Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1368118 Posts in 64198 Topics- by 56135 Members - Latest Member: Zeroneus

October 21, 2019, 06:18:21 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsStardust Tycoon - 2D elite inspired space trading game - NEW DEMO available
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
Print
Author Topic: Stardust Tycoon - 2D elite inspired space trading game - NEW DEMO available  (Read 7704 times)
PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #60 on: June 17, 2018, 02:37:21 AM »

DEMO BUILD RELEASED!

Yes! The day has finally come, where I can present the current state of my game to the public. I've created a page on itch.io where you can download the demo.

https://petskull.itch.io/stardust-tycoon

Let me know what you think of it so far. And remember, it's only a showcase of the core game mechanics and it represents only approx. 30% of the game Smiley
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #61 on: June 17, 2018, 06:42:57 AM »

Some of the police officers will occasionally investigate the nearby area for suspicious behaviour or anomalies.

Logged

bryku
Level 1
*


View Profile
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2018, 11:49:09 AM »

DEMO BUILD RELEASED!

Yes! The day has finally come, where I can present the current state of my game to the public. I've created a page on itch.io where you can download the demo.

https://petskull.itch.io/stardust-tycoon

Let me know what you think of it so far. And remember, it's only a showcase of the core game mechanics and it represents only approx. 30% of the game Smiley


Hi! Played your demo for a little while, as I kinda like these Elite-inspired space games.

Here's a list of my remarks:

The "Choose your ship" menu presented me with a few ship options. The problem is that each of the ship was having the same stats. I believe that it is because you didn't spend time yet on implementing these.

Also, I really didn't have any idea on what are the ship stats all about (compartment capacity, engine, number of generators, max. land speed). I mean I kinda knew about the capacity, but you might consider adding some explanations of the other ones.

The "land speed" I believe is the speed of the ship on a planet, right? Is it possible to manually control a ship in space as well, or is space travel made automatically?

During the gameplay I had issues with controls. The ship is controlled by arrows, you are shooting using space and enter, and in some cases you actually need to use the mouse as well. So these default controls require three hands to work, really Wink Consider using WASD for movement and something else than enter for using a weapon - and then the player will be able to use one hand on all keyboard controls, and the other hand will be able to control the mouse.

On the other hand, there is not that much to do with the mouse right now (although there are things that need to be done with it). So maybe removing mouse usage from the gameplay parts that involve ship movement might be a better option.

When I approached an outpost, I had no idea what to do next - had to dive into help to see that I need to press "C" to initiate communication. The thing is that if the only option available is to communicate anyway (meaning that the player is unable to do anything else with a nearby outpost than press "C"), consider putting that information right on the screen, maybe below the name of the outpost (just a simple "[c]: communicate" message or something like that).

The other thing was that I believe that I had to use the mouse cursor to select the outpost before I could press "C". This seems like an unnecessary thing;  game could auto-select the outpost when the player would be in its close vicinity.

It was impossible to see the list of commodities using the communications screen - nothing was displayed.

After I landed, there was an information that I need to refuel, and that I need 0.5 l. However, I didn't see any information on what is my max fuel capacity. So I didn't have any information on my remaining range.

If the fuel is important, consider displaying it on the screen all the time.

Also, is the fuel used only during planet movement, or during interstellar flight as well?

When on the market, and during buying/selling ship parts, I missed a "draft" approach - meaning that first I set up the things I would like to sell/buy, and then after seeing the summary I press "accept". This would remove the situations in which selling and then immediately buying the same thing would strip me of some of my credits.

I also run into an UI issue with the "Burst gun" item - it displayed both "No room for upgrade" and "Unavailable on this landing pad" texts in one place, overlapping themselves.

I started a combat with one of the ships travelling on the planet, but was unable to kill it - its HPs never went below zero. Is that desired? Also, the ship did not try to avoid my attacks - I simply was flying straight behind it, firing at it all the time. Was the ship sending a distress call? It should, I guess. I mean it was happening on a colonized planet. Maybe some police patrols should appear?

The thing that I believe is missing from the ship movement is a lack of visual indication that the ship is reducing its speed.

