Windows Captain's Way: Crew management/shooter hybrid

Discussion in 'Work in Progress' started by orseoste7o, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Again, the game has changed dramatically since these initial posts. This is what it looks like now:

    [​IMG]

    The alpha is now available on itch.io!
    https://adrianmanser.itch.io/captainsway

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Captain's Way is a game I've been working on on-and-off for the last 2 years in GameMaker: Studio. I've already been publicly developing it over at the tigsource forums; you can see my progress so far here:
    https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=57915.0

    The easiest way to describe CW is FTL meets Captain Forever. A fancier way of explaining it is....
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Captain's Way is a mix of hard hitting real time ship-to-ship combat and tactical crew management with an emphasis on player-driven, emergent situations and stories. The player takes control of a spaceship captain charged with smuggling a crew out of a war-torn star system filled with corrupt alien factions and other deadly lifeforms.
    • Modular, physics based ship to ship combat: Every booster, floor and wall tile of your ship can be blown off, altering how your ship flies and shoots. Having a wall blown apart can result in dire consequences for your crew.
    • Build your ship: Design, upgrade and repair your ship as you progress through the stars in order to deal with more elite enemies and larger fleets. Unlock better parts as you progress through the game.
    • A randomly generated star system: The star system is generated differently each play-through, resulting in vastly different battles and environments.
    • Permadeath: Your captain dies and the game is over. Protect them with everything you have!
    I've got a website:
    http://captainsway.weebly.com/
    Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/CaptainsWayGame
    And two trailers:


    For your viewing pleasure.

    Anyways I've always loved these forums, GM 7 and the original GMC is what got me into Game maker anyway so I figured it would be great to start talking about it here too.

    Let me know what you think!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
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  2. BaBiA Game Studio

    BaBiA Game Studio Member

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    Really impressive. Looks a bit like a cross between FTL and Heat Signature (with the modular way the ships are built).
     
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  3. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Thanks! Both of those games definitely had a big influence on the design of the game, originally it was a lot more like heatsig in that you controlled your captain manually and could go outside your shpi and lead 1 man boards and whatnot. Eventually I reduced the scope to this :p
     
  4. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    It's been a hectic last few days but I've managed to make time to implement two new enemies:

    [​IMG]
    Torpedo ships, which are long ranged and squishy. These launch torpedos, slow moving, dodgable projectiles that explode on impact damaging multiple parts similar to mines.

    [​IMG]
    And 'gas ships' (working title) which shoot gas canisters at your ship which penetrate walls through space magic and spead poison gas in your ship in a small area.

    Next I might add more weapon part variety. Let me know if you have any ideas!
     
  5. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hi guys! Made heaps of progress in terms of new weapon parts and implementing neutral space monsters.

    [​IMG]

    You can see this ship is equipped with a railgun, and two scatter blasters. Essentially in CW a rail gun is a spaceship sniper rifle and scatter blasters are shotguns. You can also see I've started to implement enemy indicators for enemies outside the screen.

    [​IMG]

    Space sharks! These guys swim? around biting chunks in your ship and your enemies.

    I'm running short of other enemy monster ideas so if you have any ideas about what might be fun in this game let me know.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  6. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    [​IMG]

    Hope every had a merry Christmas! Quick update on what I've been doing in the short time I've had between social engagements; work on the progression of the game and main menu (being able to continue or start a new game), work on shark and enemy ship AI so they fight each other,some minor balancing and polish and started work on the graphics for some new monsters and ship parts.

    By the end of January the goal is too have at least 3 types of enemies, sharks (done), some kind of fighters and some kind of boarders. I also have ideas for new types of environmental hazards such as black holes that curve your bullets and space gems your bullets and maybe lasers reflect off of. Next on the parts list are blow torches (my version of flame throwers), repair bots and reflector shields. I hope to also add some new minor enemy ship variations too.
     
  7. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    So I was recently asked about the technical side of CW in my other thread, and gave a rather nice summary of how everything works in CW so I figured I might as well share it here too.

