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Space Pirates of the Karrebeon

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Prinz Eugn

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Hello journalites! How is what it's happenin'... about?

So Sir Sapo and I haven't done much game development stuff lately, we've been distracted by screwing around working really hard to cure AIDs... in puppies. In between marathon sessions of, um, biochemical-stry(no, it's true!) Sapo and I have been discussing the new project, and we have rough gameplay outlines, or what we want in the game. But first, naming of the game:



Space Pirate King?


Our title is preliminary and mainly to be able to use the acronym 'SPaK,' which is a reference to comedic genius RSC_x
,who in the linked-to thread, responded to a funny picture of Science Officer Spock with the query "what means spak...?"

The actual title may include any of the following words(no stealing, cheaters!)

Super
Space
Pirate
Cowboy
Captain
and
the
Master
Prospector
Star
King
in
Shock'n'awesome
Adventures
with
Spak


So already we know we're looking at pretty much the coolest game ever. Feel free to submit your own name, if only to have it pale in comparison to the already-presented magnificence.



Setting


Essentially, the game takes place in asteroid fields, each field being sub-divided into plots containing asteroids that may be mined. Players can lay claim to valuable plots or win them in duels. In the fields, there are outposts where you can buy things, repair your ships, or take on jobs for people. There will also be some smaller repair stations, etc, in the fields.

The over-map will look something like this, although this represents only a small portion of the game's area(hopefully):


Asteroid Bases, or "Baseteroids"
These are floating cities built on(and in) asteroids, containing shops and docking facilities for your ships. Pretty straightforward, but I sketched up this simple and no-frills illustration, just in case:



Yeah, so that's a baseteroid.



Game-play?


The game is going to be a top-down space shooter RPG with some big new-esque features.

Upgrades/Equipment

You will start out with a simple fighter and a large mother-ship, and as you earn more money you will be able to purchase upgrades, meaning better equipment and weapons. You will also be able to buy new ships, although space in your mothership(which you will only be able to upgrade) is limited. A new-ish twist will be that there will be very different and distinct classes of ship to choose from. Not only will you be able to zip around in you little fighter, but you can buy what amounts to a armed space-yacht or even a full-fledged assault cruiser.

What you will be able to put on your ship will limited by at least 2 factors : power and space, or what rating the reactor for a given ship is and how many and what kind of hardpoints it has. All classes with have different hardpoints, to simplify the mechanics of the system(god knows we don't want that :/)

Here's how the fighter's loadout is gonna be handled:


As you can see, this one has six weapons stations with 3 weapons groups, with 2 weapons per group(we may limit it to 2 weapons groups for mouse convenience) There are also slots for a special equipment items, like super-scanning units or [hyper]grappling hook launcher... There are also places for engines, which will be different on different fighters; some will have one huge engine while others may have several tiny ones. We haven't really decided yet to what what extent(if at all) you can upgrade the reactors.

Here's an example of how you play the game: you stea... I mean, salvage a fighter with a low reactor rating, but a ton of hardpoints. To make sure you don't max out the reactor but have tons of firepower you get missiles, which don't take up much power but have limited ammo compared to beam weapons. You use most of your remaining reactor power on engines, giving you a speedy hit-and-run interdictor. Alternately, you could get lower power engines and get yourself a cloaking device as your special equipment and jump some poor saps on their way to cash in at the nearest baseteroid(I'll get to that later)

MotherShip

You will start out with a small fighter and your mother ship. Your mothership will contain most of your things, including the ships you aren't using right then and any spare items. You will be able to move it most places, albiet slowly, but it's safest inside the defenses of a baseteroid. I'll have to work on the artwork for this one soon...

Mining

"How am I gonna afford that Gryphon XLR Mk.II Particle Cannon?", you may be asking yourself, and the answer is that you're gonna work for it, if you feel like it. The game is actually set on an asteroid field(s), and at decent portion of your time will be spent looking for field plots to claim, then seeding the richest asteroids with robotic mining units. If you really want some other prospector's claim, you can duel them for it, kind of like a wild west showdown, but with space fighters... in space. Mining is the most reliable way to generate income, and wandering amongst the asteroid fields gives you ample opportunity to pick up any abandoned or ancient equipment you can sell or even use to increase your 'statistics,' as they are called.

Of course, there are alternate means of income.

Freelancing

If mining is a tad on the boring side, you may want to take on various tasks people will pay you to get done. There will be a kind of bulletin board at each baseteroid with jobs that you can take, mostly involving extreme danger of some kind. Freelancing gets you into the thick of any action, with the benefit of being able to salvage anything you don't totally obliterate.

