Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Space Chronicles (Working Title) Dev Blog

This blog is an account of the upcoming RIT 2012 Graduate Capstone game Space Chronicles 2142 (working title) - a game that combines the fast-paced action of the first person shooter genre with the mental workout of tactical strategy games. We are currently a 3-person team of programmers looking to recruit willing artists and programmers over the next few weeks for creation of art assets as well as increased manpower in engine, AI, and gameplay subsystems. 

The game is set in outer space, with the player facing waves of enemy space fleets consisting of large, hulking motherships and small, fast drone ships, all hellbent on the player's destruction. The player's own fleet consists of a similar composition. During gameplay, the player has the option of taking the view of either the high level commander, able to see the entire battle from afar, or an individual drone ship within the thick of battle. 

In commander view, the player will be able to view the ongoing battle from a zoomed out perspective, as well as give high level orders for squadrons of drone ships to carry out against the enemy mothership - for example, one squadron may be ordered to attack the enemy mothership's engine, while another squadron may be ordered to flank the enemy mothership from either side to take out its anti-drone turrets. In drone view, the player will be able to aim and shoot at opposing drone ships and motherships in a way similar to Starfox 64. This will allow a greater feeling of destructive control for the player, who may choose to offensively attack specific hard points of the opposing mothership directly or simply attack opposing drones to defend the player's mothership.

The player will be able to fight fleet after fleet of enemy ships with increasing difficulty, with the option to upgrade their ships over time. The player loses when they have become completely overwhelmed by the enemy's forces and have no remaining drone ships nor mothership.

While the combination of several genres is not unique in the game industry, our market research has shown that there are not many modern 3D space shooter games with our proposed combination of gameplay styles. We also hope to enhance the traditional visual styles of space games with a heavy emphasis on visual effects, including generous use of brightly colored particles, glowy auras, and lots and lots of explosions. We also plan to use models consisting primarily of primitive shapes (cubes, cones, cylinders, etc) - an extension of the recently popular voxelized art styles of Minecraft, 3D Dot Game Heroes, and Voxatron. 

Our team is currently in prototyping phase, which may give rise to several changes in the game's mechanics and/or direction - updates and more detailed posts will follow!

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