    Essentially there is actually 2 player ships, an invisible 'ghost ship' always at a right angle in the top left corner of the room, and a 'real' physics ship the camera follows about the level. Crew pathfinding, combat, breaches and everything 'in ship' all happens in the ghost ship so I can use stuff gamemaker's built in path finding functions (which I couldn't if I was having crew move about in a moving, rotation ship built out of physics fixtures). When blocks are created for the ghost ship, they create fixtures on the physics ship object.
    The ghost ship then draws all the blocks and the crew and bullets on to the physics ship.

    A downside of this is I have to convert enemy bullets locations to be relevant to the ghost ship and then test for collisions with blocks there and stuff like that.
    I think that pretty much sums it up though, I hope that makes sense :D Here's a screenshot to show what I mean.

    [​IMG]

    Here I turned on the debug grids for the ghost ship, and got the crew to draw themselves at their actual locations on the ghost ship, and also at the physics ship. The red square is the ship's center of mass, and the red circle is the mouses location relevant to the ship, for crew selection and what not. It's all quite convoluted and abstract but honestly I couldn't think of any other way I can achieve what I have in gamemaker.
     
  8. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hi all, sorry for the lack of updates recently. I've been flat out with things for new years and Christmas and I haven't really had time to take a breather, and get some nice relaxing (not really) game dev done. In the few short breaks I have had, however, I've made lots of progress towards there actually being persistent progression through the main menu and actually being able to have play through through multiple systems with the same ship and crew. I've also made steps towards adding more monster, part and enemy variety.

    [​IMG]

    Pictured is a few new monsters, new smaller drone like enemies, and the blow torch / reflector shields and repair bot part.
     
  9. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    [​IMG]

    I've made two major additions since my last post; actually losing the game when your captain dies, and rewards and being able to continue on when you clear a wave. Due to the nature of the gameplay I'll also have to ensure players have the option to surrender when put into a situation where it's impossible to win with all weapons being destroyed for example. Or perhaps you can turn on a distress beacon, which would increase enemies aggression but if you survived it for say, 30 seconds, you get to re design your ship from it's wrecked state and retry the round?

    [​IMG]

    Rewards involve cash, crew and upgrades. You'll always get cash, 1-2 upgrades most rounds, and crew are rare.
     
  10. Morendral

    Morendral Member

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    Just out of curiosity, why say it's ended when the captain is dead? If this we a real scenario, someone else would just step up and take overy.

    Nice game so far
     
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  11. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Thanks! The game ends when the captain is dead for sake of clarity more than anything else, and also to allow for more tense game play situations. The biggest reason is that when you're ship is blown in half, the game follows the half your captain is in. This is easy to explain and make sense of when your ship is being blown to pieces in game. Anything else I tested wasn't as intuitive or viable. Initially the ship broke up around it's center of mass, which isn't immediately clear to the player without ugly hud indicators, and when the block under the ships center of mass is destroyed, the entire thing goes up.
    Basing the game around your captain also allowed me to have a central character to invest the player in, and allow for these heroic stories similar to all those sci-fi movies where the captain is the last man standing trying to keep the ship together after all the crew have sacrificed them selves for the good of the mission. It also makes the game more difficult and 'rogue-likey' in general, which I enjoy.

    There is potential for this mechanic to feel unfair at times with your captain being able to die just as easy as any of your crew, and if feedback from testers is too negative about the mechanic I can easily base destruction around a 'power generator' part or the pilot seat instead. It's something I'll only be able to decide on in alpha I think, when I finally get the game into tester's hands :p
     
  12. Shut

    Shut Member

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    Looks awesome from the screenshots! I like the concept and idea of the game.. I'd definitely be interested in playing this. :)
     
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  13. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Thanks Shut! The earliest people can probably play it is February, via the kickstarter I'm planning :)
     
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  14. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hi guys, just another quick update on where I'm at with CW. This might be the last in a while as the things I'll be focusing on in the next month aren't very screenshot friendly. With the kickstarter and alpha just around the corner, I've started to shift focus from content to getting the game fully playable by the general public. In the alpha you'll just be able to repeatedly build/repair/upgrade your ship then test it against a few waves of enemies. Which you can do right now, 100%, what's missing is things like a settings menu, tutorial, introduction, a 'set up' screen for naming captain and crew etc.

    So those are the things I've started working on, I've been researching how to do input boxes, setting up a settings.ini to read from and started re-coding things to accommodate a changeable resolution. Right now it can be quite messy at times...

