My space game

I was going to post this in another thread, and it got too big. In a nutshell, a bit of enthusiasm was expressed for something I was working on, so I’m gonna share. I’m easy.

Originally I wanted to do an updated version of the old text-mode PC “Star Trek” game -

Obviously text wouldn’t cut it, but I could see the different sensor displays, and figured you could warp around and kill klingons and the like. But - a direct clone (which could still be fun) wasn’t what I wanted - I wanted a mix of that and the old Star Trek Battle Simulation from the arcade -

(aside: I like retro, but am almost always disappointed by real retro; part of the thrill of the original arcade games was the risk of “you just put in a quarter, make it last”, and you lose that nowdays. Part of the thrill of the old text Star Trek was “I’m on a computer! I’m on a Computer!”. So - I like to borrow good ideas from retro games, but they need to fit today’s platforms like the iPad…)

So I had those concepts floating around, and I had gotten so far as to make an Enterprise from geometry (poorly), when the Codea Player was announced, and I figured I might actually try to, oh, finish a project for once… (I’m very good at starting, not so good at finishing)

But - this will be on the iPhone too, which doesn’t lend itself to teensy fine control. As well, I don’t really want to use a licensed property like Star Trek - for lots of reasons. I’d be ok if it was me sharing a .codea file, but in something like the Codea Player…

So I started fiddling around with a more “arcade” approach, and a top view because that lets me use the built-in spritepacks, specifically the Tyrian Remastered set. That implies a top-down (or 3/4 at least) view.

Some of you have seen me asking about a scrolling starfield - that’s for this.

So - where am I right now?!/bortels/status/169621698977603584/photo/1

Touch the left and right sides of the screen to turn, the bottom is engine speed. The dot is a placeholder for a planet. That’s it for functionality so far - need to add, at absolute minimum, bad guy aliens and some sort of shoosting.

I tried having two engines for a bit - left and right sides of the screen was sliders, to turn right, you increase left engine… but it was really hard to control. So - abandoned that.

I’m thinking the gameplay would be bad guys coming in from all directions, slowly, toward the planet - they get to it (maybe the drop bombs toward it?), they chew it up or destroy it. You fly about busting their chops. Kill a bunch, yay, and you warp to a harder level (faster/tougher). I was originally thinking about auto-aim phasers (you get close enough, they shoot) and tap-to-shoot photon torpedos (limited supply, but if you stop at the planet they could re-fill), but the plane graphic makes me think more of a strafing kind of thing. I was also thinking shields - you take a hit, they slowly recharge, so if you survive you get health back slowly.

Problem is - Yesterday, no lie, I worked for 14 hours. And while today was “only” 8, 2 of which was a big meeting where I could cheat and play with Codea, I don’t have much free time coming the next few weeks. So - I doubt this will be finished, much less polished, for consideration for Codea Player. Ah well - I’m not writing for that, that was just convenient, I code to code! And share. Maybe an update if it’s good enough.

I am open to suggestions. Can you draw, procedurally, an awesome looking planet? or other useful images (again, procedural until/unless we get sprite import)? Do you think abandoning Trek was a good idea? Have a better idea for a gameplay mechanic? heck, have a good name for it? Speak up. I won’t pretend for a moment I am anything approaching a game designer, and my art, uh, “sucks rocks”. My strengths lie in a willingness to jump in, and inability to comprehend that I can’t do anything I set my mind to. Join me, won’t you?

PS. I loved Star Raiders. Atari 400. Broke many a joystick.

Cool! A game about MySpace!! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m also making a space game. Mine’s more of a puzzler style, but hopefully there will be some graphics overlapp that we can share. For example, I’ll shortly be attempting to code up a procedurally textured rotating sun/star. Yeah. Wish me luck with that! If I manage to pull it off I’ll be posting the code for it, so that might be useful to you possibly maybe.

Can’t wait to see your end result. I know what you mean about never finishing anything. This Codea Player competition has proven a nice antidote to that though huh? Stick at it!

Well - it got me moving again, anyway. Will I finish? It unfortunately depends on my ‘real’ work schedule - if things go smooth, I’ll have free time. I gotta say - Coding on top of a 14 hour day takes a second place to sleep…

Drawing cool procedural planets sounds like a very interesting challenge. I have to try it.

I like the sound of your game design, but I was actually really intrigued by the initial text-based game you described. It sounds really unique. For some reason it has me thinking text parser adventure game, in space, controlling the ships and exploring the planets.

I have a soft spot for well written text based adventures Mr. B and like @Simeon am slightly saddened that you appear to have decided so swiftly against going that route.

By all means upgrade your idea to the 21st century and the affordances of an iPad but I say incorporate your fondness for rant and your genius for writing (“I’m on a computer! I’m on a Computer!” is priceless…) with your coding skill.

Don’t be frightened by the word polish. Rough can be the new polish.

To be fair, the original PC trek game (“Super Star Trek”) was far from a text adventure - it was as graphical as you can make a text terminal. Hold on…

here - take a look -

It wouldn’t be super difficult to implement now that we have text, I suppose.

I’d actually be more interested in making a BASIC interpreter in Lua and running the original code :slight_smile:

My very first concept was to implement this, but use regular graphics to draw the sensor scans and the like. Maybe make it look like the ST:TNG displays. Two problems: first, I’m a crappy artist. Second, to do so would be using Paramount IP, and they’re fairly cool about that for fan stuff, they may not be so cool on a game in an app on the app store. Which is why I steered away from Trek, no matter how cool it may be. (If we had spritepacks, I’d so a “generic space art” pack, and a “Star Trek” pack, so a savvy user could replace the spritepack for the real experience…)

More on the original inspiration - I’m not the only person who played it and wanted to do their own. I note with glee that it was part of the original inspiration for Star Raiders, a game I truly loved…