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karlin
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« on: August 09, 2013, 03:11:06 PM »

You can try the original version of the game at itch.io and the Ludum Dare version on the Ludum Dare page.



Back in July 2013 I took part in 7dRTS over at Ludum Dare. I am continuing to work on my entry, Icarus, to turn it into a full game.



The game is set in the far future where our star, having exhausted all of it's hydrogen reserves, begins to turn into a red giant and engulf the inner planets. Your aim is to evacuate as many people to the safer outer planets and ultimately to a new star system.

I aim to expand the game past the point where humanity escapes from the dying sun and the challenges they face in trying to find a new home. The basic concept will attempt to stray away from the standard RTS tropes of war, conquest and diplomacy and try to focus more on survival, growth and exploration.

You can see footage of the new version at





Development Screenshots
March 2014
 

 


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« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 10:59:53 AM by karlin » Logged

Goran
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 01:50:17 AM »

Wonderful idea and a nice execution!

I've played through it and found it a bit on the easy side. As long as you don't mind most population perish you can sacrifice most of them to win.

If you can set up conditions so that you have to keep most of the planets alive to win then mirrors and fusion inhibitors would make much more sense.

Anyways - looking forward to where you take this Smiley
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soryy708
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 04:55:07 AM »

Woah, awesome game.
However,

- I found myself having too much metal, and not enough deuterium.
- I didn't realise there were humans on the closest planets before they died.
- The game is depressing. Probably because of the EPIC SOUNDTRACK!!!
- A tutorial could be nice.
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karlin
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 09:34:58 AM »

Wonderful idea and a nice execution!

I've played through it and found it a bit on the easy side. As long as you don't mind most population perish you can sacrifice most of them to win.

If you can set up conditions so that you have to keep most of the planets alive to win then mirrors and fusion inhibitors would make much more sense.

Anyways - looking forward to where you take this Smiley
Thanks for the feedback. I'm finding it hard to get the difficulty right. Generally most players beat the game with only 2-3 planets destroyed whereas my aim was for the player to be forced right back to the outermost planet.

One idea I'm toying with is adding more resource types and making some only available on the outermost planets. This would force the player to push outward and not just spam build mines waiting for enough to build the colony ship. Right now the code's a bit of a mess so this'll have to come after I've finished rewriting everything.

To make it more worthwhile to save more people I'm planning on making the population persistent. Basically after you leave Earth whatever population you managed to save will continue onward for the rest of the game.


Woah, awesome game.
However,

- I found myself having too much metal, and not enough deuterium.
- I didn't realise there were humans on the closest planets before they died.
- The game is depressing. Probably because of the EPIC SOUNDTRACK!!!
- A tutorial could be nice.
Sorry about this, I tweaked a few values last weekend (made deuterium harder to find) in an attempt to make it a little more difficult - I'm going to try to tweak them a little more over the next few days.

For the music I used a few tracks from Kevin MacLeod. He makes some really great royalty-free music. Well worth having a look if you're ever making anything which needs music.

A tutorial's definitely next on my to-do list as it was one of the main problems people had playing the LD version. I'll try to get in in as soon as possible.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 01:01:17 PM by karlin » Logged

karlin
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 12:34:45 PM »

Today I rewrote the star system generation code. Not too exciting but makes things much easier in the future. Took me ages to get eccentric orbits to work but I finally cracked it.

Also, I'm not sure how but I managed to finish first place in the mini Ludum Dare, I'm really chuffed and it's definitely inspired me to keep working on this Smiley.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 05:45:07 AM by karlin » Logged

Goran
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 12:38:29 PM »

Congratulations! And keep up the good work Smiley
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karlin
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 05:17:39 AM »

Sorry for the lack of updates, I had to take a short break from development but managed to get a little bit done over the past week or two.

The main thing I've been working on is the new star map:




I've also added other star systems, they still need a little work:


Next thing on the todo list is adding ship building and movement at which point I should be able to release a playable build.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 08:25:59 AM by karlin » Logged

flap
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 05:30:14 AM »

Hello Karlin !

