Hello again 🙂 And welcome to our weekly Dev diary.
This week, the main tasks the dev team have been working on are the continuation of the tech tree (see our last post for details), implementing a new battle results screen and the enhanced UI top bar hints – which give you so much more usable info than the current ones e.g. for the fleets hint, how many ships are currently constructing across all shipyards. Fleet menu commands for merging and splitting are also somewhere between very nearly done and done 🙂
With the rest of this post, let’s talk about… planets?
So many planets!
Slowly but surely, researchers are learning that our stellar neighborhood is filled with extrasolar planets, better known as exoplanets. Scientists have found hundreds of planets and they hope to find a great deal more. With 100 billion stars populating the Milky Way galaxy, that means some 50 billion planetary systems may await discovery, many of which may resemble our eight-planet configuration.
The vast majority of known exoplanets are so-called ‘hot Jupiters’: large, gaseous bodies orbiting close to their host stars. But there are many other types of planets: rocky, terrestrial worlds (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars); gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn); ice giants (Uranus and Neptune); dwarf planets (Pluto 🙁 ); lava and water worlds. That’s in the real world…
But in science fiction, we could see planets of such fantastic and bizarre nature it’s sometimes hard to comprehend. A living sentient ocean, an entirely mechanical planet with mechanical wildlife, planets of pure energy, egg-planets or even undead planets (don’t ask). And who knows, maybe someday, somewhere we will encounter even stranger worlds.
Worlds not so far away
So what about our game? Currently we have a very standard template of worlds and planets: earth-like, cold, and hot planets. Technically, we have lava and ice planets and a couple of gas giants. But these are mainly cosmetic differences – and don’t go far enough for our liking…
Adding new types of planets is something we’re keen to do – it would improve the game and is just the sort of task some of the dev team would love to get their hands on! Just imagining and thinking of all the possibilities that could be implemented… someday. But what is essential for our game right now?!
In preparations for the next galaxy and game release in general we want to implement at least some of the features from our ‘wishlist’. For starters, more types of planets: gas giants, desert planets, jungle planets, barren planets, water planets, etc. These types will combine with other aspects and traits. Different amounts of resources, difficulty of mining, and other environmental features that will influence your colony and population. In addition, all these different planets will allow Minor Factions to emerge from their surfaces. Maybe in the future we will even see a living planet as a Minor Faction?
Star system architecture
A second important task here is to make star systems more distinctive. What we have now is 5 to 7 planets in every system, entirely self-sufficient, with at least one planet to colonize from the start. This situation is very user-friendly, but not really lifelike!
All star systems will be properly randomly generated. In future, one player may find an entirely barren system, with lonely, desolated rock circling around a dying star. Another, may discover the hottest system in the galaxy with nothing but lava orbs. And who knows, maybe it’s you who’ll find the space version of El Dorado – blooming planets, filled with resources of all types…
That’s it for today. Thank you all and see you next time. 🙂