November 21, 2014

The Highs and Lows of Game Development

Deadlines in video game development are tricky things (as many of our fans know). You have to weigh what is good to what can be done in a "reasonable" time frame. To self regulate ourselves we try and focus on external events to apply for - and for the last 2 weeks we have been crunching to submit IndieMegaBooth at PAX East 2015.

For those that don't know, IndieMegaBooth is an organization that takes a group of lesser known indies and get's them booth space at events like PAX, GDC and Gamescom. They are one of the bright stars of the indie development world.

These crunches represent the best and worst in game development.

We got a ton done on the game. We cram as many features in that we can, everyone works very hard and very long hours and does it of their own free will as we are an indie studio and we answer to no one.

Last night we were all in the office working 'til 2:00am to get our game submitted into the Indiemegabooth. As we reached the submission hour our build fell apart - we could not get it to compile - and what we could get to compile wouldn't run. To describe the situation as disappointing would be an understatement.

But this is the challenge of making games. Often times people wonder what the hell we're doing. How can it possibly take so long time one one game? Our approach is that good things take time.

Here is a screenshot of the game with our real time lighting, crew desires and planets. We know the game is fun and we know that our fans will be very happy with Galaxies.

Nights like last night can be extremely discouraging to a team. You work very hard for a very long time on something you are very passionate about - and it doesn't come together how you envisioned. But then we look at what we have done and we see the passion our fans have for our game and we know in the long term it will be worth it.

More is coming very soon. The game is in a fun, playable state and with a couple more weeks of polish we should be looking at a public alpha. That is something we can't wait for. As long as we can get the game to build :)


November 5, 2014

Star Command Galaxies - Now With S.C.I.E.N.C.E!

We just released our first Alpha of S.C.I.E.N.C.E. to our Kickstarters - and we couldn't be more excited!

This represents months (years really) of hard work. We completely changed our engine, our building system, our crew and character system, combat - really everything from the ground up to make a more open, dynamic and exciting Galaxy for our fans to explore.

So What is S.C.I.E.N.C.E?

S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is the same toolkit we use to create content that will populate the game Star Command Galaxies.

The primary function is to create map files that we call "Super Objects." Super Objects are the ships, space-stations, planets and objects that populate the pool we pull from to populate a galaxy. This procedurally/randomly generated galaxy is where our super objects will live.

So when you create a ship, all the walls, tiles, lighting etc and how you set them up are saved as a super object. You will eventually be able to load that super object in the galaxy map and fly around the universe coming across other creations of your own, our creations or ones from the community.

S.C.I.E.N.C.E. will help you create, preview and experiment with lots of different things. Let's say you want to make a scummy forgotten town on the far side of the universe, and you start with designing a cantina. You could layout your bar, dance floor and band stand, save the file and then you would have the option to load that super object into any planet scene you create.

This will eventually lead to deep and interesting environments to explore with your starship crew. Truly unexplored areas that dynamically populate cities with their own inhabitants, structures, economies and dangers.

This is the first step in our roll out of Star Command Galaxies, the next chapter in the Star Command saga. It will be released for PC, Mac and Linux and more information including a new website, gameplay, features and other info will be coming soon.

We will be releasing S.C.I.E.N.C.E to the public after we do some initial bug squashing and feature testing/fixes.

More coming soon!