So, I've been working on a little space game, mostly to get the feel for OpenGL and shaders, and everything has come along nicely. I know it's generally a better idea to have these things worked out beforehand, however, when I first started out, everything was mostly just a learning exercise. Now that things are shaping up, I could use some ideas to make the game a little more fun. So, cart before the horse and all, I thought I'd pick some brains on the forum for some ideas
What's implemented now is basically a 3D space sim, with thousands of randomly generated solar systems and planets of varying types and compositions. Each planet has randomly generated lifeforms (based loosely on the type of planet). You can fly around and suck the atmosphere/alien species out of the planets or drill for minerals, etc. Your ship has an inventory where you can store samples, or canisters of the gas, or a couple of the lifeforms etc. You can then shoot/beam these back onto your home planet, upgrade your ship, or build terraforming platforms for your home planet.
Initially, I was planning on having you have to make a planet viable for your species to live on. So, you'd have to balance the ecosystem with the right combination of atmosphere/species. However, in hindsight, this mostly takes place in the UI, other than the gathering/exploring, and ultimately isn't all that fun. Additionally, I'm struggling with really the implementation of that as well, as, balancing the ecosystem both needs to be simple enough to be semi-intuitive, yet deep enough to stay fun.
So, I'm thinking of scrapping the mechanics as they stand now. So, my question to everyone is an either/or.
1: Is there a way to tweak the current goals that you would find fun?
2: given the structure that's already in place more or less and just tweaking things, do you have any ideas of what could be a fun game idea? I'm open to pretty much all ideas, whether you're an invading alien species and have to take over all the planets (borg-like), or maybe change it to a physics based ping-pong game with another alien ship, using planets as the balls
Details are always nice, but even just generalities are totally appreciated.
Cheers, and thanks for any input!