Stories and the Galactic Guide (Update 2017–01–25)
It’s been awhile since the last update. I’ve been just focused on getting some core engine work done, and it is the kind of stuff that doesn’t show well until it is “done” (when you make games, nothing is ever 100% done). I’ve finished that chunk of the work, so here’s an update:
I’ve been working on the main in-game UI. This is the interface you use to navigate around star systems. It is also the interface you use to read your character’s story as it unfolds. This is a critical part of the game, since Across the Galaxy is a story-focused game.
When you arrive at a planet and explore, you’ll see something like this:
You choose how your character responds to the surroundings and to the people they meet. The story unfolds. If you play your cards right, you will learn something important about the world, uncover a clue, or gain a skill or item.
There’s another part of exploring systems that is cool. As you uncover planets, you will find that each has a record in the galactic guide. You will be able to read about each planet, including its climate, geography, history, and culture. The guide will also cover the key concepts, factions, and technologies you will come across in this part of the galaxy. As characters mention concepts or you “see” things in the world, you will be able to look them up in the galactic guide and learn more about the universe around you.
“Research is for you, not the player,” say all the wise game writers. I say “Screw that, I’m putting the whole ‘story bible’ in the game.”
Here’s something else exciting: I can talk about platforms now. Yes, the game will come out on PC (Windows / Mac / Linux) via at least itch.io. I would love for this to be my first game on Steam, but that’s a pretty high bar for something so obscure. I’m going to try though! The interface works with keyboard and mouse, gamepad, and touch. I want to ship this game on at least tablets, and maybe phones too (need to do something about those little screens).
So what’s next? Next is… umm… the game part. I am creating the engine tells you what happens as your explore each planet, feeds you new entries in the galactic guide, and keeps track of things like your character’s traits, skills, and items. The interfaces for the galactic guide and the stories are finished(-ish, good enough for play testing). Now it is time to start building the story. I’m ready to get into it. This part of the work is long overdue.