This is a jubilant Christmas time. I was a party to the creation of about 2400 “family” cookies. These sweet sugar snacks will go forth into our universe and bring both joy and luck to 60-105 people. Of course, there are other ways to make the galaxy beautiful: by simulating one inside of a computer. This entertaining video game will go forth into our universe and bring both joy and luck to 60-105 people.
haha. Anyway, despite this reckless cookie deluge, we have made some progress with the game. We’ve made our first two builds, which is exciting in some respects, but also an entirely meaningless milestone. I’ve been working on space graphics, and Pete has grown the encyclopedia. These entries made me giggle:
Yellow Bogey – “These babies keep your ship’s brain working.” – Gussy K. Bones, owner of telecommunications giant, Bombast.
Hester Galvagi – Intergalactic banking mogul. Hopes to run a planetary system built to house the most beautiful lifeforms.
On graphics side of things: I’ve started to blend various galactic entities into a composite scene. The key is keeping the frame rate at about 60 FPS, while simultaneously adding more complexity & detail to the game world. I’m also trying to reposition the stars & obstacles so that space seems full & interesting — right now there are some large boring gaps in space — which wouldn’t be any fun to sail/burn through. This is all a tricky optimization task because computers are machines with limited resources, and the real galaxy is wildly large, diverse, and complex. Fortunately, its not too hard to make most of these decisions, because gameplay is king. So it’s coming along though. Here’s a high definition video of the current build (cruising through space):
I’m not really sure what’s next. I think I will spend some time on the game’s primary mode. In this mode, one month of your character’s life goes by in about one minute (the simulation is time-compressed). Here you are tasked with strategically managing the ship, your resources, and the ongoing galactic story. A first cut at this mode would probably just involve a limited number of resources, the basic mechanics of maneuvering a sailing spaceship, and a bit of UI work.
Finally, here are a few more shots of our pastel-space-world: