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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsStartron (The procedurally generated ASCII space sandbox)
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Author Topic: Startron (The procedurally generated ASCII space sandbox)  (Read 4477 times)
Rogod
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« on: June 29, 2020, 01:24:18 PM »

Hi all! Here is Startron Gomez

  • The cosmos has a way to go yet, but we're hurriedly trying to get it ready for everybody!

  • Here's an explanatory video:


  • We've got planets and suns! And space stations with funny shaped windows! Oh and you can set up mines that feed into refineries and factories for your amusement if you're into that kinda thing...

  • A bunch of things are in and working, but there may still be some bugs (those little guys will either crash your game or corrupt the cosmos beyond repair Screamy). I've got a few videos of roughly how things are looking right now:
v0.40:
v0.32:
v0.13:

  • Here are some screenshots too :3

  • Download links to the latest version (and old versions) can always be found here (There's usually a new one every few days or so)

  • Full details and the Startron cosmic database can be found here (Even the website's a work in progress Big Laff)

About
Startron is a procedurally generated space sandbox game written in C# using mainly* codepage 437 for graphics.

The concept of Startron was inspired by Dwarf Fortress, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Factorio, No Man's Sky, Rimworld & Starport: Galactic Empires.

The graphics style is an arbitrary restriction to invoke creativity (seems to be working for me so far).
Please bear with me while I get the ball rolling on all this - I am just a dude making a happy game and a website to go along with it. Smiley

* I had to steal the ω and © characters otherwise things were gonna look really shonky

FAQ
Q: Do you want help?
A:
No thanks, this is my own adventure Smiley

Q: Will this be ported to anything else?
A:
At the moment, Startron is only available for Windows but will hopefully be available for Linux soon. (Whether this includes OSX or not remains to be seen - have to find somebody who actually owns one first Wink )

Q: Will this be multiplayer eventually?
A:
I highly doubt it; the direction I intend to move the project does not lend itself to that playstyle (however there may be the possibility to share your cosmos file with people in future while keeping your ship to yourself and this could lend itself to some kind of multi-user gameplay rather than realtime multiplayer - we'll see).

Q: Will you ever upgrade the graphics?
A:
The furthest I am likely to go with the graphics is an optional sprite mode where every character just draws a little 16x16 picture instead but this is a nice-to-have for much further down the line and my intention is to fully support the current text-based graphics engine for the whole project.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 11:54:41 AM by Rogod » Logged

Rogod
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 02:10:52 PM »

Update v0.25
Roads & wires look a little better now Gomez


List of updates/fixes
  • Automation is now a little more functional; you can collect resources from the entity now (although there is no off-screen processing yet)

  • You can build on asteroids now!

  • Roads and wires connect up to appropriate buildings when placed, although they don't functionally do anything yet Smiley

    Here's a diagram to help illustrate what's going on down there: (this'll all be added to the cosmic database found in space stations for in-game reference later)

  • Building at the edges of entities should be less crash-prone now

  • You spawn closer to the centre of systems now so it's less confusing
    (You also spawn in a regular place on entities now, rather than just wherever off in space you were last time)

  • Extractors now work! (So you can get at those liquid/gas canisters I know everybody was missing :3 )


« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:26:16 AM by Rogod » Logged

bugboss
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 02:55:42 PM »

Love the aesthetics! I think it's a very promising concept. Keep up the good work!
Also: C# and .NET are great! You should stick to them  Corny Laugh (just kidding! Always go for what feels right for you)
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 03:44:56 PM »

What is this? What is happening? Who, Me?

Where can I get more?  Kiss
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Rogod
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 10:07:20 AM »

Glad you guys are fans! - I was worried the concept was a little obsolete NinjaHand Joystick


Update v0.26
Now maybe you can play too! Gomez


List of updates/fixes
  • Made sure it squishes your window down if it's going to clip your screen size (rather than just crash) - it'll prompt you on the main menu if this has happened - no gameplay should be affected, you'll just see a few less lines

  • Fleshed out the database a bit more - now it actually contains useful information :3


« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:26:23 AM by Rogod » Logged

bugboss
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 02:59:18 PM »

Got to play tonight and I must say it's looking great and has lots of potential! Really liked how the navigation between systems works, the switching between views and the objects looks.

Some minor feedback I'd like to give (please, be advised that I have no experience with similar titles of this genre):


UI/Navigation

  • I felt a bit lost with the craft system. I'm not sure if I missed, but I didn't know what key to press to switch between crafting options.
  • I miss some visual feedback from my collecting and mining actions.
  • Hitting "space" key on a planet/object draws a red character on the former. I'm not sure what I should do with it. I suppose it's to engrave something on the planet? Ninja

Minor Bugs

  • On the main screen, if you press and hold "G" for generate the game crashes. Well it's not a big deal, but it's there  Who, Me?

Keep up the good work!
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Rogod
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2020, 12:48:01 AM »

Awesome - glad you managed to get it up and running!

To address your points:
  • You need to use Ctrl+Up or Ctrl+Down to change what to build - I'm not surprised you felt lost with the building system on entities - I've only just added it and haven't added the quality-of-life prompts and key-highlights for it yet as there are still mechanics I need to implement (like roads and wires doing things) plus there are some graphical niggles I need to invest time in before it solidifies. Also it's worth noting that unlimited-building is switched on at the moment so no resources are required to build anything and nothing's being taken out of your inventory unless you sell it at a station (this can be toggled off on the main menu (with U) for the moment, but will presumably stunt a new cosmos as you won't be able to start building most of the things you need)
  • Collecting and mining will become more apparent later, don't worry Smiley
  • Hitting space will just be building whatever's selected in the build menu (presumably even if it's not open) so this can be fixed up later. - It sounds like you were just building roads :3

  • I will address the generation-spam (it's probably crashing from saving a file so many times and clearly this needs throttled).