    [​IMG]

    Also in my other dev blog on the GMC, I was asked why the game ends when the captain dies when logically somebody else would just step up. This is for sake of clarity more than anything else, and also to allow for more tense game play situations. The biggest reason is that when you're ship is blown in half, the game follows the half your captain is in. This is easy to explain and make sense of when your ship is being blown to pieces in game. Anything else I tested wasn't as intuitive or viable. Initially the ship broke up around it's center of mass, which isn't immediately clear to the player without ugly HUD indicators, and when the block under the ships center of mass is destroyed, the entire thing goes up.

    Basing the game around your captain also allowed me to have a central character to invest the player in, and allow for these heroic stories similar to all those sci-fi movies where the captain is the last man standing trying to keep the ship together after all the crew have sacrificed them selves for the good of the mission. It also makes the game more difficult and 'rogue-likey' in general, which I enjoy.

    There is potential for this mechanic to feel unfair at times with your captain being able to die just as easy as any of your crew, and if feedback from testers is too negative about the mechanic I can easily base destruction around a 'power generator' part or the pilot seat instead. It's something I'll only be able to decide on in alpha I think, when I finally get the game into tester's hands.

    Some other more recent screenshots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Till next time!
     
  15. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Just a quick update guys, works been continuing on basic functionality needed to get the game to a state where its playable by the public. For the last few days the focus has been on saving and loading, which means refactoring lots of code and standardizing variables so I can loop through everything and save things to .inis easily etc.

    [​IMG]

    I've also started considering larger changes to set it further apart from captains forever and FTL, to make it more it's own game and more of a 'next step' then a clone. These changes involve the game based around a large galaxy star map, and having to manage supplies (which double as fuel like in FTL) that are also physical objects on board your ship you have to protect.

    Should have some big news to announce soon! Till next time.
     
  16. HighlandCoo

    HighlandCoo Member

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    I feel your pain re: saving and loading games.. somehow this is always the last thing after writing the whole game. :)

    Love the look of your game! Keep it up!
     
  17. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    I know right? It's such a drama, we really need to get into the habit of planning for it from the start :p

    Thanks! Will do.
     
  18. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hey guys! Some large news. Due to reasons, I've had to take a step back and really consider what Captain's Way is, where it'll fit in the market, and what's it's selling pints. A big issue I've kept running into a lot throughout development so far is that Captain's Way has always had a bit of a identity crisis, is it a fast paced shooter like captain's way, or a crew management/spaceship sim like FTL? Balancing the two has been really tricky, as I'd have to get both aspects of the game to the same level or better than the game's competitors, when the competitors are very good games that are purely focused around one mechanic or idea.

    So what I've been prototyping new ideas and play testing a lot, and what I'm going to do is go in the direction of more FTL sim/crew management then space shooter. The real time physics based battles are still there, everything works the same, the only major change I've made so far is that the ship is now piloted by AI.

    So ship design and booster placement and everything is still very important if you want your ship to be able to effectively blow up bad guys, but this let's me concentrate on creating layered problems and recreating that feeling of being a captain of a ship under fire. Another small change I've made is reducing the amount of crew members you have, and slowing up combat in general. Everything is much more deliberate now, and you spend the time freed up from piloting ship moving crew members between seats to utilize different weapons, shields and boosters.

    From here on out I'll be focusing more on the parts that make my game unique. These being the crews influence on the ship and battle, the design of the ship, the space environment/neutral monsters and more varied problems on board the ship itself.
    The game already feels much more cohesive and unique, and it's nice having a single focus rather than keeping track of what were 2 completely different games at once.

    Hopefully you guy's agree with the new direction I'm going! Let me know what you think.

    TLDR: Fleshing out both the captain forever ship controlling and shooting with the FTL crew management wasn't working. I'm now concentrating on watching your AI controlled ship do it's own thing while managing the crew inside.
     
  19. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hi guys!

    With the decision to move the game in this new direction, and a increase in scope I've decided to reach out to artists to overhaul the game's graphics (again) and work with me to finish the game. This should add a more professional touch to the game and allow me to cram more content in the game without having to do all the art too, which so far has probably doubled development time.

