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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: November 23, 2019, 12:46:53 pm
Hey all, as mentioned previously here's the "hellworld" environment I've been working on.

I've actually been sitting on this image for a couple of weeks while working on other things, as I was experimenting with a way of adding a heat distortion effect to the scene. I wasn't too happy with the effects I came up with that covered the entire scene, and settled with just having an effect on the mountain range.

It's incredibally subtle in it original size, but less so when blown up to fullscreen:

2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: October 05, 2019, 09:44:23 pm
Hey friends, hope you've all been well. It's been a while since my last update, so let me show you what I've been working on.

So the past few months I've been working on redrawing the environment art you'll see during the resource gathering part of Startropy. This wound up being a long experimentation process until I settled on a perspective for the game world I was pretty happy with.

I then went on to create a bunch of environmental assets like rocks, weather effects, skies, mountain ranges, etc. With the intent being to try and strike a balance between making them look interesting enough in themselves but also easily reusable enough so that I can mix and layer them onto of each other in different ways to make the 80ish planets in the game.

When you see these screens, keep in mind that for resource collecting you will be seeing the world in a first-person RPG perspective.

So the first example here is a Mars-like planet:

With this being how it looks when your away-team moves across the planet:

Shown next is the same planet type but undergoing an intense duststorm:

Next is a frozen world, with a light snow effect and without:

After completing those two sample planets, I decided to try something more challenging in drawing alien flora being blown by a powerful lightning storm (a favourite environmental hazard in SC2). I wanted the scene to appear quite unusual and well, alien. So opted to use upwards lightning and have the flora use purple reflecting retinal instead of chlorophyll, a reference to the Purple Earth theory:

I would have liked to have add some primitive towering fungi to this scene, but was aware that it's been a while since my last update and wanted to make a post once I had a decent amount of things to show.

There's still a few more environmental assets I will be working on after posting this update, one notably being creating the assets for a “hell world” which I predict will be a fair challenge.

Anyway thanks for reading peeps, enjoy the rest of your weekend!
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: April 22, 2019, 12:45:29 pm
That's pretty brilliant.  Tongue
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: April 20, 2019, 09:24:49 pm
Here's the second alien done. Started to add idle animations to the portraits now, I'll come back to the first alien to add some there too. This creature is from a certain race of gluttony worshippers I posted a while back.

HD variant:
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: March 20, 2019, 08:58:31 pm
You caught me. I'll be bundling the little mascot in disgustingly overpriced collector's editions.  Cool

But in seriousness I appreciate the continued support! Smiley
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: March 18, 2019, 03:19:49 pm
Haha nah. The slug is just one of those collectable figurines people love to put on their desks, but there's a reason why it exists.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: March 16, 2019, 01:22:16 pm
First alien (more or less) done:

8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: October 29, 2018, 01:23:53 pm
Just decorative. I put them there as part eye candy and part to help lead the player's eye around the map.

Though I am planning to put some travel obstructions on the map actually.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: October 27, 2018, 01:53:56 pm
Hey, I'm just done with the artwork for the game's starmap. Went through a few different styles before finally this one, lemme know if you guys approve.

10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: May 13, 2018, 09:44:50 pm
Hey guys,

Been working on quest ideas and fleshing out the aliens since the last update. On the side I've also been making some reusable sprites to build the star systems with.

As an example, I've created the player's home system from a set of planets and asteroid tiles:

11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: April 11, 2018, 01:57:53 pm
Thanks Krulle! Smiley

New update:

Just finished adding all the stats for the game's star systems last night. This update took a fair bit longer than I anticipated, as I went about generating these details via random values and then prodding some aspects by hand, and I also wanted to expand upon the astronomical features player can find which took some time to implement.

So right now there are 83 explorable star systems in the game with features like resource-rich asteroid belts (already seen in the demo) plus the addition of giant stars, white drawfs, binary, and trinary star systems.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: January 12, 2018, 11:21:23 pm
Hey all, hope everyone had a pleasant time over the holidays.

