Closing the Game Loop – 9th Dec 2018


Designer’s Log — 06.343.137

This week’s blog is about an exciting feature we’ve been implementing for some time called “AstroFleet” which is about sending ships on adventures to procedural planets and star systems using a Datapad App. The ships are crewed by characters from your Astrobase that you’ve assigned and the adventures are reported back to you in each ship’s log. The internal name for this adventure mode is “CRPG” because the high-level idea is that you’re playing a 4x-lite game in a galaxy map view and each planet or space adventure takes place as a CRPG presented though ship logs in procedural text. Astrobase Command is all about A.I. characters with personalities making autonomous decisions, so the boots on the ground are in control of their own stories but you can in some situations override their choices (which is something the characters won’t like).

Additionally the AstroFleet adventures can cause personality shifts. A character who makes a plan and fails might think next time he or she should be more spontaneous, while a character who makes a plan and succeeds will reinforce his alignment towards organization. We have a very deep personality engine behind this with dozens of unique interrelated aspects to fulfill the vision of Characters are People. This is in addition to skills, stats, relationships, and other attributes which drive the story forward after a decision is made. So for example characters can take wounds and die because their personality decided to enter a specific scenario where the crew lacked sufficient skills to meet the challenges. And then later the dead will be mourned by loved ones, if there is indeed someone who loves them or someone whose personality is prone to melancholy.

This post is called “Closing the Game Loop” for good reason. There is currently a Datapad App called Resupply which has the internal working name of Temporary Resource Acquisition. Finally we can disable this cartridge because resupplying your Astrobase will come from sending characters on adventures to places that have the resources you need. We will also disable the Temporary Crew Acquisition where Recruit Forms drop daily out of the sky, because instead your ships will be picking up galactic refugees and new recruits with your stamped approval.

We are at a great place in the production where we can use all these tools to earnestly begin world-building and implementing story and gameplay content without getting blocked by missing bits of the foundation.

This was a lot to cover and in addition to AstroFleet we have even more features being added to the game. Next week we’ll talk about more gameplay happening on the station and upgraded visuals!

(Dave uses Influence)

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