Maybe the sub-sector governor's daughter got kidnapped by bandits... space bandits. You can decide to go for the large reward offered for her safe return, and go deliver a few Megawatts of high-energy justice.

You can also get into the showdown competition circuit, dueling other pilots for cash in 'arenas' at some baseteroids.

Piracy

See that space yacht, the new shiny Sienar Model 300Z? You'll have to mine a helluva a lot of asteroids to ever be able fly that sucker yourself. That is, unless you hijack it, at which point you probably won't be a considered an ordinary space captain... That's right, you'd be a fucking space pirate.

Do what you please, take whatever you like from whoever you don't- although you may become infamous enough to be arrested on sight by the authorities. In addition, there are lots of opportunities that open up if you become known for your lack of scruples. Your level of badass-ness can be reduced by paying officials to ignore your past indiscretions, allowing you free passage back into normal civilian life.




That took forever to write... ok, time for bed.

Goodnight!

[EDIT:] Don't forget to vote in the previous entry! Gracias
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Sounds good, although it also sounds like a real handful to get working!

I like the concept; I've been thinking about trying a "Sid Meier's Pirates! in space" game myself, so I'm keen on seeing how yours turns out. Will you be having your own base of operations (possibly secret)? And will there be a trading or commerce system? Space armadas the equivalent of the colonial powers in Pirates?

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If you can, re-use as much of your previous games as you can. I've burned about six months on Novarunner just writing a preliminary set of 3D technology so I can render ships flying around. It's only just now that I'm getting into actual gameplay elements.

IMNSHO, you should also sit down and think about how systems you're not in are updated; I do a quick update when you warp into the system (randomly tweaking the economy value, figuring out which faction is currently dominant in the system and biasing the oddment table for ship selection).

There's a lot of "little" stuff that you'd never notice playing the game, but helps to make the entire world more solid.

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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
Sounds good, although it also sounds like a real handful to get working!

Yeah, I'd be happy if all we got in was the space shooting, honestly.
Quote:

I like the concept; I've been thinking about trying a "Sid Meier's Pirates! in space" game myself, so I'm keen on seeing how yours turns out. Will you be having your own base of operations (possibly secret)?


That's kinda be what the Mothership is, so you won't have to worry about moving things from base to base. It's pretty simple, but concept could always be elaborated on, of course [grin]

Quote:
And will there be a trading or commerce system?

Commerce system? Perhaps, we've talked about having a sort of stock market that would dictate what price you could sell different types of ore for. You will also be able to sell items you find(which will probably be more prominent than I wrote it up as being), and you'll buy a lot of stuff.

Quote:
Space armadas the equivalent of the colonial powers in Pirates?


Maybe, we initially were thinking about setting it in our old Axis Shift universe, which basically has two giant empires vying for supremacy, and having a simple diplomacy system (friendly with X, get shot on sight by Y). What empire you were more friendly with would dictate where you could travel safely, and what technology you could buy(If Y really appreciates your efforts, you could get access to military-grade beam cannons, for instance)

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I'll be interested to hear how you plan on making this work without going multiplayer. Sounds impressive though. Very nice sketch of the baseteroid.

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The mothership idea is very good. Actually it sounds very similar to the mothership in Star Wolves, although that probably wasn't the first game to do it, and is also something I plan to implement in my own game further down the road. Will the mothership's equipment be upgradeable? It could play some limited fire-support role in combat.

The reactor rating has even been done in EVE Online and works quite nicely as a constraint, although they also had an additional constraint via CPU processing power.

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Original post by Ravuya
IMNSHO, you should also sit down and think about how systems you're not in are updated; I do a quick update when you warp into the system (randomly tweaking the economy value, figuring out which faction is currently dominant in the system and biasing the oddment table for ship selection).

That's Sir Sapo territory right there, I'll have to get him to comment on that.

Quote:
Original post by Dragon88
I'll be interested to hear how you plan on making this work without going multiplayer. Sounds impressive though.

NPC's, and Sir Sapo has some fancy new 'messaging' system to handle the missions .

Quote:
Original post by lightbringer
The mothership idea is very good. Actually it sounds very similar to the mothership in Star Wolves, although that probably wasn't the first game to do it, and is also something I plan to implement in my own game further down the road. Will the mothership's equipment be upgradeable? It could play some limited fire-support role in combat.

We don't know yet, we're still toying with ways to involve the Mothership into gameplay, and it would be pretty cool if it could give you long-range support.

Quote:
The reactor rating has even been done in EVE Online and works quite nicely as a constraint, although they also had an additional constraint via CPU processing power.


Yeah, I haven't played EVE, but it sounds similar to a bigger, more awesome MMO version of this game. How do they decide space limitations on a ship?

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