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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSpace Wreck - hardcore postapocalyptic space RPG inspired by Fallout
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Author Topic: Space Wreck - hardcore postapocalyptic space RPG inspired by Fallout  (Read 2235 times)
Kamazs
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« on: January 31, 2020, 12:34:36 PM »



Umm, hi!

I am hobbyist game developer (I was full-time but the company kind of went down) and together with my friend, just two of us, are working on a computer RPG, inspired by the original Fallout games of '97 and '98 as well as some ideas from New Vegas.

Here's the trailer:





The game is set in relatively near future where space colonization has just started but not yet evolved pass the Solar system. Emerging market becomes a boiling pot since political systems on Earth are not ready to deal with companies so far out and away from their reach. Worker exploitation together with harsh reality of living in space drives a conflict between employees and employers which results in wide and unexpectedly bloody clashes in Asteroid Belt. The game takes place decades after the violent conflict; you are newbie captain fresh out of Space Academy on your first voyage. Unfortunately, "space pirates" attack the ship, damaging the engines. While you manage to escape from immediate threat, you are stuck in so called Junkspace among space wrecks. Only hope - getting a replacement part, a Fuel Controller Chip, from one of the wrecks.

And that's how the game begins.



Most notable feature is probably the primary focus on non-combat solutions. While you can attack and murder anybody you see, any NPC, the game can (and is intended to!) be completed without ever spilling a blood in various ways. Every quest has more than one peaceful solution (+ always the violent one, if you want), there are skill checks everywhere and your decisions carry consequences. Not only game has multiple main endings, each of them has variations in form of different NPC/location fates you have impacted, not unlike classic Fallout games.



So yes, this is a game we are making and I am hoping there are people that - in the era of Fallout4s - that still can appreciate the hardcore role-playing focus of original games. At least that's what we are shooting for.

Steam page is de facto our homepage: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1063540/Space_Wreck/



====

P.S.

I'd love to post some progress updates time to time, like I do on RPGCodex, RPGWatch and GameJolt, and, if anythings picks your interest, I'd be happy to discuss it. I've implemented quite a few suggestions from people on message boards.

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Schrompf
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2020, 04:22:32 AM »

Wow, this looks amazing. I still doubt that a small team can handle the complexity arising from "multiple peaceful solutions" in combination with "you can kill everyone", but I appreciate the intention. So many indie games turn to "shoot everyone" as a means of freedom of choice, but I hardly find this meaningful.
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Kamazs
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 03:45:10 AM »

For this weeks update, here are small changes for conversations.

Dialogues now show requirement tags for skill checks without exact number but ▲/▼ icon instead to indicate the difficulty. And there's also post-check animation to indicate that roll happened under the hood.



And, yes, previously almost all of the dialogues were skill gated (think New Vegas) but now I'm adding/changing to rolls in some places.

Oh, and I am aware that there is great shizm between players that want to see mechanics (skill check rolls) and those who want more of an immersion. So, you can turn this all off and looks like this:



Of course, it would be better not to show them to don't break the immersion however many players might just miss the idea that speech/skill affects your dialogue. Like, I loved Fallout 1 but I learned that it had speech checks only some time after I completed it first. New Vegas was great in this - it shows that there are tons of options to approach the quest. But it does make it all mechanical and metagamey in a while. But umm, thing is, I kind of like both approaches and some days prefer one over other, other days - vice versa.

Just curious - what's your take on this whole metagaming aspect, e.g. skill check indicators in dialogues?

=====

Quote
I still doubt that a small team can handle the complexity arising from "multiple peaceful solutions" in combination with "you can kill everyone", but I appreciate the intention. So many indie games turn to "shoot everyone" as a means of freedom of choice, but I hardly find this meaningful.

Thanks! That's the mindset I can get behind myself.

There are absolutely no guarantees that we will see through this concept, however, couple a years ago I released very early version of this game and here's a RPGCodex thread documenting impressions and early feedback. And, if you feel very adventurous, there is a let's play of that [must add - old] version from Ivan:





It's full of bugs and glitches and game since then has changed - I'd like to think improved - as well as changed the art style, but the idea is still there and you can see how much of that ambition we had achieved 2 yars ago.
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Schrompf
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 02:21:44 AM »

Don't know if this is actually "meta-gaming", I'd say it's just a game mechanic.

 Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines had a great set of these dialogue choices, I loved it. But I want to *know* if a dialogue option is risky, and ideally how much. One could argue that "in real life" [sic] things aren't obvious, too, but I do not perform well in real life dialogues, too, and dialogue in games - being restricted to the text only - is even more lacking in its expressiveness. Removing the gamy hints would expose the player to even more random punishments by dialogue consequences than what game dialogue already provides due to its limited nature.
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Kamazs
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 09:02:29 PM »

Good point! I did not even realize that tagged dialogue choices can improve role-playing - identifying speechy choices (those that include manipulation, flattering, implied bride etc.) with clear tags is not a player skill anymore e.g. like aim-n-shoot in FPS.

And, in this particular game, I try to steer away from click-to-win cases, e.i, successful dialogue choice does not necessary mean the best outcome for player, you still have to make decisions on strategic level. But at least, it's always clear that your character has tools if you need to.
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Kamazs
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2020, 06:53:03 PM »

This is how we are planning to visualize travel between wrecks (de facto locations) in Junkspace.



