Archive for the ‘ GameDev::DSS ’ Category

Colony Station

The first thing to do when starting a new game in DSS is to build your colony station. This station is central to your local empire, as it will provide the work force to build and staff your other stations and ships. You will be able to train workers and pilots out of the available population. This population grows over time if you provide it with the necessary commodities such as entertainment and health care. The higher the moral and health are, the faster it grows.

The station itself has 6 customizable district sockets. Each sockets can host a district, that has a direct effect on the station and population:

Residential District
Increases the station population limit. Comes in form of a pyramid and provides quality living space.
High Density Residential District
Increases the station population limit even more. Influenced by totalitarian architecture, provides crammed living space, but comes at the price of a decrease in morale.
Park District
Provides a small moral boost. Inspired by the classic concept of a greenhouse in space, encapsulated by an atmospheric bubble. There’s a waterfall, some forest and a beach.

Several other districts are still in development, for instance: hospital will increase population health, academy will train higher tier professions, etc.

Also, as you progress in the game and unlock new technologies, you will be able to expand the colony station considerably to add new district sockets. Here’s a preview of how the station will grow:

So by the end of the game you should get a huge station that looks like a floating city in space. πŸ˜€

Creative Process:

The initial brief for the artist was as follows:

Composed of a central hull with 6 districts and 6 expansions with 6 districts each.
The central hull is ~800 meters in diameter and provides living space for colonist, basic education system and commodities to sustain a small population. There is also a corvette shipyard for tiny ships of no more than 20 meters.

The city of Atlantis(from stargate atlantis) provided a rough starting point for how to lay out the colony station. Core structures in the center and additional structures in the periphery.
Additionally, a hexagonal shape was deemed as useful for the districts, because it allows for a nice, compact arrangement, without the static feel a square would have.

So, the colonystation with its 6 expansions is essentially a city in space, or rather a blueprint for a city in space, because the player can build districts on it.
One of the first things to do, was to figure out how to arrange the expansions and districts accordingly. Although we are in 3D space, a planar arrangement was preferred to provide best visibility and allow to see things at a glance.

The third variant was chosen, as it is the most compact and expansions β€œgrow” most naturally.

Afterwards the central hull had to be worked out. The idea here was to have elements clearly separated by function. There should be an area for habitation, for education(training pilots, etc), a small shipyard, some part focused on engineering(life support systems, energy source etc) and finally 6 areas where a districts can be build upon.
Approved was the idea of a central ring fused with 6 hexagonal platforms at the outside and three vertical structures in the middle.

The ring and the platforms are used for habitation. The smallest tower is the shipyard. Opposite the bay opening is a medium sized tower, with elements inspired by Air Traffic Control towers. This one is also housing the education facilities. The tall, narrow structure is the engineering tower.

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Still Alive

It’s been a long time since my last post so I’d figured I’d make a new video for your eyes to enjoy. A lot of new features are in, of which there is guns and corvette class ship dogfight behavior.
D.S.S. will feature epic space battles with tons of ships and lots of pew pew. So this is where i am in the development of such battles.

Pew pew pew! πŸ˜€

D.S.S. Fleet System

What I often find lacking in most strategy game is the presence of any sort of fleet management system. What I mean by that is a mechanism that allows the player to setup the unit’s positions within the fleet when they are in formation. Usually you would put ships with more defense up front and ships with a wider weapon range back. Also, if you have ships that buff/debuff other ships within some range, you would certainly want them to hold a specific position in the fleet.

I find it to play a very important role strategy-wise in my game. So I spent a lot of effort in making a fleet editor that would give the player full control while (hopefully) being easy to use.

Placing ships in three dimensions can be challenging but I think I found an elegant way to solve this. The player puts ships on a X-Y grid which he can move up and down the Z axis by ctrl+left click and dragging it. And there is a green cursor that shows how high the grid is from the origin.

So that’s it, hope you enjoyed my first video of D.S.S. πŸ˜€

Early screen shots

It’s been a while now since I’ve started working on my new project. There was a lot of foundation work that needed to be done, mostly in the graphics department. And I’m happy with what I have accomplished so far knowing that I have pretty much started this project from scratch 2 months ago.

Although I still need to do some graphic features, I am willing to share a few early screen shots.

The game concept comes from an idea I had long ago but never had time to develop. Hopefully, things will evolve like I planned.
The game has no name yet. I usually refer to it as “E.W.”. Although I have most of the production pipeline in place, it is still in pre-production.
It involves spaceships, a lot of pew pew and will put the emphasis on strategy.
I wish I could say more, but I’ld rather keep some surprises for later. πŸ™‚