An update of what's been happening on Startropy:

Away Team changes:
-Technicians have been renamed to scientists, they still serve the same purpose as before but the term is probably better for the wider range of skills they cover.
-Added different scenarios when an earthquake occurs. Previously, triggering an earthquake would just directly harm your away team. It was a bit vague why they were getting injured during the earthquake before, but since SC2 did it similarly I hand-waved back in the demo build. Now an earthquake will produce various dilemmas that depending on your team's skills (and some luck), you may escape with zero or minimal loss. Some examples:
 -Earthquake causes a nearby landslide, you need to make a roll using the combined skills of your explorers to avoid being crushed.
 -Your vehicle gets damaged during the quake. Make a roll using your scientists' skills to see how long it will take to repair it.
-The chance of an earthquake occurring is tied to the planet's tectonic activity score.
-Volcanic disasters will work similar to earthquakes, but these are tied to the planet's volcanic activity score.
-Also since I already go to the trouble of noting how much of a planet's surface is covered in liquids, I've added a feature so that there's a chance for an earthquake to trigger a tsunami, with the chance of encountering a tsunami being greater the more the planet's surface is liquid.
-There is a small chance whenever you explore a planet that you will trigger a special encounter. These range from anything like trying to survive a passing storm, to stumbling on an alien artefact.
-TLDR: Hope you guys brought a medic on the team.

Speaking of medics, their function has been reworked:
-The injury timer mechanic from the demo build is gone. Injured crewman will no longer slowly “bleed” to death until they get back to the ship. Instead they will either be injured (alive, but cannot aid in any tasks until they receive proper treatment back at the ship) or simply drop dead.
-The reason why the timer mechanic was dropped was that it was kind of messy in practice, and I felt the timer provided limited urgency when it will be possible to explore tiny-sized planets in a few turns.
-On the plus side medics have now been made to be a more useful part of the team composition: Whenever a team member receives damage, they will automatically treat them on the same turn. If successful they can revert an injury to a fully functional crewmember, or prevent someone from being killed on the spot.

Scientists will now provide a bonus to the loot you collect when gathering resources or collecting scientific data.

Explorers will now improve your odds of your team running away from an encounter (if the lifeform is inclined to give chase).

Security can now also defend the party from the attacks of hostile lifeforms. Allowing you to avoid damage altogether.

The “stun” setting on your away team's weapons have mysteriously disappeared into the ether. If you feel inclined to play pacifist, you will now have to try and run away from any hostiles instead (the reason why this was removed, was that the whole thing seemed a bit *too* Star Trek, and I want pacifist gameplay to feel different and less straight-forward than the plain shooty option).

Added a Science Scan option for the away team. This will allow you to collect scientific data (which can be used as a form of currency) when scanning native lifeforms or anything else that's applicable. You also gain additional data when you defeat a lifeform. So for those that want to maximise profit, you will want to scan first (while being attacked if the creature is hostile) before taking down any lifeforms.

The party order of the away team is set so that the “hardier” crewman will automatically take damage before the more vulnerable members. The order goes security > explorers > scientists > medics.

The idea of the away team re-balancing was to give players the option to arrange the team to however they feel will maximise their chances for a particular expedition, given the known variables of the trip, but also give the sense that every class can meaningfully contribute in some way, especially when you never completely know what they may come across. Having security is a no-brainer when you are expecting a fight, but they will also sacrifice themselves to protect others during non-combat disasters too. Explorers will provide the biggest benefit navigating hostile environments, but they can also help you to avoid combat situations. Scientists will maximise your loot-gain, and their skills will frequently get brought up when your team faces a situation that requires technical expertise. Medic gives you a second chance where your explorers and security fail you, and their medical knowledge may be called upon on occasion.

So that's it for this update. The away team was the last big overhaul I wanted to do on the game system. I'll be having a think on what's next to work on.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: November 12, 2017, 09:54:38 pm
Hey all, an update on the game:

Been working on rewriting the code and fine tuning some of the mechanics for the game's starmap, away team, and space combat systems.

The starmap work was basically to try and ensure I can support the number of star systems I want for the game, and UI stuff to support visiting a planet's moon(s).

Related to that was some rework on the away team mechanics. I'm planning to add a bunch of scenarios you may randomly encounter when you away team explores to break up the monotony of players harvesting every planet they come across. They're CYOA style, where you'll be presented with situations with multiple choice, and your success is decided with a roll against your team's stats.

