Deep Space Settlement is a 4X real-time strategy game focused on empire building and grand-scale space battle.

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How customizing corvette ship design in Deep Space Settlement works.

Posted by StephanieRct on Oct 2nd, 2012

Here’s a video preview of corvette ship customization in DSS, which demonstrates how ship design works. Corvettes are the smallest class of ships averaging at 30 meters in length. They are used as workers/transporters as well as fighters engaging in dog fights.

You start off by selecting a base hull which usually contains the cockpit and main systems. On that hull, there are several sockets you can fill with components likes wings, engines, weapons, armor, shield, etc. Each socket can host a specific category of components. Sockets on the sides of the base hull can host a corvette ‘Side’ component like, for instance, a wing or a cargo pod. Some sockets can be filled with weapons while others can hold support systems like shield generators or additional armor plating, etc. Once you’re done with your design, you can save it for future games or give it to your friends to try out.Components have stat modifiers, e.g. ‘armor’ components increase the ship’s maximum armor hit points by a fixed amount; ‘engine’ adds thrust, which increases acceleration and speed relative to the ship’s mass. Some components boost a stat by a percentage, e.g. ‘wing’ boosts acceleration by 20% and steering by 10%.There are also parts with special and unique abilities, which have a wide range of effects. For instance, there’s a module for enabling a ship to research debris and singularities that can be found throughout the galaxy. Another special ability is being able to dismantle and build a station, like the colony ship does.
There is plenty of room for customization. Players can spend a lot of time designing ships and optimizing their stats according to the tactics they want to use. Do you give your miners two cargo pods, or rather one cargo pod and one armored wing? Do you build a multi-purpose fighter with laser and gun or rather a specialized dual laser corvette? It’s all up to you.
From an art and design point of view, the idea of interchangeable parts and modularity was emphasized by having cut-out areas on the corvette body, where corresponding parts fit in like pieces of a puzzle.While corvettes hold up very well when seen up close, they are a very small unit. This is why weapon size has been played up a bit, to have the guns a bit more noticeable.

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johnlier Oct 3 2012 says:

I like it. ^_^

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Tajin Oct 4 2012 says:

looks nice

+1 vote     reply to comment
7heSAMA Oct 4 2012 says:

Pretty cool. Is this gonna be balanced based on the numbers or you gonna try to play it by ear? How much crazy stuff are we gonna see?

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Expack Oct 4 2012 says:

Impressive! I really like the attention paid to making the unit design process easy, intuitive, and informative. I believe such features will ease the construction of much larger units.

For whatever reason, the whole concept of Deep Space Settlement really makes me think of one of my favorite RTS games of all time: Earth 2150. It had a similar, albeit less-powerful, unit editor which was my favorite part of the game since I could make and field such ludicrous designs as a mobile, long-range, dual-firing nuke launcher and a tank with triple 250mm guns and an integrated missile launcher (mostly for aerial threats). However, given my experience with Earth 2150, there are some things I'd like to ask about the units:

-Once designed, how easily can players keep units organized in a neat, tidy, and quickly-accessible manner? My main gripe with Earth 2150 is that units are only able to be separated into three categories - Land, Air, and Civilian (non-combat). I wasn't really able to easily group units into similar types, such as "Dual-mounted laser tanks" or "Bunker-busters /w integrated AA" and keep these groups minimized when I didn't need them.

-Will players be able to build units and structures out-of-game? In Earth 2150, I found myself wishing to be able to build an arsenal of units without having to be playing a match. I knew how all the weapons, chassis, etc worked, but if I needed a new design, I'd have to build it right then-and-there. Given how complex the designs could get, this didn't help if I was playing against live humans since the game couldn't be paused. (Sure, the game had dual independent PIP windows - an amazing feature for a game made in 2000 - but they couldn't be used while designing things.)

Awesome work so far! I can't wait to see what you'll do next.

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StephanieRct Author
StephanieRct Oct 5 2012 replied:

"Once designed, how easily can players keep units organized in a neat, tidy, and quickly-accessible manner?"
Corvette ships are actually grouped in game. Each group share the same ability/tech tree and you can quickly select all units from the same group. You can also quickly select all units that have the exact same design.

"Will players be able to build units and structures out-of-game?"
Not out of game, but you can design something in a game, save the design template to a file and load the design in another game.

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dssmathias Creator
dssmathias Oct 5 2012 replied:

Just want to add, that you can also play without AIs, so you can have a game without any pressure, where you can spend time on ship designs as long as you want.

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Deep Space Settlement
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