Its been a few months since the last SpaceJourney update 1.2 (well ok...its been alot of months...) and since it became an overwhelming beast by the time I got it all done, I've decided to make each of the future updates smaller. So I thought I'd give a little preview of what's to come! (gotta make that desperate grab for attention and votes)
For those of you who haven't heard of SpaceJourney, it is a sandbox game that combines first person shooting, space simulation and eventually adventure elements.
You're basically a space captain in a ship piloted by only yourself. And there are plenty of dangers out there in that big unknown wanting to either eat or destroy you. You can walk inside your ship, walk outside of it (using anti-gravity) and walk around locations you've docked at (so far I only have a measly little space station you can tromp around in, but its better than nothin' right?). There are enemies that you'll fight with your gun (i.e. spiders, blasting meteors, etc) in the style of a first person shooter and enemies you'll fight ship to ship with your vessel's defense and weapon systems, in the style of tactical combat games.
(this article has to meet a self imposed quota of 7 pictures and I was short by one)
To the new stuff! One thing I want to put in are save games; a feature I left out because I thought the game was too short to really need it. But I also didn't anticipate the fact that I made the game confusing to a lot of people! So save games are now a high priority in one of the next updates.
So the question is, how will the save games work? I admit that I'm not experienced enough to do quick saves, but one thing players don't want to lose if they quit in the game is their inventory, because this version of the game doesn't focus on upgrades and each sector's situation depends on what items you've obtained. So a bare-bones "continue" feature will be there. The goal is that you will have the option to start the game new or continue, and when you continue, you'll be taken to the last sector you successfully warped to and then given back your inventory.
I will also try to optimize performance the best I can. For one, I'm looking into smoothing the mouse look feature to make aiming better. And oh yeah, the gun will be moved back to the middle of the screen. As for the graphics department the gun is now smoothed out (and a more detailed hand is intended to accompany it down the road).
Lastly, I don't like to release new versions of the game without adding a new part of the gameplay, and that part of the gameplay will be an interface for the gun.
So for those who have played version 1.2....remember that awkwardly useless blue rectangle on the laser gun? Well, now that will have clickable buttons on it! For now there' will be 3 key features; ship status, jump status and rudder mode.
Ship status will tell the player what the strength is of the ship's hull and shields. This will help the player know how the ship is doing when they're physically not on the ship, like when exploring a space station (as depicted above: SHD = shield strength, BDY = hull \ ship body strength).
In version 1.2, there was a progress bar added when you starjumped-- telling you how much longer the jump sequence would last. But this wasn't very useful if you weren't in the cabin of the ship. So now that feature will be able to be displayed on the gun. Also, the score that the player has, when they blast rocks away, will be displayed as well. The picture above depicts the gist of the "jump status" feature.
Rudder mode allows the player to steer the ship from the roof of the ship and regulate the speed from the gun. Basically, you press the trigger button and the ship will steer in the direction of the blue laser. This is useful if you don't like the cramped screen in the cabin, as it gives the player a 360 degree view of where they are \ going. However if you get attacked, the front console in the cabin will still be useful to defend yourself with shields, weapons and the like.
Well, that's the gist of it! I hope this was interesting to anyone reading!