Also, I'm planning to remove the injury timer that was in the demo: You'll basically just have to roll once to see how unscathed your team is during a bad situation, with an extra save chance when you bring along a medic.

The final and big update is space combat: I took the opportunity during the code rewrite to play around and redesign the combat to be turn based(!)

If you played the demo you'd have seen that space combat was originally real time, but slowed down a bit to allow some deliberate, but pressured decision making, as part of my goal to recreate battleship style scenes in sci-fi.

I've had some posters ask me why not just make it TB then, which was a fair point. It also felt slightly strange that space combat is RT while  the away team stuff which also has combat was TB. So I played around with trying to reproduce my above goal, and to preserve the spirit of the advantage system which I quite like, into a TB format.

So this is how spacecombat currently works in Startropy:
- Participants regenerate energy at the end of every turn. Most ships will not be able regenerate enough energy to attack on every turn, but I am considering to allow players to be able to build their ship to do that at the expense of other stats.
- Previously, the advantage mechanic was a resource that quickly reset itself to equilibrium in RT. It gave you advantages to hit and increased your crit chance, and you got it for doing “good things” (hitting the enemy, dodging an attack, etc.) and lost it for doing the opposite. In TB, it will now slowly move towards equilibrium at the end of the turn.
- In the old RT version advantage gave you a flat bonus to hit and to crit, with the benefit of having a larger advantage was just the increased time you spent in the state. In TB you will gain escalating to-hit/crit bonuses or penalties depending on the size of the advantage, until you hit a cap.
- A new ability called Manoeuvre has been added to shake up the TB combat. This is a low cost option to gain 1 point of advantage.

Right now, space combat feels similar to a tug-of-war, where both sides are splitting their choices between blasting each other, or gaining more advantage so they can more efficiently blast each other. The fights are interesting, and I think I have retained the tense deliberation I wanted players to have. More work needs to be done to balance it, but overall I'm very pleased with how it has turned out.

I'm gonna be away from my computer for a few weeks, so expect my next update maybe late Dec/Jan.  Smiley
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: October 22, 2017, 11:38:29 am
Hah! You're maybe right. :p
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Startropy - A SC2-like Sci-Fi Adventure Game on: October 21, 2017, 06:44:23 pm
Update: Been working on the structure of the main quest and various sidequests. I'm pretty happy with the plan laid out for the main quest, and think I would like to make a separate post about quest structures after playing around with it some more and can talk about some various and definite examples. For now I'll say that the main quest is left open in that you must collect X amount of macguffins through various means available to you (mine, trade, plunder, etc) which will be the hook for you to meet the various races in the game and engage in the sidequests.

Instead this will be a lore update on some of the races you'll meet in Startropy. So far I've written out 9 races you'll meet in the game, and various interactions and quests involved with them. At the moment I'm thinking of rounding it up to about 12 different races/factions when I'm done.

Race: Glutonians
A savage race that fanatically worship a chaos god of gluttony and excess. This race is a relative newcomer to the space-age, when an unfortunate scouting ship crash landed on their homeplanet. Perceived as a divine miracle when the race was close to extinction from famine, the Glutonians devoured the ship's crew before slowly exploring the rest of the ship, catapulting this once primitive race to an advance one in an incredibly short amount of time.

The Glutonians are mostly an unknown to the other advance races, but they know enough to avoid their region of space as ships passing through have a tendency of never returning. Unfortunately for Humans, nobody gave them the memo. Mankind has taken up residence in what seemed like a cozy and undisturbed sector of space, in close vicinity to them.

Race: Tradashi
Most humans agree that this somewhat shadey race bears an uncanny resemblance to the raccoon in old Earth records. They are one of the most prolific races due to their natural affinity for trade, get rich quick schemes, and scavenging junk (anything that isn't bolted down and guarded by kill-drones is considered “junk” to the Tradashi).

With that said, the Tradashi are a good source of information for the location of any sites rich in resources or salvage, or information on any of the other space-faring races they have had dealings with. You can always count on a Tradashi when you need to trade for goods on your journey. Just be sure to check the quality, and the legality too if you care for that sort of thing.
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