AI decide whether there is going to be a battle or not?

4. Since it looks like you are using the Z-Axis, can this help with tactics in going for areas less defended.

5. What types of customizations are you looking to implement when it comes to fleet ships?

6. Is there plans to have the sector/universe provide obstacles/interference with player/AI ships both having negative and positive impacts?


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MawhrinSkel
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Thanks! I'm still holding out for a Nexus 2 if I’m honest, the game deserves a sequel and filling that space will be a tall order. Still, the more I watch the videos its clear that Nexus heavily influences me, which can only be a good thing!

 

Your questions:                          

  1. I’m not sure sub-system targeting will fit the game - there’s going to be a lot of content in there anyways and I want to make the game approachable from those new to the genre. I’ll likely adopt a ‘Wargame’ style of status effect such as ‘Shield harmonics matched’ or ‘Engine failure’ bought about randomly or by character perks.
  2. Oh yes, each of the capital ships will be piloted by an officer, these officers will be voiceacted (given sufficient funds) and will progress with the game in an RPG like fashion, earning experience with kills and completed missions. The perks will have different skill trees and will have varying affects on the ship, pack and wider fleet.
  3. Skirmish mode is definitely on the cards although the entire game will have a very sandbox feel to it, the player will be free to progress the storyline missions as they wish building up a fleet, mining resources and gathering experience with caps to prevent power-playing.
  4. Oh absolutely, the main issue with using the Z-axis (it’s actually the Y-axis in Unity which is annoying) is controlling the up and down. I toyed with the idea of having no planar reference such as the battlegrid but it plays awful and looks worse. But to answer your question it will be possible to fly underneath or above a guarding pack, I know the enemy have certainly done that to me a few times!
  5. The intention is to have several battle variants of each class of ship. At the moment there are 4 classes Corvette, Frigate, Cruiser, Capital Cruiser each class will have light, medium and heavy variants with various speed, armor and turrent mounting points. Given sufficient funding I will also implement tech I, II and III variants of each craft. The player will be able to configure turret points and ship modules in a 4X fashion. In addition to the battle variants there will also be support variants such as mine layers, repair craft and missile craft each with there own configurable abilities. My own personal wet dream.
  6. Absolutely, the universe will be as much living an breathing as the ships themselves. I really loved the random encounters in the ‘Fallout’ remakes and hope to emulated that to a degree and certain asteroids will block sensors, solar flares will limit scan ranges that sort of thing.

Please do keep the questions coming 🙂


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MawhrinSkel
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Some development images for you

 

Unity-2014-05-09-19-58-07-29.jpg


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MawhrinSkel
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sspace-2014-05-09-18-42-44-63.jpg


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Arparso
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I'm wondering about the campaign you're going for. It's obviously going to be story-based, but also a bit sandboxy with optional side quests and stuff to do outside the main storyline. Will there be a strategic map giving you a choice about which sector to approach next or will that be purely linear? Basically: will it be more like Nexus/Homeworld with lots of optional objectives or more like the Total War series or other 4x games, giving you more strategic freedom on a larger scale?


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MawhrinSkel
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Well that is the golden question, basically as with everything in this project there is Plan A and Plan B:

 

  • Plan B

    Emulate the Nexus: TJI style approach with a linear storyline and set of sectors on a static galactic map, the sectors will be procedurally generated. This is the least time consuming approach for us and will happen if we only achieve basic levels of funding. If we do adopt Plan B then Plan A will happen but it will only make it into Part 2 of the game.

     

  • Plan A

    A procedurally generated galactic map with procedurally generated sectors, the player will be free to roam around in Shallow Space (the limited area of travel around the Home system) although they must stick to the confines of their orders from TCN command. We have plans to make the galactic map integrated with the sector map so all loading will happen at the start of a game and the player can draw out the view to that of the area designated Shallow Space at any time.

 

We have big plans for this title, the storyline will be protracted with a detailed campaign full of backstory. I am even in talks with other developers about 'sharing' the backstory, with them creating another title set in the Shallow Space universe. We'll be pushing the envelope in a number of areas, I just hope the funding comes through so I can make this happen.


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enryoki
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I'm wondering about the campaign you're going for. It's obviously going to be story-based, but also a bit sandboxy with optional side quests and stuff to do outside the main storyline. Will there be a strategic map giving you a choice about which sector to approach next or will that be purely linear? Basically: will it be more like Nexus/Homeworld with lots of optional objectives or more like the Total War series or other 4x games, giving you more strategic freedom on a larger scale?

 

You're thinking absolutely right way.


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Arparso
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Just don't get too overambitious and fall victim to feature creep, okay? At one point you gotta limit the game's mechanics and polish the hell out of what you've got or it's never going to be finished, because there's always more you could add.

 

And I don't want to see that happening with Shallow Space, because I want to play the damn thing! 😉


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MawhrinSkel
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Just don't get too overambitious and fall victim to feature creep, okay? At one point you gotta limit the game's mechanics and polish the hell out of what you've got or it's never going to be finished, because there's always more you could add.

 

And I don't want to see that happening with Shallow Space, because I want to play the damn thing! 😉

 

Yeah I know, but at the same time I don't want to fart out a token effort either so it's got to be right. Very soon we'll hit Greenlight and probably Early Access as it's a hungry beast and you've seen that our verbose development style and quick pace would suit that platform - from the start a skirmish mode will be made available so the community can get their teeth into it and offer feedback, that mode will evolve as the game becomes more detailed.

Truth be told there's between 3-9 months work for the 3D artist alone, I need to get scripts together, meet with voice-actors and such so we're still some-ways off an actual game. Like I say though, there will be something to play soon enough but sadly, I won't settle for anything less than a quality effort.


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