Ta :D
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 03:33:01 PM by Rogod » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2020, 04:34:57 PM »

Update v0.27
Improved everyone's quality of life! Gomez


List of updates/fixes
  • Added a messaging system for warnings and general building info as well as when you receive resources from mining or collecting from storage yards

  • Added build menu instructions

  • Throttled cosmos generation so it can't be spammed (even accidentally) to cause any harm


« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:26:32 AM by Rogod » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2020, 03:29:48 PM »

Update v0.28
Limited power! Gomez


List of updates/fixes
  • Made sure buildings have to be hooked up to wires and roads to function (the specifications for all this will be added to the cosmic database eventually :D)

  • Made sure you can now deconstruct things when you make a mistake Tongue

  • Improved the new game experience and added a title credit animation

  • Lithrogen now generates in bigger splodges (supposed to be rivers and seas but we'll fix that up later :3 )

  • Tidied up some of the code around here

We'll probably be turning off the unlimited building mode in the next version so purchasing from stations gameplay is relevant - stay tuned for that!


« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:26:40 AM by Rogod » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2020, 07:39:50 AM »

This looks amazing and like it has so much potential. It's amazing to me nothing(?) like this has been done before?? Super excited to watch this develop!
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2020, 12:48:04 PM »

Thanks Bacon - the closest thing is probably Dwarf Fortress - but Cantata definitely beats the pants off Startron for complexity and polish - keep it up :D
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2020, 02:46:31 PM »

Thanks Bacon - the closest thing is probably Dwarf Fortress - but Cantata definitely beats the pants off Startron for complexity and polish - keep it up :D

That's what checks notes Shocked ...4 years of work will do haha. But thank you! 
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2020, 02:04:09 AM »

Update v0.29
Fixin' the bugs! Gomez


List of updates/fixes
  • Renamed some things to be a little more fun (solar array and nuclear plant sound too Sim-City esque)

  • Fixed crashes near map edges

  • You can now see what's on the ground and in the air for each tile

  • It now resets the supply lines on roads and conduits near built tiles to allow the supply to re-propagate and not get stuck in orphaned tiles

  • Storage yards now have a power requirement

  • Plus there's some new info in the cosmic database

Unlimited build mode is still on - but it can still be toggled off with U on the main menu if folks want the true experience

I've been on holiday all week so development of more major features and balancing of prices/resources will take place once I go home in this coming week


« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:27:14 AM by Rogod » Logged

Rogod
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 02:15:23 PM »

Update v0.30
Tiny pictures! (Also am back from holiday now so I can carry on properly) Gomez


List of updates/fixes
  • Added display graphics for each building type (to help visualise what you're building)

  • Also here's some of the fleshed out database in case folks don't know what wonders await at the space stations

  • You can now collect resources from the ground with the space bar (this helps with clearing up clogged conveyors and also so you can just get a mine up and running to get started)

  • Made sure it only recalculates supply propagation for as long as it needs to (that way it's not spamming the map with checks unnecessarily)

Unlimited build mode is still on - but it can still be toggled off with U on the main menu if folks want the true experience


« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:27:21 AM by Rogod » Logged

Rogod
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 01:15:20 PM »

Realised I didn't actually show most of the new icons so here they are Gomez

Road | Conduit | Dwelling | Sunlight absorber | Explosion chamber | Mine
Absorber | Refinery | Factory | Storage yard | Conveyor
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:28:06 AM by Rogod » Logged

JobLeonard
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2020, 11:08:20 PM »

Nice!
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Rogod
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2020, 01:20:58 PM »

Update v0.31
Captain's log! Gomez


List of updates/fixes
  • Added a 16 line Captain's log for jotting down positions and names as you colonise the cosmos Gentleman (Press the ` or ' key to toggle it open or closed)

  • Turned unlimited build mode off - so now you've actually got to pay attention to your chits and resources if you wanna build something (can be toggled on with U on the menu if you're a coward though Wink )

  • Added a bunch of useful information to the database for the resource->product chains, plus a guide on how to get started

  • Fixed solar arrays working on moons/planets/rocks orbitting black holes and worm holes (oops)

  • Fixed not being able to navigate the database with A and D (I don't know why I only made it work with the arrowkeys before)

  • Tidied up 3 messy bits of code as well

I've also had a bunch of ideas for where this can go now that the foundation mechanics are in place - obviously there's a bunch more that needs to happen there and I had some original ideas for what to do with the different crew members, species & planets, but now I've got plans for how to tie things together into what should become a novel formula and make Startron quite fun and unique in my opinion.


« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 04:27:29 AM by Rogod » Logged

Rogod
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2020, 01:43:52 PM »

Shot a new video! Gomez

  • Not ready to release the next version just yet, but I thought I'd show off the janky intro parody I just added:

  • The video shows some of the gameplay while I fumble around and realise I've started a colony in a dumb place (also some bugs in the captain's log I clearly need to address):

  • I may replace the intro with something home-grown later :3
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 01:22:44 PM by Rogod » Logged

JobLeonard
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2020, 02:37:25 PM »

Now that is a meme I haven't thought of in a looooong time
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Rogod
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2020, 12:06:13 AM »

Haha, spacejokes Gentleman
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