    Anybody can apply, you can be anywhere in the world, you can work whatever hours you like provided the work gets done in time for release. This is a contract job, not a permanent position. I'll be looking for artists until I find one that fits the bill so there isn't really a cut off date for submissions. I'll go by your rates if you're an established pixel artist or we can sort out some sort of hourly rate if not.

    In terms of what you'll be drawing, you should be able to get a pretty good idea from this devlog and the trailer. Ship parts are 32/32 as are crew and boarders. Enemy ships can be anywhere from 40x40 to 400x200. Environmental props would also vary greatly in size. In regards to backgrounds, I do already have randomly generated nebula but I would still need planets and star-scapes and whatnot.

    Work would start after successful crowdfunding (with maybe 1-2 pieces beforehand for the page), so we would need to sort out rates beforehand so I know how much to ask for. We would communicate via email and maybe skype if needed.
    In regards to style, it's largely up to you, you can put whatever spin on it you want. If you want more direction, I think something reminiscent of 70s and 80s science fiction movies and book covers would ft the game quite nicely.

    If you're interested, shoot me an email at adrianmanser@outlook.com with a portfolio or some of your previous work. If you have neither, potential art for the game also works. [​IMG]

    In regards to the game's development, recently I've started implementing chat bubbles so you can see your crew talk to each other as you command them about!

    [​IMG]
     
  20. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hey guys, sadly not much to report. I've got a lot of submissions for artists, which is great, so much talent on these forums. I just want to get the absolute best fit, so I'm taking my time discussing styles, samples and availability with everyone.

    I have however made good progress on crew speech. The goal is to have crew talk dynamically as you command people around the ship and things happen. If you tell somebody to man a seat, your captain tells them to man the seat and they acknowledge it, for example. I'm hoping to expand it so crew reports enemy positions, talks to each other and comments on the goings on in the ship, such as that weird lump a alien boarder left on their chest when they got attacked last round.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Lots of changes are afoot folks. I think I've finally nailed down how exactly the game needs to change to better fit this new direction.

    For starters, I've decided to implement ship controls at the bottom of the screen. This lets you toggle between manual and AI control, and give commands to your ship when it's in AI mode. Depending on how things come along, I may remove the ability to toggle the AI back to manual control.

    [​IMG]

    In this early system the first two buttons are manual/ai control respectively, then 'target nearest', 'select target', 'retreat', and 'rotate'. I'm considering changing 'retreat' to a simple move command. Let me know if you have any ideas that would work better!

    I've also gotten basic starmap generation working:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm aiming for one big galaxy rather than a few sectors like in FTL.

    After I've finished the ship commands, my focus will be on types of enemies and other hazards that will effect the crew and inner ship systems rather than outer ship enemies. Hoping to announce the artist soon!
     
  22. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hey guys! Work continues bringing the game in this new crew management direction. Number one priority is getting ship AI controls working, I've made good progress:

    [​IMG]

    I've also decided to opt to replace the 'retreat move' with a simple move command. The end goal is to have the ability to control your ship manually completely irrelevant so the player can concentrate purely on the inner working of the ship, but for now there just isn't enough to do.

    Another system I want to talk about is 'crew mood'. I've currently got a problem where the most efficient, effective ships don't really look livable or all that nice really. To make the most effective ship you currently just minimize spend on walls and floor, to cram as many guns on as possible. This makes for boring, unrealistic and easy ship design. To correct things I'm going to add 'crew mood', a meter that is influenced by the state of your ship and crew. Having a more spacious ship will give a positive modifier to crew mood, while having it super cramped will have a negative one. Losing or gain crew, how damaged the ship is currently, and events like 'the crew has come down with a cold' also effect this meter.

    To go with this system I'll also introduce a bunch of furniture and decorations you can put in your ship to increase crew mood. Bad mood means higher chance of your crew causing drama and problems for you on your journey, while high mood will mean crew might occasionally offer you a chunk of their savings for example, or be motivated to research a new part in their spare time.
     
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  23. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Sadly not much visual I can show off recently, but I feel like I'm finally coming close to an agreement with an artist and other 3rd parties. Once I've sorted all this out development is going to kick into overdrive.

