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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSpace Freighter - mobile puzzle/strategy game
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Author Topic: Space Freighter - mobile puzzle/strategy game  (Read 1259 times)
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« on: February 13, 2015, 07:53:49 am »

I thought it would be a simple job. "Fly your cargo from A to B, gain some resources, and be on your way" they said.

Unfortunatelly resources are scarce, so no - press the button and let the autopilot calculate the route  and swoosh! off we go! - while I grab a beer and get a few cozy hours in the freezer... and to make things worse, pirates are patrolling my route. Greedy bastards.
My only "weapon" might be no heavy rocket launcher or massive laser turret, but one has to live with what he has, and so the gravity field generator comes in pretty handy! With it I'm not just restricted to the use of planets and asteroids to change my route, but can deactivate their gravity and even create my own gravity fields to alter my course – and the course of pirates coming dangerously close.

Space Freighter is a game about starting at point A and reaching point B. But the way of controlling the movement of your space freighter, the limited resources, as well as the clever and challenging placement of obstacles and pirates certainly won't make this an easy task!

The movement direction of the ship can not be directly controlled. Instead, the ship uses the gravity of planets and other solid objects in space (like in the real world - kind of) to alter its course. To move where the player intends to move, he can spend energy to create anti-gravity and gravity fields to disable the gravity of solids, and to create new possibilities for course changes. this can also be used to alter the course of pirates, which will attack the freighter's shields.

So the goal of this game is to reach the target station without letting the pirates destroy your ship and without running out of energy.

faster than actual gameplay


I still have some bugs to fix and things to complete, mainly:

* implement multiple controlable freighters
* monochrome style --; colorpalette ++;
* levels need to be set up
* finalize sounds
* create help / tutorial

This is my first game ever and evolved out of my intention to get into programming.
So please let my know what you think, I'm greatful for all suggestions, constructive criticism as well as motivating comments!

Dwarven Artisan

« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 11:31:21 am by DwarvenArtisan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2015, 11:06:05 pm »

I really like it!  It's just my kind of thing.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • The use of monochrome green is stylish but it's a bit low on clarity (which things are you/planets/cargo/pirates/etc.)  I'd put in some more color, myself.  But barring that, monochrome sprites can increase clarity by having strong outlines and distinctive silhouettes, using a variety of sizes, and using animation loops (like flashing "beacons" on destinations and cargo, to indicate those things are good-for-you).
  • If you're looking for an extra challenge for subsequent levels, you could probably do a two ship/three ship run pretty easily. (You could even reuse old levels and have the extra challenge just be handling multiple ships through a familiar challenge).

Some thoughts that might be out-of-scope for this iteration of your idea, but which wouldn't be too hard of a programming challenge:

  • I think the idea might make a little more sense on hexes, since they better approximate a circular orbit.
  • I'd REALLY like it as a free trading game (like Taipan, Pirates!, Tradewinds, etc.) where I could go into port, buy some stuff, and go to another port, but with the chance of pirates and challenges in between.  I like the non-demanding play but strong feeling of progress these games provide, but they often struggle to put meaningful challenges in between ports, and fall back on repetitive combat.  Your kind of challenge here would be a great fit for that kind of game.

But in any case, this is very impressive for a first game!  Good job!
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 12:58:20 am »

Yey! Thank you so much Smiley
Your input is fantastic!

The monochome style: Yes, I was struggling with it already. I had this initial idea of a screen panal like the one in fallout. Allthough, especially with your second suggestion, and in later, more complicated levels, I think it's mandatory that the gameplay doesn't suffer from a "i thought it would be more stylish" mono color palette.

The two/three ships: Great. It's quite easy to implement and could really add a whole new scope to this. Absolutly going to do this Wink

The other ones are great ideas too, but as you said, I think they're a bit too out-of-scope for now (especially the 4th). They also wouldn't really work as updates, since they turn the game into something completely different. But maybe for a sequel some time?

Thanks again for your great feedback!

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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 12:35:28 am »

Not a prob; I'm looking forward to playing it!

One easy bit of theming, midway to the more elaborate suggestion, would be to simply theme the level-select screen as a map of space.  That is, if you just gave names to the beginning and ending points in each level, and then place them on the map as points, you could represent the level-select buttons as lines in between these points. 

Same functionality, just a slightly different presentation, but I think it would help support the theme and give a feeling of progression as you unlock more sectors.  And who doesn't love to see a big ol' space map? Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 10:23:41 pm »

If you keep those lovely ideas coming like that I`ll have to mention you in the credits! Thank you Coffee

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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 04:59:42 am »

Allright! I've been hard at work  Yawn

* Changed the colors to allow fast and easy identification. I'm going for a kind of modern 80's neon style.
* Added support for up to three freighters (depending on level difficulty)
* Replaced the old radar with more practical HUDs

And finally, here's a short gameplay video! Yey! (just a testing ground mission)



And another one in as .gif with explenations and already some small improvements  Who, Me?

Because it's a bit hard to grab what's happening here..

1.  a gravity field is placed (yellow thing) to get freighter2 to turn towards his station
2.  freighter2 turns, and another gravity field is placed
3.  an anti-gravity field is placed (orange thing) to prevent freighter3 from turning
    (violet things are planets, asteroids,.. that have gravity same as gravity fields)
4.  since i didn't manage to remove the antigravity field for freighter2, he keeps turning...
5.  freighter 3 reaches his station and is done
5.  I switched the camera to freighter2 (bottom buttons)
6.  the gravity field at freighter1 gets removed so he's just moving straight ahead again
7.  pirate fires at freighter1, freighter 1 jumps through wormhole, and I removed the gravity field at
8.  switched camera to freighter1
9.  wormhole destroys itself
10. switched camera to freighter2 and placed anti-gravity field on solid
11. freighter 1 has reached his station
12. freighter 2 reached his station and the mission is completed successfully.
13. YEY!  Hand Clap

My TO DO list is still pretty long but I think I'm making good progress..
* Some fixing up for the multi freighter support
* The new level select screen in form of a star map is coming along but still needs a lot of work
* Sound is far from finished
* Tutorial/help
* Some smaller issues and bugs to fix
* And of course still ahead: setting up all the missions

Please let me know what you think! Beer!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 02:17:00 pm by DwarvenArtisan » Logged

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