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Imagine a game world with hundreds of stars, thousands of planets and asteroids, new colonies, huge empires and -- you. A tiny little company, owning a few ships, barely enough money to buy fuel for your next jump. What would you do?

Would you try your luck in one of the asteroid fields mining for rare ores? Would you sell your ships, your cargo and everything else to start trading in one of the large trading hubs? Would you want to become a respected designer of modern space ships? Or would you do anything to become the leader of one of the large corporations to scheme plans on how to wage trade wars against your enemies? Whatever you decide to do, it will leave a mark in the persistent world of Prosperous Universe and have consequences for you and everyone else.

Prosperous Universe is massively browser-based online game where everyone plays in the same world. No shards, no different servers, no restarts. One universe.

While the focus of Prosperous Universe lies on the economic part, there will be a military component as well. Conflicts will not be about destroying everything your opponent owns, though: They take place as part of a high-level meta game that’s about taking control over certain orbital or planetary structures, allowing you to influence planets, markets and taxes.

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This week, you can catch a sneak peek at two upcoming features: notifications, which Martin has been working on, and the reworked, more detailed traffic info display Michi has been cooking up. Meanwhile, Julian has been making lists.

Martin

Besides traveling on business and almost a full day of mind-numbing admin stuff, I had roughly one day of development time available to me this week. Naturally, I used it to continue my work on the notification feature I touched on last week. Despite still having to resolve a few architectural issues on the server-side, I decided to get a basic version of the client-side implementation done. That way I can see the notifications in action and I can get a feel for whether the data structures I designed actually work in practice. Added bonus: I can actually show you something this time!

WIP gif of the upcoming in-game notification feature


It pretty much looks and works as you’d expect from a site like Facebook… and that’s on purpose: Many smart people have thought a lot about this problem in the past and there is no point in reinventing the wheel. Obviously, the visual design still needs a few touches and some of the final functionality is still missing (like getting to the relevant tile within the game when clicking a notification), but more on this next week!

Michi (molp)

I focused on two things this week! Displaying traffic information for STL and FTL flights and starting a new feature, the expert system.

In the last weeks, I did a lot of work on the flight model, like adding a slower-than-light departure and approach segment for faster-than-light flights. Displaying these segments to the player who owns the ships is one thing, but we must not forget to display these ships to other players as well. The systems to display traffic have already been implemented before, I just had to adapt them to the new data. In the universe map traffic is displayed via the graph system, since it would be too much to display every single ship of every player. The hight of the triangles indicates the amount of traffic over the last hour, twelve hours or 24 hours.

graph system


All traffic happening in a certain system can be viewed in the system map. The ships are displayed just like own ships, but in a different color.

As already mentioned, I started implementing the expert system this week. This is a kind of experimental feature we came up with to solve a problem we encountered in the last alpha tests. Right now it is very easy to achieve self-sufficiency and build everything on one’s own. There is no system in place that rewards specialization in a certain field instead of building everything. While we don’t forbid players to build self-sustaining bases we see it as a problem if too many players do it, since it hinders trading and is not we what envision for Prosperous Universe. The expert system is a way of rewarding specialization in one or two fields by making the production of goods in these fields more efficient. The rewards cannot be bought and that way we hope to support both experienced and new players. I’ll go into detail about how the system works next week, so stay tuned. :)

Julian (Mjeno)

This week has been full of busywork. I’ve been making lists and lists and not much else. So here’s the list of things I’ve been listing all week.

In the beginning of the week, I’ve been preparing future communication with our players. I’ve been coming up with different ways of interacting with our small community, like polls in our forums and on Twitter. I’ve been compiling hashtags, both relating to us specifically and recurring trends like week days, so get ready for some #mondaymotivation, #tuesdaytips and #wednesdaywisdom. Posting on Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and our forums every day I realized that there isn’t always something new to say about the game, so I decided to invest some time in gathering different sources of content for us to share. I set up Google Alerts and subscribed to RSS feeds about space and other topics our players might enjoy. I compiled an extensive list of holidays and theme days for the rest of 2018. Every day I write a post, I’m going to check if there’s something to celebrate we care about, like Asteroid Day or a fascinating skywatching event.

In the past two days, I’ve been preparing future communication with members of the press. I’ve been messing around with customer relationship management (CRM) tools to find out which one fits our needs. I went through press lists I’ve gathered from other devs and updated, amended, extended them. I’ve been stalking journalists, news sites, blogs, and podcasts about video games for hours on end, and I’m getting the impression that they pop up twice as fast as I can write them down.

Lastly, I’ve taken over some internal communication. We’re commissioning more art, both for the game’s UI and the company’s appearance. I spoke to our concept artist Mac for the first time after only exchanging e-mails for a few weeks. If you enjoy the things he’s made for us, make sure to have a look at his tumblr, Space that never was.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to listing things.

Dev'ing at the speed of light - Development Log #117

Dev'ing at the speed of light - Development Log #117

News

While Michi and Martin (!) continued working on the technical side of things, Julian has mainly been writing down ideas and planning tasks for the coming...

New team member! - Development Log #116

New team member! - Development Log #116

News

This week, we’ve welcomed a new member to our team: Julian will be in charge of our PR and Community Management. The three of us spent two days planning...

Development Log Week 115

Development Log Week 115

News

This week has all been about solving technical issues. Martin tried to persuade our age-old email server to continue sending emails after it stopped suddenly...

Development Log Week 114

Development Log Week 114

News

While Martin’s current workload doesn’t allow for much PU development, Michi keeps on improving the flight model of spaceships in the game - despite...

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Latest tweets from @prosp_universe

New feature on our #Discord channel! Fancy, eh? Come join us: Discord.gg T.co

Feb 21 2018

We've been talking about implementing measures to encourage specialization and boost trade. Here's what we've come… T.co

Feb 20 2018

Guilty as charged! Check out @MassivelyOP's article on our upcoming notification system: #mmo #scifi #spaceT.co

Feb 20 2018

Did you know we're on @IndieDB? Right now, we're ranked in the top 4% of all games there! Check out our page for pi… T.co

Feb 19 2018

118 consecutive weeks of logging the deving, and we're still going strong. Catch a sneak peek at two upcoming featu… T.co

Feb 18 2018

It's #screenshotsaturday! This is a #WIP version of our Universe Map, System Map and Planet Info UI. Its look is st… T.co

Feb 17 2018

Happy #LunarNewYear! Let those rockets fly. 🎆 Since it's the year of the dog, we thought it's time to show you our… T.co

Feb 16 2018

Happening right now: #AsteroidDay2018 kickoff livestream with a range of high-profile guests, hosted by one of our… T.co

Feb 15 2018

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