    However I did have time today to do more work on crew control. As I'm shifting towards more crew centered gameplay, It's become obvious that the player could use more precise control, and there needed to be less automation. Originally you simply set crew member's destinations and what they did when they reached it was context sensitive. They prioritized shooting any visible boarders, then sealing any nearby breaches, and finally using any control panel they happened to be sitting on. Which isn't really ideal if in the moment to moment gameplay you really really needed to activate your ships weapons for just 1 second.

    With the new system, if you click on a seat the crew member will stick to the seat and control it like his hands are stuck to it like glue. Clicking on a breach will prioritize sealing it above everything else, and clicking on a boarder will get the crew to follow it around the ship trying to kill it. This should potentially make the game much less frustrating combined with the pause mechanic, and allow the player to direct their crew exactly how they want to.
     
  24. Gravedust

    Gravedust Member

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    Just wanted to pop in to say this looks amazing. Something very similar has been on my mind for a while so it's great to see someone actually doing it. :) Good luck with your continuing development, I'll be watching this thread with interest. :)
     
  25. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hey, thanks! Really glad to hear it! :)

    Sorry for the lack of updates recently, my life has been flat out.

    I do however, have this mock up of what Captain's Way will look like under the new artist!

    [​IMG]

    The end product will also use an updated nebula algorithm and textures to go with the new style:

    [​IMG]
     
  26. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Quick update guys. Work continues sorting things out with the artist, a potential producer, and on the star map.
    I also figured I should show some more regular old game-play, because it's been a while.

    Here's the ship commands in full force:

    [​IMG]

    Here's an updated mock-up from the artist with my new nebula and me experimenting with a different color scheme with the HUD:

    [​IMG]

    And finally here's where I'm at with the star map right now, you can currently travel from node to node:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  27. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Hi guys, just thought I would share this overhaul the artist has done of one of the faction's laser ship:

    [​IMG]

    Really puts my sub-par pixel art skills into perspective, but it goes to show how much having somebody who specializes in art can help your game's overall value.

    Today I'm going to start work on enemy boarders who can bypass your walls completely, and teleport directly inside your ship when they're close enough.
     
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  28. Niels

    Niels Member

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    I really like the backgrounds, how did you make them? :)
     
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  29. CJL

    CJL Guest

    Interesting project. Did you consider other options for limiting the player from installing tons of weapons? One posibility would be an energy system which would give your crew something else to do, especially if the crew members have skillsets.

    Your ship decks look a little plain. Have you considered having multiple deck ships with ladders, elevators, or teleporters? This would give your players something to do as they'd need to design crew quarters, engine rooms, and other features in more detail.
     
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  30. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    I've actually already spoken about this in the original tigsource devlog, I'll cut what I posted there here.

    So, the goal was something like Tom Francis' Heat Signature (http://www.heatsig.com/) but unfortunately I don't have access to anybody, or am personally capable of drawing space clouds like he does. I wanted nebula that could be any shape and size, and be of endless variety and somehow always look good. Here's the end result:
    [​IMG]
    You can see more nebula on the game's twitter (https://twitter.com/CaptainsWayGame)
    Essentially what I did was generate a bunch of noise images using gimp:
    [​IMG]
    Then only illuminate parts of these sprites using surfaces and blend modes with images like this:
    [​IMG]
    (These images are scaled and rotated of course. They are also colored based on the nebula's unique base colors)

    Then draw those surfaces layered on top of each other. There's also dark spots drawn in, and a plain color splash behind each nebula. Simple!

    Thanks! There's a few things already in place to stop player's just spamming weapons. Primarily a small range on operating seats (which guns need to be in range of to work), and weapons being quite expensive compared to floor/wall tiles etc. The 'crew mood' mechanic I'll be implementing soon should also draw the player's attention towards building a ship that keeps the crew happy with plenty of space and decorations, so they have less money for weapons and have to balance crew mood and combat efficiency. If weapon spam is still a problem after that I'll look into energy management and the like :) For now I'm trying to keep the gameplay loop + mechanics somewhat streamlined and easy to pick up.

