The Vacuum
By Ched80

A simple 2D space trader with pseudo orbital physics.



Work in Progress





Other devlogs on this game:

Yet another mechanic
Devlog by Ched80 on September 24, 2016.

Breaking Physics
Devlog by Ched80 on August 18, 2016.

To C and back again
By Ched80 on August 8, 2016, 7:37 pm.

Firstly, I need to keep these more regular.  When I started posting to I was posting every week, with a more substantial post at the end of every month.  I'm going to start that up again as it was rewarding to see what had progressed each month.

Anyways, what have I done on this over the last month.  In short; not a lot.  I tried to port the game over to C as I thought the higher precision variables I could use in C would benefit the game, but in hindsight I should have just stuck with my current engine of choice.  Additional precision doesn't translate to better game play.  Plus I'm very new to C so trying to learn C while translating 30k lines of basic and developing the game at the same time just didn't work.  It just created more stress and got in the way of development.  So for the past two weeks /i went back to basic and have moved the game on quite a bit.

I've stripped out the trading aspects.  While playing through the game I realised trading arbitrary goods just isn't fun or rewarding. So the 6 basic resources have now become 2 (Fuel and Oxygen) and these aren't for trading - Fuel will restrict the player's use of fuel encouraging the use of gravity to sling-shot across the solar system. Oxygen restricts the amount of time the player can spend between spaceports and reinforces the idea that being in deep space is a risk.

I still need to work on the part/module code as these are still based on the old resource system, but I have a few ideas how to bring new life into the module mechanic.

I've been updating the quest mechanic.  Originally the idea was to have a basic set of transport X resource to Y spaceport to align with the main story arc, but this was just dull and repetitive.  So instead I've tried to add a wider variety of mission to align with the main story arc.  This is still a work in progress, but I feel it is already much better.  I'm also changing how the quests are displayed, so rather than have a separate screen for them, I now fade them in and out of the main UI.

I've added a crew mechanic.  Crew members are always on a temporary contract and will give you a boost in a particular area while they have a contract with you, but will walk away at the end.  Similarly you can fire them early if you find a better crew member at the next spaceport.  I want to link these in to the main story and quest arcs too, but that is something for later.

I've recently been tweaking and tuning the physics and being I now have a fun prototype working.  I ended spending about 45 minutes just creating mini orbit patterns so this should make travelling between spaceports more enjoyable.  Next task is to strip out the old physics and bring the prototype into the main game.

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