August 31, 2015

The last two weeks have been very busy. I finally managed to get the mission system up and running. This allows you to take on a variety of contracts, such as smuggling, hacking, and bounties.

 

With multiple factions in the game, you can choose which jobs to take based on your loyalties. If you prefer, you can also take jobs based strictly on how much they pay. After all, galactic politics can be someone else's concern.   ;)

 

The first type of mission I've implemented is the classic cargo delivery. Someone needs goods transported, and you're the pilot they've hired. Sometimes this will be easy, sometimes you may find things becoming a little more difficult. For example, entering enemy territory may become a challenge unless you plan ahead and forge your ship's ID. If you don't, you may find yourself on the run from enemy patrols (and elite bounty hunters).

 

It's been a lot of fun working on this system so far. Previously, a lot of my time was spent getting base systems in place. This...

August 13, 2015

So...at the start of the project I made the decision to not add multiplayer support to the game. It was my first project as an indie developer, I figured I should keep it simple.  A good idea as far as ideas go.

 

Interestingly though, as the design has evolved over the last year, it's become clear that the game would be ideally suited for multiple players. Sure, I have AI players who can fill the role, but there's nothing like playing against human opponents.

 

Now as a professional game developer, I can tell you that trying to retroactively add multiplayer to an existing game, late in the project, is a ridiculous idea. The best way to put multiplayer into your game is to plan for it from day one. That one decision impacts everything.

 

This is a lesson I learned through first-hand experience working on the Mass Effect franchise. The third game in the series added multiplayer, and it was a STAGGERING amount of work. Oh, and that was in an engine that supported multiplayer out of the box! It...

August 6, 2015

It's been quite some time since the last post! During that time, I've been hard at work on the game.

 

One of the most important challenges I've tackled this year has been finding the core experience for the game. When I first started off, I had *tons* of ideas and I admit to putting too many of them into the mix.

 

More is not always better, and so I had to step back and figure out what the main focus should be. With some help from friends (thank you!), I was able to focus the design on one core idea, and then start building out the gameplay from there.

 

So, continuing with the ideas I talked about in my last post, the game has a scifi setting and is heavily inspired by adventures like Star Wars and Firefly.

 

You play as a smuggler captain, trying to make your living admist the turmoil of galactic politics. In the best tradition of Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds, you set out to do the best you can with what you have - yourself, your gun, and your ship. Fortunately, it's a big galaxy out there...

December 2, 2014

So...the game! It's early in development but I'm happy to finally start talking about it. I'm not sure what the best format is, so I'll just dive in and you can let me know if there's a better way.  :)

The Core

 

At its heart the game can be summed up as follows:


"The adventure of Star Wars meets the gameplay style of FTL"

  
What does that mean? Let me break it down:

 

  • Star Wars & Adventure - The main theme for the game is about going on an amazing adventure. Star Wars captured that by creating an imaginative universe filled with interesting characters, ships, and worlds. I'd like to do the same!

 

  • FTL & Gameplay Style - For those who didn't play it, FTL was an indie game that released a few years ago. Built using simple mechanics, and a 2D "top down" perspective, the game provided a fun experience. Even with a minimalistic style it managed to capture the feeling of space exploration. This approach also allowed the game to be created by a small team. I would like to follow a...

November 7, 2014

Adventure, imagination, play! Welcome to our site.  :)

 

Deep Space Aviators is a new game studio currently working on its first project. There's lots I'd like to talk about, but for this post I’ll keep it short and stick to the basics.

 

Who am I? For those I don't know yet, my name’s Shawn Potter and I’m the founder of the studio (and author of this blog!).

 

A little over six months ago I left my job at BioWare, where I worked on the Mass Effect games (and new IP) for about 8 years.  The majority of that time was spent as part of the gameplay programming team – first as a programmer, then as a lead. It was a fantastic experience, and I was fortunate to work with an amazingly talented group of people (hi guys!).

 

The only thing missing was that I had always wanted to work on my own projects as well. This year I saw a chance to do that, and so I made the jump to “indie” development!

 

The studio is now up and running. At this early stage, I'm the primary developer on our game. However, In addi...

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