    I agree that my current ship decks are plain, but I think the ground tiles the artist has done for me already go a long way in regards to adding variety and depth. Multiple decks aren't something I've considered honestly, my main concerns with that is the player losing track of what is happening where, but obviously that could be overcome with layered warnings on the HUD and whatnot. There's also the issue of 'which layer do enemy ships collide with' which might not make sense graphically when you're going up and down decks, for example you could be looking at the bottom deck, but ships collide with the middle deck so there's overlap which would look odd.
    I do like the idea of teleporters for crew to get around, not sure how I would program them into the crew pathfinding but I'll definitely look in to it. What I'm considering right now is simply to have floor tiles spawn with random variations such cracks, wires and puddles. Thanks for your feedback!
     
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  31. CJL

    CJL Guest

    I think a lot of space games involve energy systems so it shouldn't be difficult for your players to pick up if you do decide to add it. Think of games like star wars where you balance power between shields and lasers. Earlier you mentioned you were looking for more actions for the crew, so boosting engine output, adding power to shields or lasers would be one way to do that.

    Do your crews have skills? Engineers, pilots, gunners, medics, security, etc. Their should be some cross training but also some specializations among the crew. Designating these would give the player something to work on improving. For example training their engineer would allow for improved engines, and faster power transitions. It also makes losing a particular character in battle more critical.

    For multiple decks, you don't really need to track which level the ship collides with. just track if a collision occurs and if it does you can either logically choose which decks are affected or choose randomly. Rather then displaying a single deck where the ship is in space, you could split the view to show the ship in space, then have a series of decks shown on one side of the screen. That way you could show 3 or 4 decks. The teleporter or ladder pathfinding would just have the character AI determine if the character needs to change decks, and if they do then path find the nearest teleporter or ladder that leads to that deck. if the character is under player control then clicking up on a teleporter would go up a deck and vice versa for going down. If you want to keep to displaying a single deck of several decks you would need a mechanic to help the player identify when the ship has been boarded so you could have a red alert signal triggered possibly with a message, "intruder alert. 3 intruders in engineering". part of the ship defense could be to raise shields in parts of the ship to slow the intruders so they can't just run amok throughout the ship.

    multiple decks should help you to keep the player busy. it gives the player more to handle and everything takes a few seconds longer since the paths are longer. It shouldn't really affect your art other then having copies of the interior for each deck. You could have some variation in deck sizes, or even have some decks with unconnected areas (like the 2 separate engines on the star trek enterprise), but that's totally optional.

    I'll definitely look forward to trying your game. I just launched a medieval game on FB and I'm working on 2 new ones, one space, and one civilization building.
     
  32. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    I'll definitely consider something like a 'power center' where the player can adjust power levels of different types of parts if it's manned, if the game needs more depth after I finish implementing the rest of the core mechanics (events, the star map) and more anti-crew enemies.

    Crew currently do not have skills, but rather have buyable upgrades like 'improved fire rate' or 'magnetic boots so they don't get sucked out' so losing certain crew members can be more critical as is. The problem with skills or roles which improve over time is the risk of people drawing more 'it's an FTL clone' claims, and also displaying said skills easily and intuitively somehow on the HUD as I don't want to bog down the UI with heaps of different bars and stats.

    In regards to decks I think it's really a question of whether the effort of implementing it is really worth it in terms of gameplay. It would make things more complicated, give the player more to handle but I'm not sure if the game needs to be more complicated right now. Heaping more things on to the player for them to do doesn't necessarily mean they'll have more fun, and with Captain's Way being a commercial project I (annoyingly :p) need to look at what the majority of people would enjoy the most. For now, people seem to enjoy the more streamlined single floor game play but if there's complaints about the game being too basic, or there's too much down-time decks would indeed be a good way to fluff the game out and fix those issues!

    Thanks! Best of luck with your games.
     
  33. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
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    [​IMG]

    Today I finished implementing 'Teleboarders'. While their main strength is their awesome name, Teleboarders can actually just teleport straight on board once their close enough to your ship. This was a great way to give you something more to do with your crew without needing your ship to be breached, which I feel should be a much more critical event. Teleboarders are 'uh oh' moment compared to a 'oh shi-' moment when your ship gets breached, crew gets sucked out and outer boarders swarm in from outer space.

    Outside of this though, the majority of the work I've been putting into CW has been on the kickstarter page, which I'm not quite ready to show off yet. I'm also working on a new trailer to go with the kickstarter launch.
     
