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slicer4ever

Space race games.

5 posts in this topic

So, this has always been a concept i've wanted to do.  several tv shows have tackled the concept(star trek voyager, stagate sg-1, various other sci-fi shows).

 

Generally the concept is pretty simple, get a ship, fly it through some obstacles.  generally their's asteroid fields, flying close to a sun, long strenchs of space, etc, and come in first place.

 

it's pretty straight-forward, but when i've tried to tackle these before, i didn't know how to really make it work. I've made flying around an asteroid field which is pretty simple, but some of the more exciting/complex aspects shown in tv shows doesn't really translate to gameplay easily imo.

 

for example, flying around a sun sounds interesting, but I'm not really sure of a way to make it work decently, you could opt for the route of having to avoid solar flares, and etc by forcing the user to fly close to the sun's surface.  or perhaps some sort of shield managing mini-game to make sure you don't get fryed while being so close.

 

but i'd like some other ideas for things to do, and how to spice up such a concept with different obstacles, and concepts.

 

any thoughts on the subject?

 

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I’ve always liked the idea of using gravity to slingshot your ship and drift around planets without getting sucked in when it comes to space piloting games. Something like the Kessel Run from the Star Wars universe would be a really interesting course. (The idea is that the Kessel Run is a trade route that goes through a black hole cluster. The more cautious pilots go a long distance around to avoid getting sucked in, but if you’ve got a powerful ship and stick to the relatively safe paths, you can snake your way through the center, presumably shaving a lot of parsecs off the course length. The same could be done with any kind of course featuring planets, moons, or large asteroids.)

 

I also think that generally speaking, extremely realistic physics in terms of how the ship handles in outer space are often more frustrating than fun. It might be just me, but I like having some amount of "friction" to decelerate the ship when you're not running the engines and a steering system that isn't entirely based on side thrusters, just to make the handling easier and more like terrestrial racing games.

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I’ve always liked the idea of using gravity to slingshot your ship and drift around planets without getting sucked in when it comes to space piloting games. Something like the Kessel Run from the Star Wars universe would be a really interesting course. (The idea is that the Kessel Run is a trade route that goes through a black hole cluster. The more cautious pilots go a long distance around to avoid getting sucked in, but if you’ve got a powerful ship and stick to the relatively safe paths, you can snake your way through the center, presumably shaving a lot of parsecs off the course length. The same could be done with any kind of course featuring planets, moons, or large asteroids.)

 

I also think that generally speaking, extremely realistic physics in terms of how the ship handles in outer space are often more frustrating than fun. It might be just me, but I like having some amount of "friction" to decelerate the ship when you're not running the engines and a steering system that isn't entirely based on side thrusters, just to make the handling easier and more like terrestrial racing games.

 

hmm, i really like the idea of gravity assists.  perhaps adding multiple paths to take for a route would make it a bit interesting.  for example, a longer route might be to head to a near by moon to do a gravity assist, instead of taking the shorter more direct path, however if you mess up the gravity assist(such as not staying tight enough to the object, or not coming out at the correct angle, then you don't get any extra speed, slowing you down overall.

 

I'm not aiming to do anything close to real physics by any means, so you'll be able to slow down/speed up on demand(i'll probably add a little "thruster" like animation at the front of the ship though when you do hit the brakes).  but performing gravity assists to give you a speed boost is defiantly possible.

 

I've also been thinking of the idea a bit more.  I was thinking of allowing the player to control their power supply between engines, and shields, basically more power to shields means better ability to deflect impacts from asteroids, or better protection from heat sources, but you can't accelerate nearly as fast.

Edited by slicer4ever
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for example, flying around a sun sounds interesting, but I'm not really sure of a way to make it work decently, you could opt for the route of having to avoid solar flares, and etc by forcing the user to fly close to the sun's surface.  or perhaps some sort of shield managing mini-game to make sure you don't get fryed while being so close.

Have you played FTL? There's some battles in it which occur close to a sun (which I know is quite different to a race wink.png). In these battles, flares will occasionally damage your ship (they ignore shields IIRC) and start fires within different compartments. While you're trying to manage your weapons/shields/engines to fight the enemy ship, you also have to micro-manage your crew to run around the place and keep the fires under control. In a worst case scenario you may even resort to opening external doors to purge oxygen from parts of your ship to put out the fires (and hoping your enemy doesn't target your O2 pumps with a missile in the meantime biggrin.png)

Edited by Hodgman
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for example, flying around a sun sounds interesting, but I'm not really sure of a way to make it work decently, you could opt for the route of having to avoid solar flares, and etc by forcing the user to fly close to the sun's surface.  or perhaps some sort of shield managing mini-game to make sure you don't get fryed while being so close.

Have you played FTL? There's some battles in it which occur close to a sun (which I know is quite different to a race wink.png). In these battles, flares will occasionally damage your ship (they ignore shields IIRC) and start fires within different compartments. While you're trying to manage your weapons/shields/engines to fight the enemy ship, you also have to micro-manage your crew to run around the place and keep the fires under control. In a worst case scenario you may even resort to opening external doors to purge oxygen from parts of your ship to put out the fires (and hoping your enemy doesn't target your O2 pumps with a missile in the meantime biggrin.png)

o man, don't even get me started on suns in FTL.  I have literally lost on the very first jump, because i ended up in a sun, my engines and cockpit kept catching fire, causing me to try and repair them.  it was an absolute disaster.  I have lost even great running games because i accidentally jumped into a damn sun(usually outright making me lose their, or crippling me so badly that the next fight did me in).  but i still love the game=-)

Edited by slicer4ever
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I would take all the space elements (asteroids, planets, ships, satellites, space-stations etc.) and then rescale them. Think something like super mario galaxy but flight simulator instead. You orbit around a planet, gain speed and then launch yourself through space to another planet using some kind of bump-jumper that pushes you out of orbit. The skill would be to get the right rythm in orbit & launch. I guess you would have to have some kind of helpers for the trajectories. Then you can have some low-power side engines for fine-tuning your position to avoid obstacles that might occur. The graphics would not be cartoonic, but "realistic" with special attention given to the planets and various "glow" effects.

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