Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stellar Fortune

Over the weekend, I did a lot of thinking about my Untitled game side project.  I've made some good development progress, but there really was no cohesive direction that actually made it a game.  That has changed, as I now have a clear view of how I want to use all of these pieces.  The result will be called Stellar Fortune.

Stellar Fortune is just a working title and may change at some point.

So, what is Stellar Fortune?

At its heart, it is a space trading game.  It's draws inspiration from a number of other games:  Starflight, Escape Velocity, Federation, EvE Online, X series, Elite and probably some more.

Some bullet points:

  • Single Player.  Multiplayer is just too much for me, and I am just more interested in a single player version.
  • Offline, mostly.  It will be played offline for the most part.  Of course, Unity does allow you to make a browser version of their games so that may be possible too.  There will be online features, but nothing required. 
  • Depth over Graphics.  This will be a 2D (2.5d) game.  Working with 2d is just a lot easier, giving me more time to focus on the gameplay.
  • PC.  I'm aiming for PC/Mac support,  but iPad/Android tablets may be possible too. 
That's all well and good, but what is Stellar Fortune really about?  You take on the role of a new starship captain with your own ship.  From there, you will work, trade, fight your way to being rich.  It is a bit more complicated than that of course.

There will be a series of ranks the player will work through.  Each will be obtained by earning some amount of money.  As you progress through the ranks, the options in the game available to you increase.  Here is what I'm working on now.

Captain.  This is the first rank, you have a ship and some spare cash.  To earn more money, you will have to take on cargo hauling jobs.  These jobs are provided by NPC traders and pay a decent wage.  As you complete these jobs, your reputation will increase and you will be able to take on some of the more lucrative jobs.

Miner.  This is actually a side profession you will be able to pick-up.  This lets you mine asteroids and sell the ore directly to buyers. 

Merchant.  Once you have enough money, you can purchase a Merchant's License.  This will allow you buy and sell commodities yourself.  You'll still have to cart them around, but it is more lucrative than being a cargo hauler.

Trader.  Once you buy a Trader License, you can start to hire NPC Captain's to haul your goods for you.  Sure, you will have to pay them, but now you can concentrate more on the bigger picture.

I have a number of more ranks planned, but these are the ones actually in development.

What's a space game without cool ships?  Buying and customizing ships will be a big part of the game.

Will there be fighting?  Absolutely.  I am leaning toward making some side professions dedicated to it.  Fighting is also necessary for the overall economy.  Threats, both internal and external, will have an impact on the demand and sale of various commodities.

Right now my goal is to have a playable prototype for Stellar Fortune out by the end of March.  I'm really just concentrating on the beginning ranks for now and will build from there.