  34. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

    Joined:
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    More progress! This post I'd like to talk a little about the star map.
    Here's what I've got so far:

    [​IMG]

    Instead of multiple, mostly linear sectors like in FTL, CW has one big open star map. Difficulty increases as you get closer to your goal, indicated by the red rings. The more red the star is in, the more danger it presents. The color of each star represents the faction it belongs to, stations are shops, and you can see stars get crossed out after you've been to them as you won't have an event twice on the same star.

    I rather enjoy the look and style of what I have here now, the star background will likely be overhauled though. There will also be a HUD of some description eventually too.
     
  35. Gravedust

    Gravedust Member

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    Looks nice. :)
     
  36. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Thanks! :)

    Sorry for the lack of updates recently! Development on Captain's Way has actually been all out the last few weeks, but it's all been more on creating trailers, assets for crowdfunding campaigns, and talking to investors and artists and whanot so not much to talk about here haha.

    What I have done on the game itself though, is worked some more on crew control so crew members go back to using seats after their done shooting people up and whatnot, and added some different enemies and continued work on the starmap. In terms of enemies, I've added a cruiser which shoots slow moving fireballs, which don't damage your ship itself but mess up your crew pretty bad if you don't move them out of the way.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  37. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Posts:
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    Hi guys, still not much to show sadly. I'm building up to this point though, and when I reach it the floodgates will open up and content will come pouring out. Programming wise most of the work has been on bugs and balance, and making the game playtester ready. I've also had to recover from turning 21 the other day [​IMG] I have also had time to add a much awaited feature for those who don't want to spend time building a new ship every time they die; template ships!

    [​IMG]

    This also reduces the risk of new players not having a great time with their initial time with the game via not knowing how to build a ship, as in Captain's Way badly built ships often mean a quick death.
     
    Lonewolff likes this.
  38. Geoff Jones

    Geoff Jones Member

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    499
    I will buy this.
     
  39. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

    Joined:
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    Glad to hear it!

    So the next phase in CW's development (besides getting funding together) is tying all the different aspects of the game together. This means the battles and the ship building with the star map. For me to be able to do this, I needed to finish the star map first though, and then implement events. Today I made big progress on the starmap, in that now the entire thing including factions, shops, player position and goal position are generated by the game instead of manually placed by me like they have been thus far. I can also save and load starmaps and the progress the player has made on them.

    Check out some of the starmaps I've generated:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next is adding some more functionality to the starmap, so players can pan and shift the camera around more easily. Then I'm adding events, then I'm tying those to ship building and battles. Exciting stuff!

    I do however, need ideas for what else the player can find about the map other than shops, normal stars, and the goal. Due to the nature of how the map is generated there is currently large amounts of stars that branch out apart from the easiest route from start to finish, with no reason to waste time and explore there.If you have any ideas as to what the player could find there, let me know! I'm thinking some large amount of treasure each play through on a single star, or some other risky but highly beneficial detour. Open to any and all ideas!
     
  40. Gravedust

    Gravedust Member

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    Hm. Difficult to make good recommendations without knowing more about your game system, but obviously if your game features resources and/or tech upgrades they can be used as incentive for detouring. Perhaps a constant need for starship fuel or life support energy means plotting a path that may not lead straight to your objective. (for this to work you have to make sure you don't spawn many resources on the shortest path though or they still won't need to detour. :p)

    If the location of the objective itself isn't immediately known, exploration may be required to even figure out where you are going. (This also introduces a possible sub-goal of finding a 'map' or some other object that will show you where your objective is)

    Some nodes may be wormholes that connect to other distant portions of the map.

    I'm not sure what effect factions have in your game, but perhaps answering distress beacons from a certain factions might improve faction relations and/or grant you some additional benefits.

    One note of caution though, if the problem is 'Oh no, too many extra nodes, how can we make them interesting?' I would approach the solution carefully. More content is usually consider better, but if you feel like you are stretching your design to pad out the space you've made, then it might be better to just reduce the space to match the amount of good content you can create for it. I mention this because I have fallen into similar traps a number of times. :p

    Anyway, still jazzed about how this project is going, looks great. :)

    If you don't mind I may PM you with a technical question or two if I get the time.
     
    orseoste7o likes this.
  41. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    PM away! Happy to answer any technical questions.

