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Munchkin9

A space simulation game

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I have been thinking of making a game (as I can't find any of the genre) which would basically be a space ship simulation; however, you would play from a either first or third person point of view of a guy (probably the captain, though a crew member would be fun too) NOTE: NOT THE SHIP THE GUY HIMSELF <===== IMPORTANT. You would then move around the ship to do different duties for example: If your the captain you could go to the bridge to give orders (once at the bridge you would go to a console or something to check whatever); or if you are a crew member maybe you would go to engineering to help fix the ship; and then suddenly the ship is boarded and you rush to the armory or something to get yourself a weapon...etc (I could go on for a long time). You could also jump into a fighter and drive it around outside the ship (I forgot to mention this: The 'main' ship would have to be some big capital ship...like at least some of the capital ships from Star Wars...maybe a little smaller). However, my skills at programming are fairly limited (I have not actually finished a game yet) I am mostly a design guy, programming amuses me but I am not all that good (yet). So this is more a suggestion :) Btw: if someone decides to look into making something like this. Please contact me, I have hundred more ideas for this. Btw 2: if someone knows of a game like this (besides Star Quest Online, good game but too few people) please also tell me. -Munchkin

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There is a mod for HL2 called Eternal Silence, which is kind of similar to your idea.

It's a FPS / space-dogfighting game, where you can run-around inside the main ship and fight with guns, or jump into fighter jets and fight in space / board the enemy ship.

You can't actually control the main ships though.

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Yes I already know about Eternal Silence. Not exactly what I was looking for: The main ship has to be an object of interest: It must move.

I wasn't exactly clear. What I meant is that it should be exactly like one of those space exploration/trading/combat things (like the X series, or [for the example of large ships] Universal Combat) not a small death match fps game.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

-Munchkin

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BattleCruiser 3000 had this exact feature, except it wasnt from the person's POV.

I, personally, think that it would be interesting to implement, but there is no real gameplay in this. At least in the way you describe it. For example, if you are able to give orders from the bridge - just use the menu or buttons, no need to physically have player entity on the bridge. If you used a fighter - just make that part a space sim, no need to actually go to the fighter bay on foot.

Now, it WOULD be useful when fighting off some boarding parties, but if your ship is getting boarded on a regular basis - just make it a pure shooter.

There must be something ELSE for the player to actually DO, real decisions to be made, besides just walking around.

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I also know about Battle cruiser 3000 and it is not what I am looking for again, but much closer.

There also seems to be some confusion: The fact that you could move around the ship is not some bonus thing, it IS the only way to control the ship, let me clarify: (I am a little hesitant to put all my ideas out there, but I will try to give you a clearer idea) To start I think you are assuming that what I mean is that you would walk to the bridge and then you would control the ship like every other space "sim". That is not so, what would happen is that you would go to the bridge, then go to a console, communicate to engines(to the engineers there) that you want 75% power to main engines. And whoosh of you go. You would need to tell your Tactical person to raise shields and all that (now at this point, except for the engine part this sounds a lot like Star Quest Online, but there is more so much more, which again I do not fully feel like sharing). There is something that I have noticed: the personal and free(not price but ability to do things) a game is the more people will like it and it will make a success. So this is what the movement around the ship is: Personal, and free. The ship now would be your home, something the players would care about. They could also personalize it, not just in decorations, but (more importantly) in digging into it's systems and changing them to make the ship more effective. NOTE: this would probably need to be multiplayer to play at its top potential.

That is all I am going to share for now.

And I know I sound a little ridiculous but please do not take these ideas without my permission (just contact me if you want to use something or all of it).

Hoped this helped, and thanks for the game suggestion.

-Munchkin

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Original post by Munchkin9
And I know I sound a little ridiculous but please do not take these ideas without my permission (just contact me if you want to use something or all of it).
I know how you feel about wanting to protect your ideas, but I don't think you really need to worry about someone stealing an entire game concept... it isn't something that can just be stolen and created, it takes a lot of effort. And nobody wants to spend that much effort creating YOUR game idea when everyone here has a million of their own that they would rather make first. [grin]

If you are going to worry about something getting "stolen", it would probably be something much smaller that is easily implemented into an existing game, like an innovative control mechanism or something.

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Quote:
Original post by Munchkin9
That is all I am going to share for now.

And I know I sound a little ridiculous but please do not take these ideas without my permission (just contact me if you want to use something or all of it).

Hoped this helped, and thanks for the game suggestion.

-Munchkin



Yes. You must feel proud of your ideas, however, Im pretty sure that thousands of people considered the exact same concept before you. Sci-Fi tv shows and all.

