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Game design document

Here’s an imaginary path for each iteration of the game that I’m making. If you have any ideas that you would love to see in a game like this, I would love to know! I enjoy keeping the ideas quite freely moving and changing until I have to actually make that version.

Version 0.1

  • A couple of planets, with gravity forces.
  • A rudimentary ship with a thrust and mouse-controlled turning, that can collide with the planets
  • In deep space, thrust is needed to accelerate or decelerate; thrust is also needed to land on planets else you die.
Version 0.2
  • Static enemy turrets, that can fire lasers at the smuggler ship
  • Smugglable resources and fuel on planets; cost money
  • Multiple solar systems
  • An exponential thrust system for the smuggler ship to quickly cover large distances
  • Fuel supply and damage amount for smuggler ship
Version 0.3
  • Other solar entities such as asteroids/ asteroid fields, stars, non-inhabitable planets – all cause damage to ship.
  • large-scale enemy ships with AI to avoid asteroids and planets, and fire at the smuggler
  • improved graphics 🙂 sound effects.
  • Trade/ smuggling screens for each planet’s resources
  • save/ load games
Version 0.4
  • Guns on the smuggler’s ship
  • Physics collisions with parts of smuggler’s ship breaking off
  • Modular repairs/ upgrades for smuggler’s ship, with per-module damage amount.
  • Small enemy ships with AI to chase the smuggler quickly and shoot at it.
  • Directional boosters (left right up down) for smaller ships.
Version 0.5
  • Ability to call for ally backup a limited number of times.
  • Galactic map…
  • Distinction between options of trading legal substances for less money or illegal substances with higher risks
  • Nefarious pirate ships
Version 0.6
  • Shady repairs, and occasionally vendors of ‘legal’ goods/ supplies, can screw you over.
  • Shields/ cloaking devices that fail if you take damage
  • Fuel stations and repair stations as well as planets
  • Non -smuggling ‘missions’ – take down satellites, get bounty hunters/ assassins trying to kill you, team up with other smugglers and protect them from incoming fire, kill off other smugglers taking your business, low-level flying and bombing planets.
Version 0.7
  • Ground level chases from tipped off police ships when loading/ unloading cargo
  • Given option to switch sides if your ship crashes on a habitable planet – you start taking out other smugglers and shutting down illicit substance manufacturers.
  • Buy planets to gain a steady income from illegal substances grown/ mined/ purified, but with high risk
  • Possibly combat mechanics like slow motion, different weapon types

I’m trying to think of a catchier name for this project than “smuggler game”. Do you have any ideas for a unique and interesting-sounding name? Thanks!

The first step in a long journey!

Hello.

This blog is an account of developing a 3D PC game. I intend to work on it (the blog and the game) over the summer, which for me starts in 3 weeks when my exams finish. Blog posts will probably not be regular – hopefully that will be due to my addiction to developing the game rather than a lack of progress!

The game is a smuggling in space simulation. The majority of the game will be flying a spaceship in 3rd person. The controls will be keyboard and mouse based, and intricate enough to be enjoyable to fly and fight. Visual design will be semi-realistic futuristic (like mass effect, star wars, sins of a solar empire) but as I am only one person, the 3d art quality may have to be sacrificed to allow me to concentrate on programming.

The programming will take up the majority of this blog and my time. I would like to use C++, but regarding game engines/ APIs, I haven’t made a choice yet. I am tempted to write systems implementing OpenGL, but this may be too much work, so I will look at other engines as well. I don’t have much experience at all, and am trying to get to grips with this book, which is fantastic but a slow read for me: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Programming-Gems-Series-v/dp/1584502339.

Please get in touch if you have anything to say, including ideas for features, opinions, or just telling me I’m doing it wrong! Thanks for checking this out,

Patrick