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Michael Klaus Schmidt

Star Explorers - on Greenlight

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My game "Star Explorers" is on Steam: Greenlight.  Please consider voting for it, and sharing with your friends! 

Here's a short trailer, showing some of the environments and gameplay...

Star Explorers
Earth is gone ... Humanity is faced with extinction ... Our only hope is to find another world

Star Explorers is a game that randomly generates a galaxy. Your quest: to find an earth-like planets. Each star and and celestial object can be scanned and added to an ever expanding database, every planet can be landed on and explored both above ground, and in underground cave systems that some planets will generate. A growing 3D map keeps everything organized. Each planet is unique, and has a different atmosphere, temperature along with other important factors. When conditions are right, various randomly generated life forms can thrive, creating opportunities and dangers for the player.

Current Features:

  • Randomly generated galaxy which the player can fully explore (Ok it's a small galaxy, but it will get bigger)
  • Randomly generated planets, with features based on factors such as atmosphere, distance from star etc...
  • Randomly generated cave systems on some planets
  • Day/Night cycles on each planet
  • Resource management and survival in hostile conditions
  • Randomly generated alien life, for a unique experience with each play-through
  • Random Quests, in addition to the main quest of finding earth-like planets
  • Intelligent alien life, either hostile or friendly towards the player
  • Inventory system
  • Trade System with friendly aliens
  • Melee and projectile combat with hostile aliens
  • Random weapons (similar to Borderlands)
  • Suit upgrade system, which allows player to explore previously uninhabitable planets
  • Star Explorers is unique in its focus on single player gameplay. There are other space exploration games out there, and there is certainly an interest in multiplayer adventures in space. However, Star Explorers attempts to capture the vastness, loneliness and desolation of space exploration, along with easy to learn, old-school shooter mechanics.

Planets are formed randomly, but their conditions are based on more or less scientific factors. The size and temperature of the star they orbit, their distance from that star, the type of surface, atmosphere, and liquids present (or not) determine how a planet will look once landed on. Players will be able to land, depart and return to planets, exploring their surfaces as well as underground cave systems repeatedly, while keeping the same features intact on each visit.

Exploration requires resources, which players must seek out on their quest. Fuel, food, ammunition and oxygen will all have to be carefully managed if the player wants to survive the long search for an earth-like planet. However, in the Star Explorers universe, there are other kinds of life, based not on water, but other various liquids that may be present on different planets. While many planets will be too hot or cold, or without an atmosphere, there are also worlds of liquid methane, ammonia, sulfuric acid and more, that have developed their own unique evolutionary cycles. Each kind of alien plant, tree or animal is pieced together randomly, making for a unique experience for each player.

The Star Explorers universe is not a friendly one though, it can be cruel and indifferent to the struggles of its inhabitants. If you're not careful, you might land on a planet that's just too hot, or too cold, or enveloped in a cloud of corrosive acid, and not live to tell about it. Upgrading your space suit will unlock these otherwise impossible worlds to further exploration.

Star Explorers began, and continues, as an individual effort. All the programming, artwork, and sounds in the game were produced by one artist. In my ongoing effort to bring my love for art and video games together, Star Explorers is my most ambitious project to date. Whether having one person in control of all these aspects of the game is a selling point or not, I can't say. However, it is an important part of the process for me as an artist.
Star Explorers home page:

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you got my vote.


re promoting the game: free playable demo. let them start and save a game, but not load, or only play so far. then $20 or so for the full game.  use #ifdef to disable features only in the full version or use link time code generation to omit uncalled features. that way there's no code for full features in the demo that they can hack into - they can't hack what ain't there. make the demos not run after 6 months or so, so older versions don't hang around forever.


so then your potential customer downloads and plays the demo, and thinks....


"man! i just hit level 5!    end of demo!   that's a cool game!   hmm... $20, 30 minutes DL, and i can keep going?   what the heck - go for it - gimme the game!" - that's the critical "buy" decision point right there.


get five people to think like that and you just made $100.


do that every day and you're making $36.5K a year as a lone wolf gamedev.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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That looks pretty neat!

I see the player walking through a tunnel towards the end of the trailer. Does your terrain engine support tunnels? How are they generated?

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Thanks Swiftcoder!  I am using old-school techniques to achieve all these effects.  The planets are made of tiles, randomly placed (but matching each surrounding tile) to create different  terrains on each planet.  The caves are done similarly, with different tiles placed randomly, connected to each other.  The outer space scenes, planet surfaces and caves are all built on separate level templates, so yes, there are going to be "loading" screens.  Once you visit one, however, the game will save the level, so when you return it will be the same...


Edited by MKSchmidt

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I have been working on getting the demo ready for playing.  Of course the game is much further from playable than I thought, so I'm going on a massive bug hunt.  I had to write two new, different save_game functions , and now I'm doing damage control for all the things that worked with the previous save_game functions ... but progress is being made. 


The demo will not show all the working features of the full game, but will demonstrate the ability to explore, save and re-explore multiple worlds.  My goal is to get the basic functions of the game totally smooth and stable, then build new features from there.  With my custom save_game functions, I also hope to allow players to upgrade the game, while retaining their existing saved games.  For now, here's a recent screenshot of an icy planet with a frozen lake:



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