Pytheas is a galactic exploration, vehicle based, construction game. It has been in development since December 2010 in my free time after work. I've been modding games as far back as Half Life 1 and finally decided to make a game that gives you the power to play any way you want. I want players to have the tools to execute their ideas without the limitations of a game engine designed with a different purpose in mind. My goal is to remove the technical barriers that limit how you can play. Most of all, I want to create good gameplay that is challenging but not frustrating.
At its core, Pytheas is designed to create an intuitive world for emergent gameplay and a constantly evolving mission. It is much more interesting to be given a set of tools and an adaptive set of objectives rather than a linear grind. In Pytheas, you brave hostile planets by retooling your ship or creating a new one. The design of the player's ship is not simply aestetic. The gameplay gives you a wide variety of options but presents choices between different play styles. Different options will be available to support your weapons, power and utility needs. Solar panels, fuel cells and other more potent reactors offer different advantages but have significant draw backs as well. Shields are important in space, but in the absence of a vacuum may not work as well. In the end, its about finding your balance, surviving and awesome explosions.
Having your ship wrecked up is designed to be part of the fun. The challenge lies in completing a task and being able to successfully return to your home base, the Pytheas. Once your home, if your ship is full of holes, and your engines are MacGyver'ed up with chewing gum, you can automatically reconstruct it from any of your designs if you managed to bring back enough resources. If not, its back to the drawing board.
The back story is still tentative. A fleet from Earth's Exploratory Force has gone missing; you are sent to find it. After finding the aptly named ship, Pytheas, you could return to earth, report the find, and let a collection of search and rescue efforts do the rest. However, realizing that is boring, you decide to scour the nearby star systems with your brand new, eerily empty inter-stellar mammoth.
With the supplies on-board and a convenient knowledge of all topics in engineering, you must construct a shuttle craft to hop planet to planet in search of clues and additional resources. Your craft will need to overcome all manners of environmental dangers and unexpected hostiles.
Ships can be equipped with a wide variety of equipment, weapons and flight systems. Directed weapons can be fired by the pilot, ideal for those who prefer a lighter, more agile design. Auto-targeting hard points can support larger craft with more spacious interiors. Resource mining can be made easy with highly advanced Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment accessed directly from the cockpit.
I won't list all the content I already have; when I release the alpha it will be more fun to explore the possibilities on your own. More features are on the way but maybe I'll release a pre-alpha soon. (...if I can stop playing long enough to finish it!)
Rendering system: Ogre
GUI library: MyGUI v3.0
Sound libraries: OggOgreSound, OpenAL
Thanks to all the open source developers for creating the tools I'm using!