Friday, March 25, 2011

It's a big universe

This week I spent most of my time tightening up the Captain experience in Stellar Fortune.  This involved a lot of tweaking of Traders so that there is a good choice of jobs available to the player.  I also whipped up a simple starting screen for next week's public test.  I added the concept of Star Systems to the game, read on for more details.

As Douglas Adams said, space is big.  Originally, I had planned just to have one big open map to represent space.  While neat, it just wasn't practical.  The game engine can only handle a finite coordinate system.  I'm nowhere near the limit, but I didn't want to hamstring myself from the start.  As a result, there are now discrete Star Systems (minus the stars).

I also changed the way zooming works.  Once you zoom out far enough it will switch to an overhead view.  Eventually I will add a map button which takes you to the farthest zoom.

The area between systems is pretty much a barrier.  Your ship will expend twice the amount of fuel while outside the boundary.  The only way to travel between systems is using a Warp Drive, which not every ship has.  The AI has been improved so it can travel between systems as well.

Next week (Wednesday)  I will be releasing the first Alpha version for PC/Mac/Browser.  It's more of a tech test than something playable.