BTW, how many obscure gaming references can you spot?
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Kamazs
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2020, 06:42:17 AM »



While exploring Junkspace, you are likely to run into a cambot. Once a popular and cost-effective all-in-one security solution, they still guard company's property blissfully unaware of decades passed
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Kamazs
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2020, 02:25:08 AM »



Only one of the options gets you what you need, but all of them have skill-checks. Fail, and it may get you in trouble.

How to make the informed decision? Explore, gather information or use perception check to read NPC's personality profile.
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Kamazs
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2020, 11:07:01 AM »

Do you like mines in your RPG? I like mines.

Not the part where you step on one - that's just annoying. But I really like the creative tactical solutions they provide.


You can place mines. Be careful though, once it is set it does not magically recognize you - it will detonate on anybody indiscriminately.


Mines can, of course, be disarmed. It is a SCITEC skill roll and if you fail. Well, you've got 2 seconds to get away


…but if you succeed, you can pick up disarmed mine for yourself and place it wherever you need it.

Silver lining if you step on one - they leave reusable parts behind, so not completely a waste of hp.
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Kamazs
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2020, 11:43:52 AM »

New character art design, now with all isometric angles.

New vs old


Short clip:

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Kamazs
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2020, 08:57:57 AM »

Playing Fallout, I was blown away first time I realized you can set a timer on a bomb and reverse-pickpocket it on NPC. And blow it up!

So, naturally, I had to have it in my game as well!

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Kamazs
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2020, 10:34:38 AM »

I have implemented a simple item condition system.

Some items - mostly weapons, armour and tools - have condition parameter that affects their performance and longevity. The condition wears down with each use of an item - shot for weapons, application for tools and received hit for armour.  Item that reaches condition 0, turns into a Junk. Weapons also lose damage proportionally (currently DMG = baseDMG * (0.5 + condition/200)).

You can repair items with lower condition instances but for that you have to have at least average (3/5) tinker skill. If not, you'll most likely throw away deteriorating guns always looking for one in better condition.

Special note is about condition 100, or, as I call them, pristine items. These items are basically new, unused or with minimal wear. They would not deteriorate any further. The idea being that items with condition below hundred are old and used, while new items wouldn't break down in the near future.

I do realize condition is not universally liked in RPGs, plus, original Fallouts did not have it in any form, it was only New Vegas that had in game. But, I have decided I want condition in Space Wreck because of these two reasons:
[LIST=1]
  • It fits the crumbling derelict world. It directly demonstrates to the player some of the hurdles survivors in Junkspace have to endure - finding and maintaining equipment usable, looking for scraps to patch it and keep going.
  • It kind of addresses the problem RPGs have - every enemy you face and inevitably best - will have a weapon. While first pistol can become your weapon, rest of them are much more useless. With condition there's always use for a copy of gun you already have.
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Kamazs
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2020, 08:55:07 PM »

Drugs. There are drugs in the game now. Need to be more perceptive to read this person? Want to ignore some pain? Not enough speed..err..action points? No problem for your needs, there are remedies!

Just, so you know, there are are drawbacks. Some stats go down but...in expense for others, so better plan ahead. And be careful - there can be subtle side effects...




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litHermit
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2020, 11:47:41 PM »

This is right up my alley. I love the whole fallout vibe and how you're handling NPC interactions (I also love seeing skill rolls in dialogs, something that made Disco Elysium's interaction's additionally interesting).

How subtle are these drug effects? Any full blown hallucinations?
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Kamazs
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2020, 12:43:30 AM »

Thanks a lot for kind words - it's a signal that hopefully  I am going into right direction. Much appreciated!

How subtle are these drug effects? Any full blown hallucinations?

Well, initially this was a simply decorative change, but seeing how many people, you included, raise this sort of question...
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litHermit
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2020, 01:39:45 AM »

I always felt in these games, if it would fit the narrative (or even combat), delirium and psychedelic type drugs could offer a lot of options for hallucinating. From enemies and NPCs who aren't there (or are they?) to internal dialogs, dialog options, mind reading, loosing control... whatever fits the bill.

Fallout didn't really go far with this aside tweaking mechanics, addiction and having some plot points revolve around Jet, etc.
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Kamazs
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2020, 08:15:54 AM »



Fortunate are those space wreck dweller communities that have old, tiny, banged up and leaking but still running shuttlecrafts. It grants precious freedom to scavenge, trade and migrate in Junkspace.
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theStyg
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2020, 11:23:21 PM »

This is shaping up really well thus far. Splendid work, gang!
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Kamazs
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2020, 03:17:21 AM »

Apparently I came to the wrong neighborhood :/



P.S. Thanks theStyg for kind words!
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Kamazs
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2020, 12:46:49 PM »

Like in tabletop RPG, skill checks are dice rolls and can go either way, affected by both your character build and luck. To accentuate this important part of the game play, we've added a prominent animation -



Initially I was shy to shove these under-the-hood mechanics in player's face but then I saw how Larian is doing just that in their Baldurs Gate 3 and decided to not hold back myself. I like dice rolling in RPGs, because
  • it demonstrates that there are multiple options available
  • it adds suspense and thrill to the skill checks
  • it helps to understand math behind it and feel the risk and see how better stats help.
One another thing - these skill checks can be fairly important. Like in this example success and fail lead to self-excluding quests and, potentially, diverging plot. Idea being that FAILURE is just as cool RPG experience as SUCCESS and you should accept it as just different, interesting twist to the story.

P.S. I understand that not everyone wants this level of meta gaming in their RPG, so there's a toggle in settings, to switch it off, along with skill tags in dialog choices (`[CHARM] Wanna talk about it?`)
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