As far as game like this, it is conceptually *very* similar to some submarine simulation games, Im thinking of the old 688i simulation games for example (I havent played a submarine sim since then, I assume Silent Hunter kinda looks like it too).

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Quote:
Original post by Munchkin9
There also seems to be some confusion: The fact that you could move around the ship is not some bonus thing, it IS the only way to control the ship...

To start I think you are assuming that what I mean is that you would walk to the bridge and then you would control the ship like every other space "sim". That is not so, what would happen is that you would go to the bridge, then go to a console, communicate to engines(to the engineers there) that you want 75% power to main engines. And whoosh of you go.

Why do you have to go to the bridge? Why can't you whip out your communicator, signal the engineers and give the order, regardless of where you are?

Being at the bridge is not about issuing commands to remote stations. It's about conferencing with and delegating to the subordinates physically present, especially under pressure. It's about a central location where information resources can be pooled, analyzed and informed decisions made on their basis. The way you have it in your game concept, going to the bridge is busywork.

(Similarly, the notion that the captain would have to go all the way to the armory to get a weapon, or that he'd abandon the bridge - the strategic hub - to go play Rambo rather than organizing defenses and counterattacks from his position of superior information quality... Unlikely.)

I blame Star Trek. Because Captains frequently left their station on issues of debatable importance (found a new planet? wonderful; that's what the scientists and linguists are on the ship for!), some people think that's a rational model for real missions. The captain's duty is first and foremost to the ship, as the means of ensuring the safe return of its crew and passengers.

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I'll second what smitty1276 said... we've got way too many ideas of our own to steal other people's ideas, especially since we'll mostly never get to implement even half of them. And if someone does take your idea or uses something similar, it's not a big deal. If they succeed, you have lost nothing, but can see it in action; if they fail, you still have lost nothing - ideas may be patentable to some degree but you can't copyright them. Conversely, if you still feel you have to protect your ideas, you should not tell anyone about them at all.

Now about this game. Leaving aside the issue of whether a captain should be running around doing things he's got subordinates for, you have to consider if such a control system is fun. You are basically forcing the player to go around doing chores for things that can be streamlined into an interface that provides immediate access to these resources. At best, it's fussy micromanagement. At worst, it's a broken interface. There is such a thing as too much freedom - without any focus, and with a clunky interface, people will get bored fast.

Some games do use a similar interface for navigation, but it's usually in 2D or static 3D where you just point and click at desks, telephones, stations, or doors to activate them. Some examples would be Silent Hunter, Oldtimer, Starlancer, Unreal 2 (iirc), and a whole slew of simulation games like Sea Legends, Ocean Trader, Ports of Call, etc. Okay, some of these are really old :) But they all offer immediate, at most about 3-click access to most information and functions.

If moving around the ship is the main attraction, maybe the game was meant to be a first-person shooter or an action/adventure game. System Shock 2 did the whole guy-on-spaceship thing real well, even if you had no control over the spaceship. But imagine a generational ship like in Orphans of the Sky, and you need to get access to the controls to change or correct the course. You could build a game around that.

Or maybe the game would play like Dungeon Keeper. Your crew members would go about their daily business, but you could at any point jump into an ego perspective of any of them for some corridor combat or dogfighting.

Looking at it from another side, if you want both FPS and dogfights, that's almost two separate engines to write, and double the resources. At that point we cross into a fantasy realm since the production costs rise dramatically. If you do finish, you might end up with a general simulator that's mediocre at everything (think BC3K/UC), while what you really should be building is a game that does maybe one or two things but does them well.

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Yes I know like I said it is a little ridiculous but I can't help it, since I want to be a game designer in the future I am a little paranoid.

Anyway now this next part is fairly small so I will not say it (it is a control scheme) But there is something I have though up that removes all micromanagement, and is perfectly doable. It would let this among other things be extremely simple to do.

As far as why the captain might move around: He needs to live, to go to the cafeteria to eat, and then go to his chamber to eat. Yes in essence it is busy work but it is part of the simulation and if you are a person like me that likes simulations too realistic :) then this would be perfect. If you are looking for the technical side. There are somethings that are a little difficult to just do other 'phone': directing a combat, seeing a planet's properties and read outs (including the look, and the species on it).

And yes this is heavily based on some submarine simulations I have played such as Silent Hunter.

Sorry if I have missed anything or jumped around a little: I just woke up, fell asleep in the middle of the day...again.

So to some up: Yes this has been done before but that is (as they say) the tip of the iceberg, but a small portion of the game.

-Munchkin

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