Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crew personal traits

Each crew member is different and you, the captain, will face many different challenges while managing the ship and crew in battles or events. Let me try to explain it in a quick FAQ.

What makes each crew member different?
Each crew member will have skill stats as previously mentioned and each skill will affect your ship performance, additionally to the standard skill knowledge each member may have a few traits.

What is a trait? and how will that affect my ship?
A trait is a personal characteristic to each crew member, maybe one or more will be assigned to each member. For example, a crew member may be fearless and greedy, and this will translate while playing into many different actions, being fearless means never runs and may lose loyalty points if the captain decides to run from battle, so when boarding ships this crew member will fight until death and won't be scared and run in panic when health is low. Also the greedy trait means that there will be a request to raise the salary paid every few missions or he/she may lose loyalty points overtime, also may lose loyalty points when certain options are chosen like not risking the ship for an incredible loot in an dangerous asteroid field. So traits will have real impact on each crew member and how the ship operates.

How many traits are you planning to have?
At the moment there are more than 20 traits, like Benevolent , Greedy , Diligent , Lazy , Fearless , Coward  ,  Educated , Inexperienced , Efficient , Incompetent , Flexible , Stubborn and many more. Each with bonuses and penalties.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Boarding ships and airlocks

The airlock is the latest addition to the boarding process, when linking two ships close enough crew members will be able to travel between the two ships and board other ships to help for repairs, help ships in distress invaded by unknown bugs for example or other events. Since each crew have individual traits some may not be suited for some of the missions, lets say a crew member doesn't like weapons so sending that crew member to a mission to board a pirate ship may be very hard for that crew member to survive a fight inside with any weapon, most probably he or she may become a hostage so it will be up to the player to decide what to do with the hostage situation.

What no transporters? from technology point of view, transporters are just an easy solution but in this universe there isn't any, so people use airlocks and space suits to travel between ships or use space transporter tubes that can help people travel between ships.

Here is a concept screen showing two ships linked with a transport tunnel so crew members will float in the middle and travel slowly in 0g. You are the captain of the ship and you can give orders to crew members but they may not obey you blindly all the time, especially when scared or in distress.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The face, your crew

Just a few days ago I started working on crew personalities and traits, decided that crew members can't go without a face since it will be difficult to get attached with a faceless crew member, so this is the result of the past 4 days of work.

Take a look at some crew examples, randomly generated faces for each crew member will make sure you don't have the same crew the next time you play, many different variations await besides the face...but will you be lucky enough so you can find the same crew member with the same name and attributes? one in a billion probably... beside crew preferences change between games too, so be prepared for a more personalized adventure!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Game mechanics , crew skills, loyalty and more...

This is a sample profile screen still work in progress.

Crew was added last week, and each crew member will feel different and special, so it is logical to be able to see each crew member face and their skills, loyalty is very important since many crew members may even revolt and take the ship if not happy, or may even do a better job than expected if they are very loyal to you, the captain of this ship.

Junkcraft armada will generate a face to each character and the combinations are vast, there are mainly 60 parts for each character but may even grow more if time allows and combining all of those parts can allow the game to display a many millions combinations with color, positions, size and other variations. I still need to do draw the female characters, and there won't be alien races to communicate at the moment, in this universe only humans have been able to colonize a small part of the galaxy, and since resources are not infinite I can't draw infinite number of alien races, so for now humans are the main ones that will be able to interact.

How to gain or lose loyalty? well some crew members may be attracted to right decisions, like for example a distress call from a transport ship is heard, if the player saves the ship, those crew members will be more loyal to the captain, but if instead the captain decides to plunder the transport ship and take as much as possible from that ship then those crew members will be less loyal to the captain, but those who like money will be better off with this captain, so trying to find a proper balance with your crew will be a challenge , and it won't be so easy to recruit new people, traveling through space into unknown areas is dangerous and the hiring places are not so common and in some events you may even get few crew members join your ship too.

Crew members do have a single life, so permament death is an important component of the game, so take care of your crew as needed, and if you lose a crew member in combat, don't forget about the funeral, some may respect you more by doing it or otherwise you may suffer the consequences too, and since each crew member is unique and special, you will have a place to remember those who fall in combat. Life in space is hard so chose wisely...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Communications up!

As mentioned before the crew of the ship will take a center piece of the game, many missions will depend on your crew performance and skill levels. Communications adds another layer of complexity, the player may get called by other ships asking for help, or asking to surrender or many other options, each selected answer may have consequences that the player will have to bear with till the end, some answers may even affect your crew loyalty, and by doing so, some crew members may become angry at your leadership skills, some may even revolt against you and if you are not fully aware and have enough crew to defend your ship you may even lose it get killed or ejected of the ship in a escape pod, too many possibilities!

This is a very simple communication between a group of pirates threatening the player, looking at your status and the number of enemies the player will decide what is better, fighting will not be always the best option.