Basically what I would like to is start out with a game very similar to Starflight, in that you pilot your ship through space entering countless solar systems, exploring planets, meeting aliens, etc.
Once landing on a planet it would switch to a traditional top-down 2d rpg view as you and your crew explore the surface of the planet. Some planets aside from being there simply for harvesting resources may have quest-like scenarios in which a settlement needs your help with X problem.
Now here is the element that I think sets this apart the rest: user generated content.
Yes, I wish to allow players to create their own planets to fill a massive galactic canvas. Players could build structures, place vegetation, creatures, inhabitants, possibly even creating their own mini-scenarios/quests.
If the star map runs low on space there can be multiple galaxies with fresh starmaps which can be fast-traveled to at any time
Below is my initial braindump of features. I plan to attempt this using XNA
Sandbox style space exploration game consisting entirely of user-created content
- Players can create planets, moons, or space stations to be added to the map in real-time
- Possibly create a distance rule between planets
- Ability to customize the appearance of the planet from space
- Color palette, and support of multi colored planets
- Can change texture graphic of planet
- Change overall size and shape of planet
- Add effects like rings, stripes, etc
- Create small moons for your planet
- Name your planet
- Ability to customize every facet of the planet surface
- Create a planet with a grassy, icy, fiery or barren surface
- Create structures, settlements, and bodies of water, terraform
- Add vegetation, ore and other resources
- Add inhabitants (npcs, aliens, etc)
- Planets auto-ranked by suggested player level based on levels of hostile creatures on planet (to prevent newbie annihalation)
- Ability to create a crew consisting of different classes/races
- Wide variety of races and classes to choose from
- Gain experience from discovering planets, exploring a percentage of a planet map, fighting, and diplomacy
- Captains log keeps coordinates for discovered planets, as well as the player's own planets
- Can quick travel to planets in captains log
- Can choose which galaxy/solar system to quick travel to (maps)
- Party stats
- Send text messages to players via a "communicator"
- Ships may or may not use fuel (Undecided)
- Can customize look of ship
- Various models/skins available
- Explore and discover an infinite number of planets or create your own to be explored
Space Encounters with Players
- I dont have plans for any sort of PvP at this time. I'm focusing more on content
Space Encounters with NPCs
- Can randomly meet aliens of various races
- Player first receives breif details "Captain, a ______ warship has been identified and has us locked in their sights"
- Player can then choose to contact the alien captain in a hostile or peaceful disposition
- Conversation ensues, different races respond better to different attitudes
- Warrior-like races may respect a no-fear, hostile attitude, while other races may blast you for it.
- Sometime alien ships may be willing to barter
In short I think this can be described well as "Starflight meets RPG Maker"
As currently I dont have an underlying story for the game, I think the RPG elements and idea of leveling up your character helps give players a purpose and goal. This would appeal to sci-fi fans as well as power-levelers.
I'd appreciate any input on what you think of this whole concept.