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Need Help with Storyline and Gameplay Design

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So I'm making a 2D game based on unity engine, I've done a couple of basic things on my own and I'm actually doing all the scripting, animations and graphics, storyline and gameplay design and the other stuff on my own, but I need help to make the game better. Because it lacks motivation.
 
The game is about an astronaut abandoned in space, trying to build a spaceship to get back home. I actually thought of some sort of storyline for it but it needs serious work, so I need help with the storyline, but that's not the case now. I have some ideas for the gameplay but I would like to know other ideas on a fun and interesting gameplay, so the base gameplay includes collecting resources to build a spaceship while trying to overcome the problems you encounter, such as lack of friction or not having a huge inventory space. I want the game to be huge and not linier so everything should be dynamic except you wake up in the middle of space and your goal is to build something that will give you enough momentum to get past the gate(its kind of a portal that you need to have a certain momentum so it activates). But the base gameplay can be quite boring without dynamism and interesting events. So I need some ideas how to make it more addicting and interesting and less boring. Basically, some motivation for players to play the game, because now there's no challenge in it, it's just a matter of how long the player feels like moving around and looking for things, and without challenges the game is not fun.
 
I personally thought of collectibles and there are tons of objects that can be found in the empty quite space which you can interact with some and collect some. There are also crazy ways to move around including firing the guns governments through away in the infinite space to jetpacks made out of fire extinguishers and a lot more. And also some of these objects can be built, others can be found in the environment.
 
Basically, I'm trying to make an open world(kind of) big 2D game that offers a lot of exploration and gameplay, but having just a large environment is not enough, it needs to be interesting and fun to make a large environment a good thing!
 
So tell me what do you like in a game like this and your general opinion on this.
Sorry if it's in the wrong forum, but i thought that this is the most related forum to what I am asking for help... [Edited by moderator]
?

Edited by Bardia_E
team recruitment

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Bardia, this forum is for game design. If you want to discuss story, please use the Writing forum for that. Also please do not try to recruit in the discussion forums - use the Classifieds section for that. Good luck!

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What I personally like in games is puzzles! I think what makes a good game are the conflicts that you encounter and the fun of solving them your own way.

So, right now the astronaut is in the middle of space right? If that space is kinda empty, then there's not much conflict going (based on what I read from your post). What if the astronaut happened to get stranded in an area where something HUGE happened and there's debris from a ship collisions/battle everywhere and it all seems dead and quiet..

You don't know what happened, but you need to find parts to fix your ship very soon because oxygen is limited. You must navigate through the debris/destroyed battleships to find the right parts and hopefully find oxygen/water supplies to live longer to find more parts. Add alien scavenger race to make it more interesting if you want.

Or just let his ship crash into alien planet and rebuild with supplies on land? /shrug

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