    I'm still deliberating on whether or not fuel should be in the game in some form, whether ot not to have fuel as parts on your ship you have to protect etc. But they are great mechanics I could use to force the player off of the straightest path. Not knowing the immediate end goal is smart, and having to explore to find it. I've actually been considering adding in some sort of fog of war along those lines too. Currently players unlock new parts and crew as rewards from battles, but that can easily be expanded to having 'research stations' dotted around the map too, I'll actually 100% do that. And worm holes to act as long distance teleporters too, brilliant :O Could also come in handy if I implement some sort of big baddy chasing you around the starmap too...

    I do feel like adding faction relations would be a huge undertaking that wouldn't add too much to the game however, doesn't really fit in my vision of the game. Factions themselves simply decide what enemy ships you'll be facing in battles, and what events you'll come across. Hopefully different faction's ships's will end up having unique strengths and weaknesses you'll be able to build your ship around.

    I'm pretty much set on the current large size of the map too, as a defining feature of the game to help it stand apart from games like FTL more than anything.

    All great ideas though, thanks so much! I think a lot of the viability of these ideas are just going to come down to experimentation and prototyping, but you've given me a lot to work with!
     
  42. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Posts:
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    Hi guys! Sorry for the huge delay in posts, I've just been waiting for feedback from a bunch of third parties. Good news is I finally got it! Their main concern was clarity with the games graphics in pitching, so that's what I've been working on.

    The main changes I've made are adding black outlines to crew to make them stand out against the ship, and making stations light up when being used, and otherwise be dull and lifeless.

    [​IMG]

    I've also added supreme commander style icons when the player zooms out past a certain thresh hold, so the player can tell where crew and stations are while getting a better view of the battlefield in general.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully more news soon!
     
    Gravedust and Siolfor the Jackal like this.
  43. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Bunch of new stuff to show everybody to day! However bit pressed for time, so I might go back and edit this post later. Behold:
    Gif of supreme commander style icons of zoom in action:

    [​IMG]

    Prototype events in action (Excuse the template text):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finally I've just launched a game maker asset showing you how to do be able to create and fly basic captain forever style block ships, like in captain's way! Check it out here:
    https://marketplace.yoyogames.com/assets/5377/physics-based-block-ships
     
  44. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Posts:
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    Hi guys! Made lots of progress the last few days. My main focus has been on the star map and events, check it:

    [​IMG]

    I've redone the stars to be much better looking overall and more random, added an awesome filter so it looks like you're controlling your ship from an old monitor, and overhauled events.

    [​IMG]

    Of course you'll be able to turn off the filer in the options, but I quite like it for now.

    [​IMG]

    Events are now set up so I can easily duplicate template objects and change fields to easily make heaps of new events that result in rewards of money and unlocks, battles, or nothing at all except maybe some funny text.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  45. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Finished polishing up events today, just adding in new events for a playable build for secret reasons to be revealed soon. Doing this has made me realize how great it could be to have a good writer and some help thinking up events, so if you have any ideas I'm all ears! Your name will go in the credits too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The best thing about this is that now everything has been successfully tied up, and the full gameplay loop is there. You build your ship, explore the starmap, go to stations to rebuild or upgrade your ship, and deal with events, some of which result in battles. And it's fun! Thank god.
     
    IndianaBones likes this.
  46. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    New Trailer! Gives a much more accurate representation of where the game is at now, and where it's going. Let me know what you think!
     
    Gravedust likes this.
  47. lolslayer

    lolslayer Member

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    Jun 23, 2016
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    I immidiately thought about the Marketplace item you made when seeing this game :p
     
  48. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

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    Yeah haha, I mean the two do go hand in hand. I cut code straight out of captain's way to make that asset :p
     
  49. lolslayer

    lolslayer Member

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    Jun 23, 2016
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    Pretty neat, this was also something I was thinking about making, but you did it before I could start working on it :p
     
  50. orseoste7o

    orseoste7o Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
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    Happy to say I've got Captain;s Way to a point where you can actually play an entire play through of the game from start to finish, building your ship, going through the star map dealing with events, and taking part of awesome space battles. Recently the focus has been on crushing bugs, adding more functionality to events, making everything more user friendly and setting up to start work on the settings menu. Have some screenshots!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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