Wayward Terran Frontier
Amazing a game which is not having a kickstarter http://www.wtfrontier.com/ seen it mentioned on RPS which described it as a cross between FTL and Gratutious Space Battles.
What the game is
Wayward Terran Frontier is a mashup of all my favorite features from space traders games, procedural exploration games, RPG games and loot grinder games.
My long term goal is to have players hosting their own persistent online server shards with thousands of players registered on each server. If I can get thousands of people playing at the same time that will become the new goal, but that code is as yet untested so no promises. I will say that making the game highly scalable and optimized for multithreading has been a design goal from the beginning, so you can at least expect to see some epic fleet battles.
The server admin will act as a dungeon master having creative control over many aspects of how the persistent game world plays out. Things such as pvp rules, dynamic economy, player owned property, real time dynamic events, ship types and loot types will hopefully be controlled by the server admin on the back end allowing different shards to provide very different game experiences. My goal is for ships and modules to be as data-driven as possible so that modders can create server shards with their own content.
From the perspective of a player, you will enter the persistent galaxy as a human character. You can play as a pirate, a space trader, a gun for hire, all the standard space game roles, except that the experience is improved by the realism of the engine. Actions that have simple analogies in other games such as docking, trading, disabling enemy ship systems, repairing your ship, designing your ship and controlling your ship are extremely detailed in Wayward Terran Frontier. Your avatar in Wayward Terran Frontier is not your ship as it is in similar games, instead you play the role of a crew member on that ship. If you want to hijack control of a ship, you need only gain access to the bridge and take over the control consoles, if you want to disable an enemyâ€™s shields you will have to find out where their shield generators are and take them out with a well aimed shot etc.
Additionally my goal is to have the inside of your ship be a synchronized network state. Walking through an airlock onto a ship controlled by one of your friends should be as seamless as boarding any other ship. Large ships will be both easier and more fun to control with a small group of friends, and any rewards gained through teamwork will be shared by the entire human population of that shipâ€™s crew. I want cooperative exploration and adventuring to be a big thing, and I intend to provide lots of incentives for players to work together.
planned features, with bullet points!
- Ship design: Easy to learn, hard to master, or something like that. The ship design is tile based and is done with an in game editor. It lets you control every aspect of your ship. I will try to provide pre-built ships that have a working designs so new player can just right into the action, but the editor will let you modify everything from the location of the walls and the power conduits, to the orientation of guns and the placement of modules. You can buy a freighter and gut it to design your own troop transport, or you can buy a high tech warship and have toilets installed in every room for all I care.
- Character Advancement: Earn ingame credits in all the usual ways and then spent your credits to upgrade your characterâ€™s budget. Budget works a lot like experience, but you can improve it through activities other than combat. Budget lets you design a more expensive ship, pay the wages of more crew members, or install expensive cranial implants (talent points). Your budget can be reallocated at any time, but you will never have enough to be good at everything. If you plan to fly on a friendâ€™s ship, improve your own skill by putting your budget into implants, but if your friend is flying on your ship, you might want to spend your budget setting up some comfortable quarters for him/her.
- Realistic damage: ships are made from tiles, and they fire bullets that damage tiles. Your ship is the sum of itâ€™s parts, so if they shoot off your maneuvering thrusters you will drift, and if they destroy your life support the air will start to grow stale. the only part of your ship that has hitpoints is your crew. Keep them alive if you want to win, and keep yourself alive if you want to see the end of the battle.
- Walking around in ships (with friends): you can fly them, and you can walk around inside them, but if you want someone to manage the crew while you fly the ship, you better enlist a real life friend. Connect to the same session as your friends, dock your ships together and walk from one ship to the other. Now you are part of their crew and you can follow them from session to session as they trade, battle and explore. The AI will help you if you want to fly solo, but having multiple players will be more effective and more fun.
- Create the perfect crew: on your travels you will find crew members with unique abilities and unique stories. Sometimes they will murder you or steal your ship or just run away, but if you can befriend them they will permanently enter your codex. As your character improves, you budget for paying crew membersâ€™ wages will increase and you can commission anyone in your codex to join your crew. Different crew members will have different attributes and special abilities, and they will gain experience from your adventures. Of course your ship will need facilities to keep these crew members happy or they will succumb to space insanity and try to eat your face.
- Dynamic Economy: Setting static prices for lots of arbitrary trade goods sounds hard. I think I will try to make actually useful commodities with a full industrial manufacturing tree. Supply and demand can dominate the AI NPC shipsâ€™ actions. problem solved.
- Space Farming!?: If I can get the server to handle it I want player to own their own real estate within the game world and one thing I always wanted was to own an asteroid farm. If I have my way, the role of space farmer/Industrialist will be a viable 2ndary route to character advancement. Building a space refinery next to some space farms will net you profit, use those profits to grow your empire!
- Procedural Events: Exploration isnâ€™t fun unless there is something worth exploring. The aim is for space to be filled with procedural objects and events that you can stumble upon when venturing far from home.
- Plot: I know it sounds strange to have plot in a procedural sandbox game, but before I started this project I thought I wanted to write a novel and it just turns out that this way is more fun. There will be no singleplayer campaign and no linear story, but I want the game world to have a rich story and lots of interesting lore. You will learn about the game world by exploring it, and maybe learning some in-game history will point you in the direction of sweet sweet loot.
Does it cost money?
Here is the deal:
The client is free now and will remain free forever. The client will get you into any open server where you can join the crew of an existing ship and participate in adventures, or you can even try to steal a ship and see how long you can survive on your own.
What will be monetized:
I aim to sell an authentication and cloud storage service for a 1 time fee at around the price of a normal indie game purchase. The idea is that by paying for the game you unlock the following:
- Ability to own ingame property which takes storage and processor overhead from the server host. e.g. own a space station, own an asteroid farm
- Ability to store a persistent character profile on a server. e.g. own your own space ship, have your own crew.
- Ability to host your own server shard and take advantage of the central authentication server as well as automatic updates
The bottom line:
you can make a character and enjoy most of the game world without ever paying. you will earn ingame money, fill your crew codex and improve your budget while adventuring solo or with friends. The idea is that if you own a paid account and want a friend to join your crew without paying, they can keep 100% of the progress that you unlock as a team. However once you have earned lots of cash and unlocked lots of technology through your adventures, you may want to own your own persistent ingame assets which requires server overhead and will therefore only be available to paid accounts.
Who is developing it?
I am coding it all myself in C#/XNA and I am doing some of the artwork as well. I recently started working with some contractors for Art and sound, and their art was so much better than my own that I have mostly shifted my focus onto coding and updating the site. I still donâ€™t update the site often enough.
Can I test the game before you release it?
Yes, thatâ€™s already happening in the forums. Hint: the download link is hidden until you register.
* subject to change