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wx3labs
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What are the core/most fun features of space RPGs?
« on: May 08, 2014, 01:30:05 pm »

A few years ago I made a flash 2D space combat rpg inspired by Starflight called Starcom (http://lab.wx3.com/starcom) (not a conscious reference to the Star Control series).

Recently I've started a new project in that genre and have been playing or replaying a lot of space rpgs for inspiration. You can get a sense of the aesthetic I'm going for here: http://starcomgame.blogspot.com/

What do you feel are the essential or most fun elements of a space rpg?


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Krulle
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Re: What are the core/most fun features of space RPGs?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2014, 12:23:17 pm »

What do you feel are the essential or most fun elements of a space rpg?
For me:
- discover on my own (not being reminded constantly what I have to do and what is expected of me)  (essential)
- sufficient time to fly around and simply discover (fun)
 - - even if it means that I havre to take notes to achieve the main goal or side targets
- preferably side quests without relevance to the main goal (fun)
- weird aliens/human groupings (fun)



edit: from the links I cannot see if I have played StarCom before, so now I need to find a PC (currently I am on wifeys pearpad) to play it.

edit2: never played it before, but looks very promising.
One problem though: I've reached the second system, cleared that and returned to the starbase in first system. And then I cannot leave the starbase. With or without AutoSave, I cannot leave. Sad Next try will be looking for a different starbase in a different system, instead of returning to the first system.
edit 3: this even happens during flight, when I look at the "Ship Inventory", I cannot leave that screen. Sad   edit-edit; this happens also with loaded-games. To be expected when I read how your saving system seems to be working.

Pity the game looks promising, very promising.

So, yes. I'd LOVE to see a second version of it.
(and thanks for telling about the original Starcom. Trying to make it run fully, without the hanging at the Ship Inventory screen.

edit4: finally, got around to playtest a bit more. New game, avoided using "auto save". Then it works. If I use autosave once, it ends after the next jump from the base when I either return to base or go into the "Ship Inventory" screen.
Finished, indeed, slightly short, while the end fight is rather hard (but doable, with a bit of patience).
I do miss a bit of "go, explore!", but then, this is a flash game and should be limited in the time needs.

Have you ever played "The Space Game"? (Or its sequel TSG Missions?)
That is a completely different game, since you are a miner and rather position locked (no ships for you, just bases you can expand, and must defend).


Other ideas for your possibly coming Starcom 2:  interaction with "neutral/enemy" races to extract vital information (or possibly prevent some very hard fighting early in game).
But then that would need a completely different branch of doable things (a conversation tree, with 2-3 possible outcomes,...)
Or just do it simple: once a ship is motionless and defenceless (beginners starbases, enemy ships shot to cripples) allow "contact and boarding", and this may or may not deliver more ressources/artifacts/information. So you'd need a collision detecting between "crippled" enemy ships and your ship, and not just starbase and your ship.

Anyway, thanks for pointing me to your "old" game (to me it's new, and I'll keep it on a watch list for a while). Very enjoyable game!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 11:27:36 pm by Krulle » Logged
wx3labs
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Re: What are the core/most fun features of space RPGs?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 04:02:55 pm »

Thanks for checking out the original and feedback! There is a bug that could cause players to get stuck on the starbase, depending on their speed/position when they first docked.

All the things you list as important are definitely things I plan to incorporate into the game. I am definitely planning on having a fairly open universe where the player isn't forced to follow the main story line. I think for the early part of the game the player will be somewhat guided to ensure that they learn the ropes, but gradually expand their options of exploration to include paths off the main storyline. 
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Krulle
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Re: What are the core/most fun features of space RPGs?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 09:05:55 pm »

Ah, that could explain the bug indeed.
The learning system was very well done in the original, but some of the messages appeared in mid-battle for me, and I found that very annoying, as the game continued, but with limited view for me. So I clicked the message away, without reading. I got the feeling that I missed a bit of the story...

Otherwise, I'm now on the mailing list, and will check in every now and then to follow your progress.

I wish you a lot of fun programming!

(And thanks!)
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CelticMinstrel
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Re: What are the core/most fun features of space RPGs?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 11:13:54 pm »

Cleared out the first star system, seems okay. The shooting control is possibly a bit awkward somehow, though...
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