I got feedback from from folks on Friday about the current game.
I was criticised by one for introducing procedural generation too early. I get their point, but disagree. Another thought that this could be a resource collection game, but the problem I have with this is that once you understand the resource collection aspect of the game; there has to be some other thing to drive the player. I thought there code be hope for some kind of enemy, but that creates the burden of AI which is hard to crack.
Perhaps the game could be called "The Lost Tribe" that is a race game. A group of friends/competitors get into a room and decide on the style of the race; the type of galaxy, number of stars, number of stars the players have to travel to, and after that, they are on their own. Players work independently or in teams and starting with the same resources on a given planet, try to be the first one to get to the last star system. The race could be a few hours, days or weeks long. And they simply record their progress through a central database (via NEO).
And this got me thinking ... what if the game materials and building types were procedurally randomized. One of the problems I have at the moment is how do I build this massive tech tree with lots of resources and combinations. What if all that was randomized too. You randomize the materials and create combinations that create new materials that are the foundations for the aspects of your ships.
Make it all about resource gathering and assembly of larger order material types. So that ships could be crafted.
One of the problems I ran into last time I did this, was the player having no idea what the over arching physics was. How would you know that combination 1 produced anything useful, and since it was random, how could you know the generator didn't produce something that was basically gibberish and not intelligently assembled.
Good question ... let me think about it. I do like the idea of PvE but PvP over the network. Could be fun.