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Just When You Thought It Was Safe

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Sincere apologies for the lack of updates of late. I've been even shorter on time than normal. Not only have I just started a new job, I forgot that I now have to respond to edit requests for my book. I'll be doing this for another couple of weeks and trying to pick up MS Access as well. So progress is still going to be slow for another month to come, I expect.

Straylight Update

I'm in the process of trying to figure out several things:

  • Details of the 3D modeling format Torque requires
  • How much change you need to see in the form factor of equipment and building interiors as time advances from 2100 into the future (what should 3100 AD's equipment look like, for instance?)
  • How the Montage Mode (which gives you the ability to fast forward through months or years while the game world changes) should operate
  • What the best 25% of a 4X game is
  • Whether or not invisibility should, like Ghost In The Shell, be a major option in combat (you'd use hints like people leaving a wake walking through water)
  • How story might be broken into states which change random encounter tables

I'm always irritated that I don't have more to show for this, but I think it's important to plan so you don't paint yourself into a corner.

Some Details...

Montage Mode
I've touched on this before. This mode is intended to merge story with expansion/empire building gameplay. You would choose to park your character in a location for as long as you had resources to do so and the game world would evolve around you . While this was going on, you could set your character to perform automatic actions, such as training or working on some great project. During this mode, you'd get a chance to drop back into normal RPG gameplay whenever certain events appeared on the horizon.

Best of the 4X
I'm starting to think the best parts of empire game that will merge nicely with an RPG-like game are

  • Unit design
  • Strategic unit deployment (with proper grouping)
  • Diplomacy
  • People modeling (so they're not just population points)
  • Tech tree advancement
  • Land development, at least in the beginning (eeking out roads, developing terrain)
  • City / base / station upgrades

I have several ways that each of these can be a part of your gameplay when you first start out, but I'll save that for later since this post is already too long.

More later...
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I remember first reading about straylight a while ago, but I haven't actually looked at journal in a few months. I just spent the last hour or so reading through it however, and I must say that your hardships are inspirational and educational. Your entries are very insightful, especially those that deal with you identifying with the struggles of being an independent developer. The best of luck to you, and I'll be paying close attention from here on.

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Sounds and looks like you've been busy my friend. Good stuff! That bridge model is quite impressive.

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@DecipherOne: Thanks! I really appreciate the feedback. This process is a bit like exploring a new territory. There are all sorts of pitfalls and traps--not just financial or technical, but even personal (morale, especially)--but the more we indies map it, I think the easier we make it for other indies to blaze a trail farther forward. (At least, that's part of what keeps me going, knowing that someone else might be able to get something out of this [grin])

@Gaiiden: Dude! I saw Kung Fu hustle the other day and thought of you! [lol] I'm hoping to see your upcoming exploits with Torque 2D!

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