Redux: Alone In Space

Well lets start from the beginning.

Around 2003-2004 I was playing a game called TDZK (the original tdzk is different than Fleets), my daily routine for the several rounds I played was to wake up 15 or so minutes earlier than I needed to so I could log onto tdzk and see if my ship was spaced, and to donate turns to help the planet level up. tdzk itself was based off of several other games, but tdzk focuses on players working together to accomplish a task, rather than being a solo play game.

The developers of tdzk decided to shut the game down (3 or so years ago) sense then I have wanted to create a game that was similar to tdzk, and attempt to improve on the spots that I found lacking. I attempted several from scratch projects that dealt with a similar style game, but none ever made it past the drab boring stuff like a template system, user system, and a messaging system.

A while back I found an open source project that has been around longer than tdzk, and at first seemed to have a similar premise. I’m talking about Black Nova Trader. I quickly downloaded the code, and had a match up and running to mess around with. It didn’t take me to long to realize that black nova trader while similar was still in a more primative state, and targeting a different gameplay style. I tried to improve on features that I found lacking, but was lost inside other peoples code. Improving black nova trader wasn’t going to happen.

Both tdzk and Black Nova Trader are browser based games, as in real browser based, the game is played by clicking a link just as you could to navigate a website. The most recent game I played that inspired me to make Alone in space is a game called Starport: Galactic Empires. Starport is a 2d topdown game played in short rounds like tdzk and BNT Im spent a while playing starport, and based alone in space on the the concepts in starport. My problem with starport is that there isn’t much variety between the ships, as far as a bigger ship having more weapons. There wasn’t a feeling of a progression from the starter ship to the capital ship, as both only had two weapons.

With Alone in Space being for Ludum Dare I only had 48 hour to make the game, and I don’t think the game accomplished the goals I wanted it to. So on Friday I decided to start on a browser based version of the game, and attempt to capture some of what tdzk had. Rather than building a custom user system I decided just to integrate the game into SMF user system. I then started on galaxy generation, and yesterday (Saturday) I had my galaxy generating out from 0, 0 to whatever number I define. Resource sectors are generated at the same time, and late Saturday I started basic work on star ports, that you can dock with. Today I have continued working on the ports, and have them taking up an actual spot on the map, and the framework is all in for buying and selling resources. In between working on getting the code functioning I am making it use a simple template system so I can have a browser version for laptop,desktops, tablets. and a separate version for mobile. as well as being able to provide different visual looks easily. At this stage its nothing to look at, just black text on a white background. But I intend to have something more interesting to show soon.

As for the puzzle game that I had been posting about, I’m still working on it, I like to have multiple projects so I can pick and choose what to work on.

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