Also, another UI thing: the date time in the upper right uses my month names in my system language (which is not English). It's kinda nice, but breaks immersion - because as all the rest of the game text is English anyway).

And unfortunately I was unable to leave the planet - after choosing a new jump destination, the game hanged on the "Jumping to..." animation. There was no memory leak (stable 300 MB was being used), but the CPU usage was constantly high. Had to kill the process. Then I tried jumping again, in a new game, and the same happened.

To sum up - there is a potential in the game (I was able to see that a lot of the stuff is auto-generated - the outposts, the quests, the planets) but it still requires polish.

Take care and good luck! And do post another demo after some more progress!
Logged

Busy working on xcom-like, steampunk/vermintide pixel art strategy game called "This is the End".

Devlog | Twitter | Webpage
PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #63 on: June 18, 2018, 12:38:34 AM »

Hi bryku, first of all, thanks you very much for taking the time to play my little demo - It really means a lot to me. I'll try to address your observations below Smiley


The "Choose your ship" menu presented me with a few ship options. The problem is that each of the ship was having the same stats. I believe that it is because you didn't spend time yet on implementing these.

Also, I really didn't have any idea on what are the ship stats all about (compartment capacity, engine, number of generators, max. land speed). I mean I kinda knew about the capacity, but you might consider adding some explanations of the other ones.

The "land speed" I believe is the speed of the ship on a planet, right? Is it possible to manually control a ship in space as well, or is space travel made automatically?
Yes, you are correct. I haven't differenciated the players options yet. But it will come. I like your idea of giving an explantions to the different figures. I'll put this on my backlog.

During the gameplay I had issues with controls. The ship is controlled by arrows, you are shooting using space and enter, and in some cases you actually need to use the mouse as well. So these default controls require three hands to work, really Wink Consider using WASD for movement and something else than enter for using a weapon - and then the player will be able to use one hand on all keyboard controls, and the other hand will be able to control the mouse.

On the other hand, there is not that much to do with the mouse right now (although there are things that need to be done with it). So maybe removing mouse usage from the gameplay parts that involve ship movement might be a better option.
In the Options menu, you can refigure the controls to your liking. But I could change the default into ADSW - The reason for the arrows is because I'm left handed ;-)
The idea is that you use keyboard for movement and actions (primary/secondary actions) and the mouse for interacting with the environment, like choosing targets and functions.

The other thing was that I believe that I had to use the mouse cursor to select the outpost before I could press "C". This seems like an unnecessary thing;  game could auto-select the outpost when the player would be in its close vicinity.
It's an idea, but it would break the currently selected target. I'll consider it.

It was impossible to see the list of commodities using the communications screen - nothing was displayed.
I know. I forgot to put it in, in the demo  Undecided

After I landed, there was an information that I need to refuel, and that I need 0.5 l. However, I didn't see any information on what is my max fuel capacity. So I didn't have any information on my remaining range.

If the fuel is important, consider displaying it on the screen all the time.

Also, is the fuel used only during planet movement, or during interstellar flight as well?
Actually the energy bar at the bottom is also your fuel. I need to make this more clear and avoid using the word 'fuel'. Thanks! Smiley
The energy is consumed when you fly around on the planets, and when you hyperjump into other systems. Jump between planets doesn't consume energy. Energy is also used to main the current systemes (compartements) on your ship.


When on the market, and during buying/selling ship parts, I missed a "draft" approach - meaning that first I set up the things I would like to sell/buy, and then after seeing the summary I press "accept". This would remove the situations in which selling and then immediately buying the same thing would strip me of some of my credits.
You would like some kind of 'shopping bag'? I'll consider it Smiley

I also run into an UI issue with the "Burst gun" item - it displayed both "No room for upgrade" and "Unavailable on this landing pad" texts in one place, overlapping themselves.
Thanks! I hadn't noticed this myself. It's put in the BUG-backlog.