I am pleased to see that you keep developping that idea !
Hmm, "unexplored moon". That looks interresting...
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karlin
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 08:00:35 AM »

Hello Karlin !

I am pleased to see that you keep developping that idea !
Hmm, "unexplored moon". That looks interresting...

Thanks Smiley.

A few new updates:
First of all I've been working on improving the galaxy map.

Managed to get a semi-decent random name generation written, was quite fun to make, but tricky to get right. Had a few chuckles at some of the earlier names it generated.

Next I've begun working on ship construction.
I've added probes. You can send these to other star systems to learn more about them before attempting to colonise them.

You'll first need to send them to stars to see if a star system has any planets.

Then you can send them to planets to find out if there are any moons.


Next I'm going to try to add an interface for ship and planet building.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 12:50:02 PM by karlin » Logged

flap
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2013, 12:06:08 AM »

hmm, galaxy exploration... Does it means that everytime we colonize a new system, we will trigger a new star explosion ? Damned, it would either mean that we really did not improve in environment protection; or something powerfull is really angry at us !

From the pictures, I can see different types of stars : low temperature giant red, with a narrow comfort zone, and bright hot bleu stars with a further comfort zone. We could even some where the comfort zone is much more remote from the star (a narrow band pretty far way).

A question : will material be shared in the whole system, or will we have to move it around ? (I think that I would prefer the later.... But it means more micro-managing)
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karlin
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2013, 12:00:52 PM »

hmm, galaxy exploration... Does it means that everytime we colonize a new system, we will trigger a new star explosion ? Damned, it would either mean that we really did not improve in environment protection; or something powerfull is really angry at us !
Probably not gonna have every star system you explore explode, although I would like to come up with some other challenges to overcome. I've got one or two ideas, but I think I'll probably need to come up with a few more.

From the pictures, I can see different types of stars : low temperature giant red, with a narrow comfort zone, and bright hot bleu stars with a further comfort zone. We could even some where the comfort zone is much more remote from the star (a narrow band pretty far way).

A question : will material be shared in the whole system, or will we have to move it around ? (I think that I would prefer the later.... But it means more micro-managing)
I'm not certain to be honest. For moving population I'm planning to make it so once a planet is colonised you can freely move people from other colonised planets perhaps using a small amount of resources and time.
I may just make it so each star system has it's own resources which are shared between all planets with the option to transport them to other star systems.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 12:44:05 PM by karlin » Logged

Thomas Finch
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 03:30:34 PM »

One idea I'm toying with is adding more resource types and making some only available on the outermost planets. This would force the player to push outward and not just spam build mines waiting for enough to build the colony ship.
Note: The following is coming from someone who hasn't played the game. Well assuming you need the resources you're speaking of to beat it at all, then you're making it so the player can not possibly beat it without getting to those planets. Part of creating a challenging experience is getting the player to challenge beating his last score. I think it would be better to have the later planets have more of those resources, but the earlier planets have some as well. That way the player can only beat it early if he really manages his resources well.
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flap
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2013, 05:31:50 AM »

Probably not gonna have every star system you explore explode, although I would like to come up with some other challenges to overcome. I've got one or two ideas, but I think I'll probably need to come up with a few more.

Some suggestions for space hazards :
- Shrinking star. The opposit as what we have today : the systme is always getting cooler untill everything is dark an frozen
- Pulsating star. The star might change much in size. But produced heat can change a lot, thus moving the comfort area in the system. Different patern of evolution could be imagined, and maybe linked with an ultimate explosion, or shrinking
- Rogue planet. A rogue planet (or planets...) crosses the system, with potential collision with an existing planet or the star (if such a collision might occur, we are warned in advance), but also very interresting minerals. That planet would travel from cold areas to warmer once and back to cold (unless there is a collision)
- High exentricitry orbit planet. Similar as above : a very interresting planet only spend a part of its orbit in liveable zone.
- Nearby super nova. Some signs will warn you (if you had colonized the neighboor system alreay, the star would start becoming irregular). You have to get far soon enough before everybody is fried. Recolonisation is possible.
- Nebula. A portion of the system goes through a nebula, thus a portion of most planets orbit crosses that toxic (?) cloud. The more time a planet spends in it, the more damages is caused.
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karlin
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 03:54:42 PM »

