Game 1 Fury of Stars

Fury of Stars Development Logs

May 2023

Update Number 1

It will be months before I have much to say about the actual game, since I started this blog so early in the development process. This last week I started  C# and C++ courses, and began the process of learning Blender. The Blender interface is confusing, but I have been watching some very helpful YouTube videos. 

Planning on the game has split into four categories, which I will work on separately over the next couple of months.

  • Game assets for things like star ships, created in Blender
  • Game content development... lore. names for technologies, ideas for hull designs, web prototypes (see below)
  • Unity game development... small prototypes to figure out how to implement core systems
  • Business related... setting up a Steam page, planning marketing, figuring out taxes, etc.

I am a programmer for my day job, so I will leverage that to build tools and small prototypes outside of the actual game engines. For example, I came up with Planet and Ship generators that involve my current thinking. These will evolve over time, and will allow me to see how things like work in practice... are they too simple, too complicated, unnecessary? You can find the current versions linked in the bar under the header on every page. If you refresh the generator, a new set of interlinked values is created. I am not sure how much of this will eventually be used, or shown to the player if used.

This week I will be spending most of my development time in Blender.

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So I decided to make a game

I have been thinking about making my own 4X game since buying Torque Game Engine in 2010. Back then, I had a plan to recreate Master of Orion II, but learning Torque while working 70 hour weeks as a web-developer/programmer but beyond me. After that, I occasionally would get interested enough to buy a book and download a game engine, but the realities of game development always became overwhelming.

I lost my parents around the COVID lockdowns, and realized a few things about myself and the games I have been playing. My biggest takeaway was that I do not really enjoy the 40 hour 4X games very much anymore. I am sure I used to, but after thousands of hours into games like Stellaris, I noticed that I keep starting new games, and lose interest 50 years in.

What do I love about 4X?

  • Exploration
  • Empire building
  • Ship design and fleet assembly
  • Pitting my fleets against intractable foes

What gets in the way of my enjoyment of 4X?

  • Huge time investments
  • Game systems designed to make the things I enjoy, more difficult to accomplish
  • Game systems that distract from the core gameplay or stretch out the time investment
  • Obvious "meta" plays that create cycles of nerfing and rebalancing by developers

I am still in the initial game planning stages, but my goal is to create a streamlined 4X space empire game that plays quickly but still feels deep. I still have to come up with a name, since "Hardspace" was used by another game in recent years. It will have to be unique, but evocative of the "galactic empire" theme as well. 

Checklist for the next week

  • Install Blender, Unity and Unreal Engine
  • Find some courses or tutorials for the above software (I have to start somewhere, and I have zero experience with them)
  • Start compiling lists of things like potential titles for the game, mechanisms, empire features, ship components, etc. 
  • Start thinking about the business side... taxes, how to fund development, time-frames, etc.
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