I started a combat with one of the ships travelling on the planet, but was unable to kill it - its HPs never went below zero. Is that desired? Also, the ship did not try to avoid my attacks - I simply was flying straight behind it, firing at it all the time. Was the ship sending a distress call? It should, I guess. I mean it was happening on a colonized planet. Maybe some police patrols should appear?
I've already changed this a bit. The indicator you see in the demo is the shield. But when the shield goes below 100% it will get regenerated, by using energy. When the shield is at 0, energy is consumed at a higher rate and when the energy reaches 0, it's killed. My idea was that without shields, the hull of the ship would get damaged. But I can see that I need to change this a bit, as it takes too long to kill an enemy.
And you're right, the evasive travel from a trader is very boring. It will just try to get away when shields are low. I've already noted that I need to do more to this behaviour.
If police are nearby and sees attacks, they will attack the perpetraitor.

And unfortunately I was unable to leave the planet - after choosing a new jump destination, the game hanged on the "Jumping to..." animation. There was no memory leak (stable 300 MB was being used), but the CPU usage was constantly high. Had to kill the process. Then I tried jumping again, in a new game, and the same happened.
It was hanging? So no animation, what so ever? Damn, I'm sorry to hear that - I will look into it, but haven't experienced it myself on 2 different machines.

Again thank you very much for your comprehensive comments. I realy appreciate it! Smiley
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #64 on: June 18, 2018, 04:27:47 AM »

Todays entry in this devlog will be a little information regarding how I create the universe and the design decisions I had to make

I want most of the game to be procedurally generated, both because I really enjoy procgen and the possibilities, but also to see what an algorithm could create, that I in my wildest dreams would never think of.

It didn't take me long before I encountered the first bumps on the road. I develop in Java and choose the JavaFX "framework" as my renderer. Still not sure this was a wise decision, as I can see that the visuals will lack due to this. But it's easy to code with and something I'm familiar with. BUT this decision gave me some headaches in the beginning. First of all, JavaFX only allows drawings in its main thread. This means that whenever I need to create a new image (sprite) I have to do it in the main thread loop OR (as I figured out) as a background thread mimicing the main thread. Creating gfx in a background thread is very slow compared to the main thread, so I had to constantly choose where I would create graphics.

All ships in the game are procgen'd and takes approx 200ms to create per ship. This is too long time to be doing it while in play, so I had to create the ships at other times.
The same goes for the planetary surfaces. They take approx. 5-6000ms per planet, due to creating tiles, textures and cities.

The solution was this: When the player starts a new game - He's greeted with the message "Creating universe". In this section all ships are actually being generated and saved (in memory so far). I have a task on my board telling me, that I need to rethink this solution (as it takes approx. 20-30000ms). One solution could be to reduce the number of different ship types to a fixed number. This makes it possible for me to pregenerate them and save them to disk.

Other threads and procedural functions:

  • When the player hyperjumps to a new planet, I start a background thread which creates the entire planet, complete with height map, tiles, textures, cities, goods and missions. The player wont get out of hyperjump before alle these tasks have been processed.
  • Once a day (when the time reaches 0.00) another thread wakes up, and updates prices for all goods on all landing pads on all planets, raising or lowering prices based on supply/demand and producing. At the same time, missions are updated
  • Once in a while a new system will be discovered - This means I have to create system data, new ships, data for new planets etc and this too will happen in a background thread and become available once all tasks have been completed

That's all for me for now Smiley
Logged

ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2018, 03:38:58 AM »

Loving the sound of this project, had a quick blast on the demo and I think it's shaping up nicely. I think I would also like WASD controls though.

The city generation is looking great too btw.
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2018, 05:12:42 AM »

The keys are configurable, but I'll change the defaults to WASD instead of arrows.

Thank you for your comments Smiley
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #67 on: June 24, 2018, 07:38:29 AM »

When a ship is killed it can release some of its cargo as canisters, which will float along the debris of the ship.

These last couple of days I've been adding pirates to the game. In systems with no or low law enforcement, pirates can be hiding. If a pirate spot a target who it figures it can beat, it will attack it and kill it, and finally steal the floating canisters and sell the contents on local markets. Pirates can hunt in packs, but can also hunt each other, if they have cargo they can steal.

