Finally - some brainstorms

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006

Have you ever had one of those freaky "VIOLA!" moments that came out of nowhere? Months after a problem has stumped you?

This is the thought that popped into my head today. You might recall last summer I was working on a game called "Outlaws of Gravity," and was running into issues with multiplayer online. The big problem was that I lack the skills to make an AI-controlled ship that could take into consideration all of the complex gravity effects going on, so I thought it was necessary to have a human opponent. That was fine, but nobody here had anyone else to play with (hehe), and my efforts at a multiplayer solution, while marginally impressive, just weren't going to cut it. So I essentially had to shelve this.

Then I had a sudden inspiration today--why have the enemy ships firing at the player at all? Why not have them firing at the planets they're orbiting, gradually wearing down that planet's defenses, until eventually destroying them out right? That led me to imagining some other scenarios, such as perhaps asteroids or aging space stations (or whatever) orbiting each planet, gradually de-orbiting and crashing down. I could actually do something like this relatively easily!

The only thing left to explain is why the ships can't fly around freely instead of being locked around one planet. So I came up with the idea that maybe this isn't set so far into the future, really, and maybe fuel is just too expensive (for whatever reason) to make that an option. Or perhaps the ships refuel somehow by absorbing particles in the upper atmosphere of their planet? Hm...

At any rate, at last I have a game design I can actually implement. Hopefully I'll get some time to finish this up this summer and put it out there. I might leave in the "hot seat" multiplayer as a fun option, but a single player game with increasingly difficult levels.