By Chaser324 26 Comments
First, let me just say that while I still very much want to finish my Ice Cube game at some point, I just simply don't have the amount of spare time that I think would be necessary for me to fully realize it at the moment. Additionally, I'm still a bit of a newbie when it comes to generating 8/16-bit pixel art and Flash/AS 3.0 programming. I'll definitely go back to Ice Cube at some point, but I think I would be better served by just knocking out a few smaller games right now that I can take from start to finish in just a few weeks or months.
So, I've just recently started work on something a bit smaller in scope that I think I will be able to complete in only a month or two worth of free time...
The game is tentatively titled Escape to Alpha Centauri. The plot is fairly simple. The solar system is under attack from a hostile alien race, and the only chance you have of saving your own life and the lives of your friends and family is to take a small ship and attempt to make your way to an isolated human colony in the Alpha Centauri system.
The basic concept for the gameplay is Alpha Mission + Oregon Trail. Essentially it will combine the resource and time management aspects of games like Oregon Trail, but all of the travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri will be in the form of a vertical shooter. You'll have to weigh decisions like improving weapons and engines against purchasing additional food, oxygen, or environmental control units that are essential for maintaining the health and morale of the people on board your ship. Traveling at a faster pace means you'll reach your destination sooner, but it will increase the difficulty of the vertical shooter portions and could negatively impact health and morale by tiring out your party.
If the enemies manage to penetrate your ship's armor plating, rather than just blowing up, essential ship components may become damaged and require repair or people on board may become injured. Along the way, you'll encounter random events and choices that will increase the challenge. For instance, you might reach an FTL relay where you could pay a toll to bypass a portion of the trip, or you might encounter a wormhole that you can decide whether or not to risk travel through (in Oregon Trail terms, it's like deciding whether or not to ford a river).
So, what do you guys think? I'm just getting started, but I already feel like I've made more progress towards a full game than I did with Ice Cube. Expect a short playable demo at some point in the next few weeks.