In this clip you'll observe a large but very slow trader being attacked by 3 different pirates at once.



And in this clip 2 pirates are attacking a small vessel, killing it and stealing the cargo, before flying off to sell the goods.



By killing pirates you receive a cash bounty and your reputation will raise.
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #68 on: June 29, 2018, 07:46:06 AM »

Have been doing a lot of changes under the hood  Shocked, a lot of refactoring and a lot of headaches  Lips Sealed

Most noticable is the fact that I've ditched the hyperjump portal. You are now able to hyperjump from anywhere on the map (unless too close to landing pads and buildings). This also means that when you jump into a system, you don't know where you'll emerge on the surface. This adds a bit of exploring and the possibility to escape-jump out of a system if you're chased by harder pirates. Only requirement is that your speed is zero, otherwise the hyperjump can't be initiated.

I've tweaked the way pirates chase and attack their targets. It feels a lot better now. And the police will come to your (or others) aid when they're attacked and police notice it. A very handy help indeed.

The following picture shows the minimap where a pirate is chasing and eventually killing a target. It's a lovely "dance of the ships" Smiley - Pirates will even chase other pirates if they think they can kill the opponent and take their loot.



I also changed a lot of the code generating graphics for the ships. I'm suffering from the JavaFX oddities where I can only create new images in the main thread, but since creating graphics for a ship takes approx 60-140ms, you will experience stutter (or lag) and I had to come up with a solution to this. The solution is a thread based solution, but where the thread only runs when the player is standing still. Then he doesn't notice the small lags in the screen updates. An ok solution I think. Maybe someone testing this on other hardware can confirm or deny this, when I upload a new demo.

Finally I've begun implementing the save/load system. And this surely is a real pain!! Should've started this a long time ago. Now it's almost impossible to recreate all my objects from saved data, as they contain a lot of nested information, lists of other objects etc... And on top of that, some of the parameters are procedurally generated, which adds to complexities... *sigh*
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 07:59:10 AM by PetSkull » Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2018, 02:46:32 PM »

New demo available

I have uploaded a new version (v0.32) of the game, featuring a lot of improvements and changes to the game. Get it here : https://petskull.itch.io/stardust-tycoon

  • The game now starts much faster than before
  • Hyperjump portals have been removed. Hyperjump is now available everywhere from the hyperjump button or by pressing H.
  • You can fast forward time, by pressing J. It will disable when turning or entering a menu/dialog.
  • Police AI has been rewamped. They will now come to your or others aid when under attack
  • Pirate AI has been improved. They have more tasks than before and flies differently
  • Redid the energy calculations. Also, it's now called "fuel"
  • Implemented engine generations, meaning that each engine can be 1 of 4 generations each giving more power
  • All ships now jump from system to system, doing their businesses.
  • Most ship upgrades are now working
  • You can now do real bounty hunting. If you buy the "Remote ship information" you can get information of other ships and their bounty when you target them and press F7.
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #70 on: August 03, 2018, 12:41:03 AM »

After a looong summer holiday I'm slowly getting back into my game. I spend the last couple of days creating my Steam store page and today it's online (Whee!  Grin) https://store.steampowered.com/app/816850/Stardust_Tycoon

The summer in Denmark this year has been the hottest we've experienced in a lot of years, with temperatures rising to 28-34 degrees (cel) and this is unusual for us - And for me it meant, I've been sweating like a pig for a month or so Shocked. This have had a great impact on my motivation to do anything and the guilty feeling for not doing anything has been bad.

But now, I'm ready to continue on my game. When I started this, I made a promise to myself that THIS game must be finished and released - Not to make me rich, but to prove to myself that I actually can create and release a full game. I'm still keeping this promise, and my motivation is slowly rising again.

