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Void of Darkness

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Braindead
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Tropical Games announces Void of Darkness, a space combat/trading/exploration game coming to Windows, OS X, and Linux in September of this year.

 

copy/paste from their website:

 


 

In Void of Darkness, the player takes control of a Starship as part of a new Terran exploration fleet. You control the ship and all of its systems directly with WASD + mouse controls, but are greatly aided by your crew whom you will recruit at the beginning of the game. You start out with a basic ship and technology. Your goal will then be to explore the sector, interact with the alien nations present, upgrade your ship, all while moving through elements of the non-linear plot to the game. 

 

 

 

Below are summaries of each of the main features of the game, although they are not an exhaustive list of all the features.

 

Tactical Combat & Graphics

bYYO6q0.jpg

Engaging Combat

 

Manage your Starship's Systems

Allocate Power between weapons, shields, sensors and engines

Direct your crew's focus to prioritize repairs on specific systems

Obtain various classes of Starship from Corvettes to Dreadnoughts

Obtain Powerful Weapons, from highly efficient point defense, to powerful area of effect weapons and cloaking devices

Devise strategies to deal with unorthodox enemies

Engage in Fleet Combat

Beautiful particle FX for all effects in the game, shields, lasers, torpedoes and explosions

Upgrade your ship and become powerful enough to take on multiple foes at one time

 

 

Exploration & Trade

Y5wed4W.jpg

Explore

 

A huge universe to explore

More than 10 alien races to make contact and directly interact with

Dangerous anomalies: Wormholes and Fluxes which lead to unknown and dangerous places

Discover artifacts and powerful technology hidden throughout the universe

Hybrid Rogue-Like: You can only save once docked at a station. Journey's are long, real and dangerous especially if you are carrying precious cargo, or have become attached to your crew

Trade

Find profitable Trade routes between the alien nations

Haggle/Barter with merchants for the highest possible price for  goods you wish to sell or whittle them down to the lowest price for goods you wish to purchase

Salvage derelict ships or hulks from combat

Tow disabled ships to space stations for a fee

The universe is ever evolving and relations are changing. Alien nations can have disputes or all out war. This will result in fleet combat and they will attack their enemies assets such as space stations. Choose to aid one side or the other, or just watch from the sidelines.

 

Pirates and other particularly hostile aliens roam the stars and will engage you and hold your ship and crew for ransom. Pay the ransom or fight your way out if you can.

 

Found yourself in a situation you cannot handle Send and receive distress calls to and from alien allies.

 

 

 

Simulation

Ty4BQWh.jpg

Simulation

 

Manage your crew, they eat, they sleep and consume supplies. They provide various bonuses to your ship and they can die!

Damage Control: Sustain hull breaches and watch your oxygen deplete and your crew eventually suffocate.

Manage Auxiliary Craft such as shuttles and mining drones

Interact with your crew. Your crew AI is intelligent they will interact with you, keep you up to date on events in the universe, repair your ship, warn of danger, highlight areas of interest and update you on the status of your ship, such as fuel and other supplies.

 

 

 

Dynamic Event System

UzlpAJN.jpg

 

The universe is ever evolving and relations are changing. Alien nations can have disputes or all out war. This will result in fleet combat and they will attack their enemies assets such as space stations. Choose to aid one side or the other, or just watch from the sidelines.

Pirates and other particularly hostile aliens roam the stars and will engage you and hold your ship and crew for ransom. Pay the ransom or fight your way out if you can.

Found yourself in a situation you cannot handle? Send and receive distress calls to and from alien allies.

 

 

 

 

 


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Pinback
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See the game is inspired by Starflight 😎 Some interesting feature in the list although managing the crew air food and sleep may become boring after a while.

Do like the idea of the pirates taking the crew hostage.

 

vid from the site

 


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DarkOne
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Don't you think it would be a nice game experience to have the crew work with no sleep 🙂

The game is looking pretty good for the early stages, all the ships in the videos seemed to be able to take a good beating before they are destroyed. I would hope that in traveling there is no wormholes and you can eventually buy some warp drive to get to places faster.


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Cruisin1500
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Hello there, I am developing VOD and I thank you for the mention on your site and other kind words 🙂

 

Currently in the game there is a warp function. There is also be a jump drive which the player can acquire. There are no stargates or other structures which you must use to travel. You can fly at normal speed or warp speed from one end of the VOD universe to the other.

