Wednesday, March 30, 2016

UI View Updates

New Menu

I'm only showing the insane level of stars so that you can see the generations more clearly on the galaxy screen.

Galaxy View

This is a temporary view showing the entire galaxy.  In a final game version, the player will be able to see slightly elevated view that is largely edge on.  The final galaxy will also have nebula, which the player will need to avoid when travelling faster than light.

System View

This is another temporary view of a solar system, showing just the star and the planets.  In an completed view, there would be pictures of the planets or at least icons of the different planet types, as well as an asteroid field.  For the purposes of the prototype, this simply provides an interface to the planets that are generated for this star.

Planet View

This is a more complete planet view.  Planets are randomly generated based on a seed, and are rendered in real time before being displayed.  Without the generation, a planet would require 45Kb to store instead of a 4-byte seed.

The view shows a tabbed interface allowing the player to see the GIS view which has an overlay for complexes and mineral deposits.  In the future version, you will also see transports running between complexes.

Complex View

Finally the Complex View, this is on the surface with a complex exposed.  Complexes an have 8 to 128 hexagons, and the layout, like everything else in the game is random.  Randomization allows the complexes to have slightly different shapes, but largely it's to save storage ... a 128 point complex would need 1024 bytes to store, where as a see requires only 4-bytes to store.

Recent changes allow the player to zoom down, and rotate and look at the complex in finer detail.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Complex View

Here is an early view of a complex.  The prefabs I got out of an asset that cost $5, and they are just the basics for now, I'll replace them later on.

So the change I have decided to make with the game is that I have done away with the idea that resources run out over the course of a game.  Suppose you have an Iron Ore resource that contains 4.2% Iron.  If the Iron Ore Extraction with the Iron Ore Smelter can do 2 tones per day (2000kg), then this complex can produce 84kg of Iron per day.

Suppose you use Iron to make ships.  If a large ship requires 840kg of iron, then with a single complex, it takes 10 days to get enough iron to produce the ship.

If, however, you produce a new complex that produces 400kg of iron per day, the two complexes, combined, produce 484kg per day, which means only 2 days are needed to produce enough iron for one ship.

Therefore, unlimited means you never run out of material.  But you need multiple complexes to extract enough material.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Menu and Story Update

Been working on the main menu.  None of this stuff works except for navigation:

Story Update

To me, the story is just as important as the game itself.  It sets the context for how and why the game works.

Your home planet is attacked by the Klunian Empire that needs slaves for its menial work in their society.  The tribes refers to the various groups on your home world that were taken and spread throughout the galaxy.  When you were attacked, you were placed in stasis and when you wake up, the Klunian ship you were in crashed onto a unpopulated planet.

All the Klunians were killed and the rest of the survivors remain in stasis.  An unknown time has passed and how far you are from your home planet is also known.

The story begins when you have gained access to the ship (the game's UI) and have learned the secrets of the Klunian Empire's technology.  They have an extensive amount of technology which makes mining and building cities easy, but what you must do is prepare this planet and solar system so that you can defeat the Klunian Empire and get back your Lost Tribes.

The game will be a unique take on the strategy, as you cannot just blow up the empire, as you have to also save the slaves from each planet.

In the options above, the player can start out with two advantages.
  • SCANNED means that the locations of all the mineral deposits have already been located and are in the ship's computer.  When off, the player must build a scanning vessel and launch it to get the details about the planet they crashed onto.
  • ARTIFACTS are artifacts from a dead alien race that will give the player an advantage when attacking the Klunian Empire.  If OFF, the player must find these artifacts during their game play.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

More Updates

I've gone back to my original planet generator and with the help of $20 asset, come up with the following revised planet.  If you remember planets from last year, no way did they look this good.

In the large part the original generator was unchanged and this planet is just a more colorful version of the original generator.

The Story

I've been thinking a little bit about the story, and have decided that at least conceptually, the player home planet was attacked years ago and it's inhabitants spread throughout the galaxy.  The player wakes up on a planet and is able to access the technology to help the rest of the inhabitants who are here.  How and why I'm not sure yet.

The Game Play

As for the game play, the game contains 4 levels of abstraction, starting with the most drilled in:
  1. Complex
  2. Planet
  3. Solar System
  4. Galaxy
A COMPLEX is the lowest level area and consist of a small town/city of interconnected buildings.  Players simply plop down buildings of various types and the game auto interconnects them.  Player isn't required to build sewers, roads, train lines, etc.  If it's there it's auto-connected.

Buildings that produce things need to be consumed, or if not, they are available as outputs from the complex.  Buildings that input things have to be available on the complex, if they aren't they have to be imported from some place.

Therefore, each complex has an interior working arrangement with complex-level inputs and outputs.

At a PLANET level, the player can now manipulate the inputs and outputs of each complex, and the moment the play zooms out of the complex to see the planet, the aggregation of the inputs and outputs over a given time frame are the ins and outs of the complex.  There is no need to dive into the complex to re-simulate them at a planet level.

Complexes be interconnected, moving materials around, but a planet can also have orbital points, enabling interconnectivity at a solar system level.

The moment the player zooms out to the SOLAR SYSTEM level the game aggregates the planet, and simulation on a planet scale doesn't have to be resimulated within the system.

Same holds true for the GALAXY, and it aggregates detail for the solar system.

Each level, is about tuning a machine for the upper level to manage.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Reboot

The Lost Tribes lives again.  The scope and nature of the game is going to change.  Name is subject to change but I don't know right now.


In the previous game there was a focus on ship and engine creation and it relied on the player discovering engines and technology that enabled the player to do things.  However, it became apparent that the player had no real chance of discovering parts of the underlying physics without understanding the grander physical model.  Classic chicken and egg problem.  Every solution I could think of that would help the player; defeated the purpose of the game which was the discovery of the engine and technology.

I set the game aside and then only recently have I decided that there is still something in this game, at least in the premise, even if the technology were known at the start.

The Reboot

This game starts with your civilization devastated by an alien attack.  Your peons live, but your infrastructure is destroyed, and so you must pick up the pieces, repopulate and move on.

In the reboot, the game will have technology, but there is no technology tree; no research A to discover B; kind of mechanic.  All technologies are known at the start, making the game more about strategy.  What technology do you build to defend against an opponent?  Initially there is no opponent.  The game will involve two distinct development phases; Construction and Combat.

Construction is all about the organization of resources to defend the planet against your foe.  Combat is all about the attack and destruction of that foe.

Some Initial Ideas

The game will be a 3D planar game.  This means the player can see 3D objects, but those objects work on a 2D surface, no "digging in the ground", etc.

Planets are back and I'll be doing work on minerals/materials side in generated planets.  Each planet has tectonic plates, referred to as regions which will be similar to continents.  At each point on a planet, the player can put in a complex.  A complex is akin to a city and each complex can have 1 or more buildings.  Buildings are interconnected within the complex, so there is no need to design subways or roads, as they are implied, but between complexes, there are rail lines.  Rail lines aren't fixed to the ground, they are more like air planes that fly along the ground, so no infrastructure needs to be built to connect two complexes.

Buildings can be connected to orbital locations using launch lines.  And planets are connected using sublight orbital lines to connect planets within a system, or fly outside of a system.  Finally solar systems are connected using stellar lines.  However, there is only one kind of transport per type, so to go from one complex on one planet to another complex in a different system means complex -> orbit -> system -> orbit -> complex, with transfer points of material at exchange points.

Since the planet maker has already been developed, I'll simply evolve it for this iteration of the game.

More details later.