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, and you may find others who want to join your crew.
The game will allow you to travel from planet to planet, taking contracts where you can. You can choose who to work for and which jobs to take. However, your choices have consequences - smuggle weapons to those scrappy rebels and you may find yourself with a bounty on your head. On the other hand, help the "evil empire" a little too much, and you may find the galaxy has a new set of problems. ;)
As far as the game structure, I'm a big fan of creating a fun world to play in, and then letting people follow the path they want. The design is structured to allow emergent gameplay, and you will be able to impact how events unfold in the galaxy.
To balance that, there will be specific goals/objectives that provide your driving purpose in the game. I've always found in traditional sandbox games I tend to try a few things, wander aimlessly for a bit, then get bored because I don't have a strong purpose. I'd like to avoid that by giving you something concrete to shoot for. You will be able to "win the game" by reaching that goal. At that point, if you're enjoying the current world you've created, you can keep playing. Or if you prefer, you can start a brand new world with a new scenario.
As for the overall project itself, I'm currently hoping to announce the game before the end of the year. From there I'd like to get it into Steam Greenlight, then to Early Access, and of course to release.
Onwards we go!