Today I'm going through my backlog on Hacknplan and checking up on all the tasks I have, reordering, prioritizing them and then I should be ready to get back into the coding.
Logged

Christian Knudsen
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #71 on: August 03, 2018, 02:01:51 AM »

A fellow Danish space game maker! My Word!
Logged

Laserbrain Studios
Currently working on Hidden Asset (TIGSource DevLog)
KPas
Level 1
*



View Profile
« Reply #72 on: August 03, 2018, 03:30:23 AM »

Not to make me rich, but to prove to myself that I actually can create and release a full game.
Your game is definitely not a low effort submission. So I like this attitude. Wishing you well on Steam!  Beer!
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #73 on: August 03, 2018, 10:01:59 AM »

Not to make me rich, but to prove to myself that I actually can create and release a full game.
Your game is definitely not a low effort submission. So I like this attitude. Wishing you well on Steam!  Beer!


Thanks KPas, means a lot Smiley And hey, it's your name on the game  Cheesy
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2018, 12:17:22 AM »

Note to self: If you plan on having a save/load system in your game, remember to implement it early in development!

 Sad Sad Sad

Yup! I painted myself into a corner, by ignoring my initial idea of implementing a save/load system into the game at an early stage. Now I'm facing an enormous refactor (again!) because I've created lots of different objects and datastructures without thinking about how I can save and retrieve the data. This really annoys me now and it will halt my progress for a while, while I try to sort it out and find a suitable solution.

So lesson of the day : Implement save/load continually while creating your game. It will make you think more about how you create, store and use data internally, but also how you can retrieve these data later on, and let the game move on from that spot.


« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 12:25:02 AM by PetSkull » Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #75 on: August 09, 2018, 12:53:02 PM »

Ok, I got the save/load system fixed, by refactoring and changing some 40 object files. Now the current state will be saved before each jump to a new planet. I plan on incorporating Steam cloud save, once I get a little further with the project.

Today I took another look at my mission system. It was utterly useless, to say the least, so I deleted the code and started all over. It's shaping up nicely now, and can easily be extended for other mission types. BUT I'm facing a problem. UI.
Right now the mission roster (the messageboard) looks like this:

and it's split into 2 sections. The first (the red one) are the missions you have accepted, and the second (the blue one) are the missions currently available at that landing pad. It looks like rubbish!!

I have several issues with this page:
  • It's hard to distinguish between accepted and available missions
  • There's only room for 10-11 missions on the page, so I either need next/previous or a scrollbar
  • The information looks cluttered

Any good ideas from you guys?
Logged

Zireael
Level 4
****


View Profile
« Reply #76 on: August 09, 2018, 10:11:36 PM »

Split into tabs (I mean webbrowser style tabs, Accepted | Available)?
Logged
fearless_donut
Level 0
***


View Profile
« Reply #77 on: August 10, 2018, 01:28:26 PM »

Yep, just make 2 tabs - "Available missions" and "Taken missions". And instead of "Due date" you can use something like 'days left' - at least for taken missions.(But i'm not sure if 'day' or 'month' is appropriate thing in space games. Maybe use something like 'standard galactic cycles' instead? ) And i think that showing a mission type icon for each of the missions will help player to sort out things in the menu.( Smiley Ppl are scared when seeing large amount of pure text in UI Smiley )
Logged

My devlog - Aether Way
And Twitter
PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #78 on: August 14, 2018, 11:09:30 AM »

Thank you for your suggestions. I didn't use the tab-solution, but I thought long and hard about it. But which tab to show first when you enter the messageboard? The available missions? Then you might not see the missions you've already undertaken. The accepted missions? Then you might not consider new missions.

I came up with another solution. I only show the available missions (and yeah, I added icons to the mission types - A first draft)



When the user accepts a mission, it's moved to the mission icon along with an indicator, showing that something new is in that button. This button is also always enabled, so the player can always see his missions and their status.





I hope this will be a viable solution - But it works for now Smiley
Logged

PetSkull
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #79 on: August 14, 2018, 11:10:45 AM »

And instead of "Due date" you can use something like 'days left' - at least for taken missions.(But i'm not sure if 'day' or 'month' is appropriate thing in space games. Maybe use something like 'standard galactic cycles' instead? )

I'm still thinking about this one - But I see your point of 'days left' - Maybe it will work better... Smiley
Logged

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic