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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 7396 times)
JobLeonard
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« Reply #140 on: November 01, 2020, 12:44:24 PM »

While this is true, and I am old enough to remember teletext, I only looked at it myself one time just to go "Oh yea, what was all this... it's obsolete nowadays... oh that's how it works." then I never touched it again. (This musta been around 2005 I'd guess)

Startron's graphics style is more likely to subconsciously resemble that of DOS games and Sinclair (Timex) Spectrum games as my adolescence included much tinkering with QuickBASIC examples on the family Windows 3.11 and a modern assessment of the art style on complicated Spectrum games like Tir Na Nog (both machines I still own for reference and nostalgia sake and the Spectrum being a gift purchased off Ebay for my 15th birthday - I am a generation younger than those who'd have used one in the 80s)

I guess I often found lots of simple-graphics games that used these kinds of ways to make geometry appealing, yet I felt the developers sometimes had a lack of imagination; when you look at ASCII artwork on a Google image search, you can see all kinds of characters being used just to get different levels of saturation in a cell, yet lots of DOS interfaces or Spectrum games seemed to oversimplify their use of characters and I felt the games lost something thereby. (Another problem was that if a game's concept demanded something fanciful, the artist would opt for a 256-colour mode or an up-and-coming 3D perspective instead of just text.)

Obviously later influence came from the generic "retro games" where everything's pixelized and games like Dwarf Fortress were coming along. So I realised a game could still be complex yet use an easily accessible way to create graphics.

(Plus I just enjoy the challenge of seeing what complexities I can get characters on a page to perform - Winamp's Milkdrop plays a part in inspiring me there so I guess one can thank the demo scene for something.)

So yea, if the game resembles teletext, this is likely convergent evolution or a coincidence. Grin

(Either that or it's a result of me being only a mediocre artist restricting myself to a grid for my own sanity and ease of comprehension while also trying to portray something more lofty.)
(no, no, don't talk yourself down like that - this is a subconscious synthesis of influences together with working with the limitations of the chosen medium, nothing less)
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Rogod
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« Reply #141 on: November 05, 2020, 02:41:09 PM »

Update v0.57
Put us in a synchronous orbit above that point Gomez


  • Added a writeup on how to deal with Tytopop hives in the cosmic database (renamed from bugs because that just sounds boring)

  • Made pollution less intrusive (you can see what's under it now)

  • Added laboratories which accept subalt bars in exchange for science rating

  • Added gardens which are just for boosting tourism

  • Made it so the other ships in the cosmos fly around between different entities (they no longer appear to be adrift)

  • Fixed the grabber ship addon being disabled in the last build


« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 03:32:01 PM by Rogod » Logged

vdapps
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« Reply #142 on: November 05, 2020, 03:17:43 PM »

Nice shots as always. And I like your slogans for every version. Subtle and funny. Smiley
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Rogod
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« Reply #143 on: November 06, 2020, 01:44:45 AM »

Lol, I thought the second screenshot would look cooler than that - it's mostly empty space Blink

And after 57 one-liner slogans for each version, it's getting more difficult to find unique ones now. I will battle on though, as this is the most important facet the project. Big Laff
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« Reply #144 on: November 08, 2020, 03:13:16 PM »

Update v0.58
Deflector dish down to 50% Gomez


  • You can now customize the colour of your exhaust puffs at an addon store - choose from 3 great tasting flavours: Pink! Cyan! and Mint! Big Laff

  • Exhaust puffs now show on the body view (I had previously deliberately omitted them but I figured they were harmless enough really)

  • Distinguished the tile background colours better on planets (previously all technical tiles and structures had a grey background even if built on a planet - now they're pink/red to match the terrain)

  • Tytopops now eat grass and trees! (It seemed a bit dumb that their sole existence in the cosmos was to eat your stuff)

  • Nerfed the tytopop hive spawn rate (It was happening far too often while testing other things for what I had intended)

  • Added representative characters to anywhere a structure or technical tile is being referred to by name (seen in top left & top right of this screenshot)

  • Crucial systems on your ship will now break over time on your ship and you must head to engineering to fix them (this screenshot shows the communications array breaking down Cheesy)

  • Fixed hives being able to spawn on Cattus Prime


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Rogod
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« Reply #145 on: November 15, 2020, 03:36:26 PM »

Update v0.59
So modern! Gomez


  • The cosmos will now auto-save every 10 minutes Ninja (This can be toggled off in the config file if people find it super annoying)

  • Added a debuff that knocks out your ability to beam to the ship, collect resources or destroy tiles and also double the time taken for mining to work (so you're not completely screwed when that part of your ship breaks down if you don't have the funds to repair it)

  • Minor cosmetic change to the golden record collectible

  • Added one whole extra piece of bar patron dialog

  • Minor cosmetic improvement to indicate when mining is taking place


Been a bit busy lately so this is just a small quality-of-life update, will hopefully have some more exciting things in the next few updates



P.S. Just to clarify that even though I have not taken any screenshots, I am in fact not 4 students from the University of Michigan doing course EECS 494 Big Laff
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 05:35:17 AM by Rogod » Logged

JobLeonard
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« Reply #146 on: November 16, 2020, 03:51:32 AM »

