Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Game development specific discussions.
Dr_D
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by Dr_D »

rdc wrote: Jun 27, 2023 18:01 I have made some progress on this but I am not happy with the format of the game right now so I need to look at a different presentation and gameplay model. I am going to put this on pause for July as I have finished my outline for a novel that I want to write, so I will devote July to writing the book and trying to get the first draft done. This will give me time to think about the project some more and to look at some pixel graphic options that I might use for the game. I think using some sprites and background will make the game more interactive and interesting if I can find a set of graphics that I can cobble together. Anyway, just FYI. The project is still alive just going to change, for the better I hope, after July.
I could help out a bit if you're cool with it. My version of "pixel art" is making things in Lightwave and then rendering them out in low resolution, so if you want me to give it a shot, just let me know exactly what you need. :)
rdc
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

I was looking at Trade Wars as my game is similar and they are using a presentation much like I am using so what I have may work all right. I am going to leave it the way it is for now and get a playable version going and then get some feedback on it. I need ideas for trade items so if you have any suggestions or know of a good source of information I can use let me know.
paul doe
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by paul doe »

rdc wrote: Jul 04, 2023 20:33 ...
I need ideas for trade items so if you have any suggestions or know of a good source of information I can use let me know.
A good source of ideas could be Frank Herbert's Dune series. There's only one planet in the known universe that has a unique resource: Melange, also known as 'spice', which has many interesting and unusual properties, such as unlocking prescience on people that consume it regularly (although it does come with side effects as well). Arrakis is a completely desserted planet, inhabited by giant worms which are the real source of the spice; all this makes the exploitation of Melange difficult and expensive.

This resource is in turn used by various other factions to provide their own services: the Bene Gesserit provide highly trained and specialized brides and/or spies, the Tleilaxu provide clones/servants and gene manipulation/transcendence over death, the Navigator's Guild provides transport of entire factions on their humongous ships by folding space-time, the people at IX provide highly-advanced technology, and so on and so forth; with minor factions providing persons trained as Mentats (think human computers) or doctors.

The novels deal with the commerce of spice and how the different factions try to outwit and outmaneuver each other to secure this much-needed resource, and sets everything up for very exciting intrigues and conflicts without shooting a single laser; although there are some battles every now and then, and are generally decisive and a turning point for every faction, not only the belligerents.

Definitely recommended if you're going for a space-intrigue rather than a space-opera game.
Dr_D
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by Dr_D »

Well, if you just want like a list of commodities to trade, you could always just borrow stuff from a game like Elite Dangerous. There is so much there it's ridiculous... and it's not like you're just blatantly copying because most of this stuff exists in real life. ;)
dafhi
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by dafhi »

paul doe - love that description!
paul doe
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by paul doe »

dafhi wrote: Jul 19, 2023 5:24 paul doe - love that description!
Oh if you love it, then you'll definitely love Herbert's novels. An absolute classic that I thoroughly recommend if you like clever science fiction and awesome characters 8)
rdc
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

The Dune novels are in my top ten list of sci-fi series. I will look at the Elite Dangerous items for sure. I have been playing Satisfactory and that has given me some idea as well. I want to add some depth to the game rather than just trading but stick with the game's mercantile theme. I am considering adding trade routes that the player can set up and receive a percentage of profits. I am not sure how many planets to have in the universe, but each world will have a specialty item that can only be produced by that planet. That specialty item may require additional off-world items so setting up a dependency network would promote exploration and expansion which I think will enhance the gameplay. Playing Satisfactory has been profitable because I see the value in a static world that can be exploited in a number of ways and promotes different play styles while keeping a consistent theme. I think I am going to do the same. That will allow me to really set up the different races and create a relationship graph that might be interesting. I will probably randomize the physical layout of the universe but keep the race profiles consistent. I have some other ideas as well to add depth to the game. I will continue with the current format and see how it goes, even though I am not really happy with it yet. Assuming I can implement any of this in the game. I have a decent idea of how to do it so I think I can work it out. I have been dealing with a chronic illness for a while now and lately, it has been getting worse which has been a struggle but I will keep at it. There isn't any deadline so maybe this time next year I will have something playable. :lol:
thebigh
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by thebigh »

I've been lurking a bit and reading this thread; can't wait to see how this turns out.
Dr_D
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by Dr_D »

thebigh wrote: Aug 10, 2023 22:57 I've been lurking a bit and reading this thread; can't wait to see how this turns out.
Me too. Hard to keep my big mouth shut on this though. lol
rdc
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

I picked up some pixel assets for planets, items, and ships over on itch.io. There are some really good assets over there and I like supporting the community. I think spent less than $20 USD for all of it. I used the Bing Image Creator to make some of my assets, but I don't really feel comfortable using these generative image creators as they are essentially ripping off human creators and stealing their intellectual property. I feel using these systems has real-world consequences that will result in income loss and loss of diversity that human imagination provides. However, if you look through the asset packs on itch.io, a lot of them are created using generative image systems and I refuse to support those packages.

The only thing I am lacking now are some avatar images but I did purchase an avatar set a while ago when I was thinking about updating my Deep Deadly Dungeon game so I will probably use those. They are a bit on the fantasy side, but I think that will work for what I am doing. It will look a little Star Wars-ish. :)

Right now, I am not actually working on the game but working on a GUI for the game. I realized that I needed a better interface for the game, something that would handle input fields, popup dialogs, and other GUI elements. Even though the game is primarily a text-based game, I am using a graphic screen for the presentation so saving background areas under popups is fairly straightforward. Technically,. I don't really have to do that, but it will make the GUI much easier to use and I don't have to worry about what is underneath the popup. I actually built a GUI system for Deep Deadly Dungeon so I am trying to recycle that for this game. It will just make things easier to have a class-based GUI system that does all the heavy lifting for user input and presentation and I should be able to reuse it for future games. A little effort up-front will save a lot of effort in the back. Progress is slow on this one, but I am plugging away at it.
rdc
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

I thought I would mention that I am using Converseen to convert the PNG files to BMP files. You can convert the files in a batch, change the backgrounds and the quality of the conversions seems quite good. Free and open source. It is available on Sourceforge.
rdc
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

Making some progress.

Image
rdc
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

Just a little update. I have tried a couple of different approaches to this and both approaches were not very interesting. I left it over the holidays and let my subconscious think about it. My subconscious reminded me of the games Baseball Manager and Football Manager. These games were text only games where you managed a team and they were very popular. I thought this idea would be perfect.i played around with it a bit and I think it will work. I haven't figured out all the details yet but it looks promising.
rdc
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

A preliminary status screen. I don't have all the data structures in place yet so this will change.
Image
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Re: Star Trader Game (In-progress)

Post by rdc »

Trade route creation screen.
Image
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