 

However, there are wormholes, which the game refers to as anomalies. If you are familiar with starflight, they had a concept called a flux. Well anomalies are similar, except there are two types at the moment. One which will lead to a fixed entry/exit and never changed, you have to travel through them to discover where it is you end up. Then there are fluxes, these have different outcomes when you enter them, you could blow your ship up, you could come out at a fixed point elsewhere, or you could be thrown anywhere in the sector. Also just because you came out of one side on the flux, if you go back in expecting it will lead back to where you entered, it is again not guaranteed. So your crew will always warn you to stay away from them! 🙂

 

That being said, I would love this community's discussion on the game in general and in particular on something I am working on at the moment. I have one rule I am trying to live by while developing VOD and that is not to stress too much on small details. For example, do not spend two weaks trying to create the best particle effect. If you do that for every small detail, you end up with vapor ware. However, movement, warp etc, although a seemingly small detail is too fundamental to not stress on.

 

Here is my issue: I am not sure what other games allowed combat while at 'warp' or very fast speeds, but I have implemented it in VOD and you can fight at warp speeds. Though maneuverability is limited. However it can be very tricky to get right, I won't bore you with excessive technical details, but the AI works off of routines and decision making processes specific to fighting at what we would refer to as sub-light speeds, then I've added different logic for fighting while at warp speed. It can be fun, but any conflicts in the logic and it will go awry.

 

This is the first thing I've really obsessed over while developing VOD, as the wrong decision could make the whole system of movement not very fun...Do you guys think, I should spend some more time on it and try to work out the kinks a bit longer, or just go with not being able to fight at warp speeds, and once any fighting takes space, you drop to sub-light?

 

Thanks again!

 

I am here also to answer any other queries, questions or ambiguities as well about what you have read or seen on the website!


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Pinback
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Might be something to have as an option so you can turn it off if you don't like the idea of battles at warp speed.

 

I see you mentioned the old Starflight games but one thing I don't see in VOD is any planet action will there be any interaction the the planets in the game.

 

The game look like it might be a little menu heavy, did you give any thought to an icon system?


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Cruisin1500
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Hi PIN, I have re-written the AI logic actually. The battles at warp at actually quite fun now, but that is subject to a majority opinion. Also worked out a lot of quirks with it and how the AI goes about combat which helped a lot. I have to say I agree with Josh(limit theory) on this that working on low level stuff isn't very fun! Took about three days.

 

Anyway, as for the planet, this is something I definitely want in VOD, it is also something a lot of people ask about. However, at this point developing a land based portion at the same time would simply be too time consuming and split focus from the space part. I have therefore as an aside committed myself to developing that aspect of it, once VOD ships. This will be developed in an expansion OR might just be released free for people who own the game already, but not for persons who didn't originally purchase VOD.

 

Interacting with planets will be limited to going to them and remotely trading/haggling similar to starflight. The haggling system is already in, but since there is no planetary landing as discussed, the communication will take place from your ship in orbit and anything you buy or sell will be transfered to/from the planet with a shuttle. This doesn't replace planetary exploration by any means of course 🙂

 

As for the GUI yeah its menu heavy, icons need good art, which need a good artist, which need good money 🙂

 

I recently announced across my portals that I will be launching a campaign on the 26th June on IndieGoGo to source the minimum required to do the complete art for the game. So for now the interface will have to have text, labels and text buttons instead of image buttons and icons. Programmers interface unfortunately. I have no artistic eye at all...none. Even color schemes and concepts I'll have to have an artist help me with.

 

Thanks for your interest 🙂


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Cruisin1500
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latest video is here: http://www.indiedb.com/games/void-of-darkness/videos/station-assault

 

early look at some starbase assault action.

 

Description with it:

 

Hi everyone, I've been working on missions/assignments, exploration and space station assaults these past few days. I recorded an assault on a U'Guul star base, where I assisted several Eurian corvettes. The station in the video is armed with four turrets which rotate to point at their target. Of course all the images are place holders(like the turrets!) and the final look of space station assaults will change, this is a rough first pass. So as you can tell from the video, you'll be able to 'defang' a station by destroying its turrets. Of course you never have to partake in an assault if you don't wish too, but the option to aid your allies is certainly there.

 

However if you choose to engage in a station assault, a powerful ship with very advanced technology is the only thing that will see you through a defending vanguard of enemy ships and star base defenses in the final game. So the decision to participate in a station assault shouldn't be made lightly! There were no defending warships in this demonstration and I had a pretty over powered point defense.

 

In the final game, stations can be destroyed, and they will rebuild over time. They also have fighter compliments which they will launch to aid in their defense. I disabled that ability for this brief demonstration. This means that if you wish to hunt pirates and destroy their hideouts, or try to destroy them, you can! Pirates have bases throughout the universe in VOD.

 

 


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Pinback
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Will the stations have a safe zone around them? as in they will send fighter to defend the player if you are attacked or attack the player if you shooting at another ship within the zone.


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Cruisin1500
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Hey PINBACK, that is a good idea, something I hadn't given specific thought to.