Are you three goats in a trenchcoat?  Noir
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Rogod
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« Reply #147 on: November 19, 2020, 03:00:29 PM »

Update v0.60
Now in technicolor! Gomez


  • Planets come in different flavours now too! (Purple, red, grey & gold) This is purely cosmetic so as to spoil the illusion that the cosmos mostly consists of red soil. Tears of Joy

  • Past transmissions can now be scrolled back through in the transmissions popup (it will only record transmission history from v0.60 onwards - but it might be time to generate a new cosmos anyway on account of all the new planet colours Big Laff)

  • Nerfed the tytopop spawn rate (they seemed to come out of their hives at a fairly uncontrollable rate)

  • Autosave frequency is now configurable in the config file (can be turned off with a value less than 10000)

  • Updated the space station database to account for all the recent changes

  • Nerfed how often your ship components will get damaged

  • Fixed the music toggle prompt still showing on Linux despite not doing anything

  • Fixed it autosaving as soon as you start the game

  • Fixed being able to beam things out of the cargo bay with a damaged telepopper

As much as I wish I was 3 goats in a trenchcoat, I am glad the University of Michigan has dialled it back a bit now Tongue


« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 05:31:49 AM by Rogod » Logged

vdapps
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« Reply #148 on: November 19, 2020, 04:32:38 PM »

So I take purple one. It's definitely most cool. Grin
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Rogod
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« Reply #149 on: November 29, 2020, 04:11:08 PM »

In case folks thought I'd died again, here's a sneak peak as to what's taking so long lol Gomez

  • Other changes so far are mostly technical or refactoring besides this (very WIP & much in-progress)
    It is apparently vital that I fill space station bars with things to do Big Laff


« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 02:01:28 PM by Rogod » Logged

JobLeonard
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« Reply #150 on: November 29, 2020, 11:53:40 PM »

It is though! Cheesy
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Rogod
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« Reply #151 on: December 13, 2020, 02:16:37 PM »

Update v0.61
21... Gomez


  • Well that took some doing, but you can now play Spacejack in the bar on any space station
    Don't ask anybody how it's played or you'll show yourself up in front of the sharks Noir

  • Some more patron dialog has been added (amusingly none of it relating to spacejack Big Laff)

  • Made sure the string of 1s and 0s that comes from talking to someone at the bar always comes from a beeboop (just fixes a minor in-universe inaccuracy)

  • Basically restructured a bunch of the code base and solved a load of tech debt while I was at it - this is the other half of what's kept me busy for the last month

Remind me never to make a card game again; that was exhausting on the mind.
^ My attempt at working out just what the hell I'm trying to do Tears of Joy

The last month basically went from "Yea this'll be an awesome idea" to "Uhh, I just want it to end".

Needless to say, I'll thankfully be back to space related things next update. (Spacejack could still do with a little spruce up in future but it's fine for now.)



« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 01:22:08 AM by Rogod » Logged

vdapps
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« Reply #152 on: December 15, 2020, 10:10:13 AM »

Ehhm, how this spacejack is pl... . ohh, nevermind..  Grin
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Rogod
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« Reply #153 on: December 15, 2020, 10:53:07 AM »

Hah, there's always that one guy who asks Wink
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #154 on: December 15, 2020, 11:38:10 AM »

Livestream a Let's Play Spacejack Cheesy
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Rogod
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« Reply #155 on: December 15, 2020, 12:01:09 PM »

I don't even know how it's played :D!
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Rogod
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« Reply #156 on: December 16, 2020, 03:32:03 PM »

Update v0.62
Squash them into jelly! Gomez


  • Made the galaxy slowly spin on the cosmos overview screen

  • Swapped the stars behind the galaxy for something resembling the hubble deep field (ASCIIfied of course Wink) as it didn't really make sense to have stars behind it at that scale


  • Made tytopops despawn if they get back to a hive (stops stellar bodies becoming quite so overrun with them even after nerfed spawn rates)

  • Extractors can now squish adjacent tytopops into juice which provides a viable mechanism for sustainable farming if the whole mine->refinery->factory route is not for you. This not only serves as pest control but is a pollution free industry unlike the others. (The trade off is that you need to construct your farm just right or the tytopops will eat away at the conduits, roads or conveyors involved if left exposed.)

  • Fixed oxorine being swapped for empty space on planets when things were moving around on the surface (eventually resulting in extinction for all life forms on the planet Big Laff)

  • Fixed extractors basically not working at all (they would refuse to put resources on conveyors north of them because the space contained a conveyor belt Tears of Joy)

  • Fixed being able to spam yourself with transmissions by holding I on a pirate

Yay space things again - what a relief it is to just code this stuff again


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vdapps
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« Reply #157 on: December 16, 2020, 04:01:05 PM »

Spinning galaxies in ASCII, just wow! Will be also ASCII galaxy clusters and superclusters? Grin

Ohh, you already have it to some extent (background resembling Hubble deep field).
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Rogod
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« Reply #158 on: December 17, 2020, 01:25:34 AM »

Yea that's the impression I was trying to give off.

But the game will likely not be going outside this scale - if I need more map, I'll just make the galaxy bigger (not going to other galaxies or universes in Startron Tongue )
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #159 on: December 17, 2020, 03:46:10 AM »

Just tried it out, looks great!
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