One idea I'm toying with is adding more resource types and making some only available on the outermost planets. This would force the player to push outward and not just spam build mines waiting for enough to build the colony ship.
Note: The following is coming from someone who hasn't played the game. Well assuming you need the resources you're speaking of to beat it at all, then you're making it so the player can not possibly beat it without getting to those planets. Part of creating a challenging experience is getting the player to challenge beating his last score. I think it would be better to have the later planets have more of those resources, but the earlier planets have some as well. That way the player can only beat it early if he really manages his resources well.
Good point. I'm thinking of adding a tech tree in the near future so technology will be more of a limiting factor at the start of the game. It should (hopefully) as you suggested allow players who are more familiar with the game and know what they're doing to beat the beginning rather quickly, whereas newer players will need to move out to the farther planets to survive long enough. (btw ethereal's looking great Smiley)

Probably not gonna have every star system you explore explode, although I would like to come up with some other challenges to overcome. I've got one or two ideas, but I think I'll probably need to come up with a few more.

Some suggestions for space hazards :
- Shrinking star. The opposit as what we have today : the systme is always getting cooler untill everything is dark an frozen
- Pulsating star. The star might change much in size. But produced heat can change a lot, thus moving the comfort area in the system. Different patern of evolution could be imagined, and maybe linked with an ultimate explosion, or shrinking
- Rogue planet. A rogue planet (or planets...) crosses the system, with potential collision with an existing planet or the star (if such a collision might occur, we are warned in advance), but also very interresting minerals. That planet would travel from cold areas to warmer once and back to cold (unless there is a collision)
- High exentricitry orbit planet. Similar as above : a very interresting planet only spend a part of its orbit in liveable zone.
- Nearby super nova. Some signs will warn you (if you had colonized the neighboor system alreay, the star would start becoming irregular). You have to get far soon enough before everybody is fried. Recolonisation is possible.
- Nebula. A portion of the system goes through a nebula, thus a portion of most planets orbit crosses that toxic (?) cloud. The more time a planet spends in it, the more damages is caused.

Some nice ideas there, thanks. The rogue planet one may be a little tricky as I currently haven't got a way of detecting collisions between planets, the others should be pretty doable though. I'll have a little play around with them.

Not a lot new to report. I've been working on the UI and it's going pretty okay. Fixed some performance issues I've been having and a number of bugs with the ship movement so everything is running a lot better now.
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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 03:59:21 PM »

Good point. I'm thinking of adding a tech tree in the near future so technology will be more of a limiting factor at the start of the game. It should (hopefully) as you suggested allow players who are more familiar with the game and know what they're doing to beat the beginning rather quickly, whereas newer players will need to move out to the farther planets to survive long enough. (btw ethereal's looking great Smiley)
That sounds like a great solution. And thanks! :D
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karlin
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 01:48:03 PM »

It's been a while since I've posted as I took a little time off working on the game.

In the past month I started work again. I've been working mostly on the UI and bugfixing. Ship building is working now and I'm currently in the process of rewriting the code for ship movement as I wasn't happy with it. I decided to get rid of the multiple star systems as I had some performance issues. For now I plan to just stick with the single star system with either multiple scenarios or an ongoing story.


I'll try to keep updating here a little more often Smiley.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 01:58:04 PM by karlin » Logged

karlin
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 02:58:24 PM »

Did some more UI work today mostly back end stuff but I made a few changes to how it looks too, you can see it at

.

I also started adding resources to planets

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flap
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2014, 05:11:46 AM »

Ah, some news ! Good to see that you are still developping it.
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2014, 11:54:58 AM »

Oh man, this looks interesting. Space-themed RTS that is not focused on war? Count me in!

I like how empty space looks... but have you thought of making it even emptier?
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barley
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2014, 12:55:00 PM »

I love the graphical style, well done Gentleman
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