 

Currently the system as it is is based on reputations. How each alien race views you. So based on your actions you can make friends or allies of them. So if you are orbiting a station and another alien race whom you have bad relations with is there and the two of you engage each other, if the station is neutral it will at present stay out of the fighting.

 

But I could make it so that if there is any aggression near a station, it will target the aggressors. Thanks for the feedback.


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Cruisin1500
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Hey guys, just wanted to tell you, since I am trying to build awareness instead of springing campaigns on people, I will be launching a crowd fund on indiegogo on 26th (this month June) to acquire the funds necessary to complete the art/sound content and ship the game.

 

Will post the reward tiers here before the actual campaign date as well! 🙂

 

Thanks.


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Cruisin1500
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Posted a new vid here.... http://www.indiedb.com/games/void-of-darkness/videos/vod-teaser


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Cruisin1500
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Hey guys, I've uploaded a short new trailer.

 

It summarizes a bit of the back story for the game, the complete story can be found at www.voidofdarkness.com

Watch here:

or here:

http://www.indiedb.com/games/void-of-darkness/videos/void-of-darkness-teaser

 


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Cruisin1500
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Hi there everyone, as told our campaign has gone live at Indiegogo

 

http://igg.me/at/VoD/x/3267940

 

If you can support us, I'd be eternally grateful! See you soon.

 

-Justin


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Pinback
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Best of luck Justin with the campaign

 

Bit of a shame you put the physical version of the game at $250.


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Cruisin1500
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A large error in Judgement on my part. I've changed it to 55. I couldn't change the 50 one, since people have those. Going to mail them and get them to sign up for the better one.

 

55 now comes with a box copy which contains the manual + the fold out starmap + digital copies still. Is this ok?


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Pinback
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Excellent news Justin.


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Cruisin1500
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Hey pin, is it possible to embed this in the side bar, in place of one of the campaigns that have finished? <iframe src=" http://www.indiegogo.com/project/408926/widget/3267940 " width="224px" height="486px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

 

 

Thanks.


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Pinback
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D1 will as I don't have access to the homepage.


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DarkOne
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Hi Justin

 

Got your indiegogo campaign posted to the mainpage, and hope you attain what you need to complete the art/sound assets, not doing bad so far with 8% into it and 32 days left. And like with all developers, if you ever want a forum area on SSC you just have to say the word.


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Cruisin1500
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Thanks Dark. I know it will be an uphill battle. Hope to have the first gameplay video done soon, the footage is in the editors hands. Waiting on him 🙂

 

Going to be doing it in sections for probably a total of maybe 15-20 minutes over the next 30 days.

 

From exploration to combat to trade to alien interaction. Hopefully my awful placeholder art and interface doesn't scare people away since it is exactly that I need to hire an artist to create!


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Pinback
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Should be ok with placeholder art as long as you make it clear that it will be replaced.

 

Look forward to seeing the vid.


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Cruisin1500
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Hey folks here is the first of several gameplay videos coming this week.

 

 

Thanks!


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DarkOne
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Looking good Justin.

 

I like that flak effect btw. Two questions on the video, on the radar in the top right corner. Was that working it seemed to move really fast and I couldn't see anything in it? Was it because the targets were always really close to the ship? And I am not sure what my thoughts are yet about allowing ships to be 'on top or above' your ship on the screen, yeah it makes sense to allow this but is it accurate depending on where your hardpoints are? if you have no weapons to attack above and below then you have a blind spot the enemy can exploit and you could also as a player. How is that going to work? Because it looked like in the video that most weapon action happened from N/S/E/W directions.

 

Oh in the comment box on the main forum screen I would try to add the link to your post you want people to checkout btw.


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Cruisin1500
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Hey Dark thanks. With regard to the radar it is working, it tracks ships and planets and all space objects. It is a place holder, and the video probably distorts the representations of the objects that it is tracking. A proper graphic should fix that problem, might probably put back the one I had before, since it was far more clear.

 

By on top you mean overlaying the ship, during the point defense part for example, when the enemy was directly on top of my and then I turned sharp and kind of got rid of him?

 

This actually won't happen in the final game and isn't intended, once an AI enemy gets behind you they will adjust their speed to try to remain behind. I actually have that code in for warp battles, where the AI is following you at warp. I need to just insert it for non warp speed battles such as seen above. 🙂

 

But there are going to be a lot of ships sometimes on screen during space station assaults or fleet flights, and therefore turning on collision between ships would be very awry. Think a massive distant worlds brawl with all the ships colling with one another.


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Pinback
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Good video Justin but you might want to think about adding some narration to the later videos.

 

Also how is the ship controlled, I can see a mouse pointer but are you using the keyboard?.


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