What's Next?


I am trying to address the broadest gameplay issues at the moment. The biggest worry is that most of the mechanisms for upgrading/etc. won't be clear to the player. Secondary to that, is the worry that the player will find it too cumbersome.

Most upgrades are managed via CommLink databases, only accessable once you reach the Galactic Senate. The idea is that, the player is encouraged to just play with their little scooty ship and learn the most basic gameplay before trying to accomplish goals. At the start they will have two main goals, which is to start researching the cults and to find the Senate (sorbit will tell them to find the senate.)

They should be able, in their starting ship, to find the first demon, who they may even be able to defeat. At some point, though, one of the demons will hand it to them and they will have to look at upgrading their ship. This requires tons of cashflow and a fair amount of experience, so they will have to scour the galaxy.

Probably the single biggest thing that will improve overall is to make the galaxy smaller. Vex has enormous replay value, so a small galaxy is in some sense ideal. I'm thinking, then, that I will implement the three sizes into umake. Normal, Large, and Infinite (which won't really be infinite.) Large would be the current setting, Normal will be a new, smaller setting and Inifinite will be TBD, but as big as we can make it, basically. So, the normal size galaxy will have far fewer star systems.

The second thing is the databases themselves. As an example, the price commodity tracker is very important, but unless you really know how it works, it's not clear at all. The best way to address these is custom guis. As one option, we could somehow make a gui that runs on the current dialog system. But I'm not sure that is ideal, even if it's theoretically less work. Instead, I think it would make the most sense to have some generic sort-of database GUI manager, which we could build all these for. The gui system is fairly strong, so this really shouldn't be too hard, and will make the game much more understandable.

Those are the two biggest things. Beyond this, what needs to happen is: I need to keep writing/working on fetch quests, right now the framework is in but no actual quests except a test case, I need to work out how the senate will fit in with friendly/hostile/etc. city status, sorbit needs to be updated so she is very useful, we need ship/monster AI modules and so forth, we need more seed models for everything that is currently in, and we need sound effects. That isn't a very long list =) and while there will probably be still work to be done, this should really make vex a nice cohesive whole.

2005-03-17


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