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March #1GAM Entry: The New Worlds

I did it.

I thought I had a design that was a bit too ambitious, but I somehow managed to finish my March entry for One Game a Month.

“The New Worlds” is a space exploration game. Your homeworld’s star is known to go nova eventually. Evacuating everyone is the only option, and evacuation is expensive. Explore the universe, set up bases on suitable planets, and increase the wealth of your homeworld before time runs out.

Download The New Worlds for Linux 64-bit (547 KB tar.gz file)
UPDATE: A 32-bit Linux version is available now. Download The New Worlds for Linux (543 KB tar.gz file)

I’ll have to write up how it all happened later, as I’m rushing off to see family this weekend. I had to cut back on features, such as setting up trade with alien civilizations.

There’s still at least one major issue with the game play. It’s entirely possible to run out of fuel and supplies and have the game continue to run even though you can’t do anything. You can’t go anywhere. You can’t wait to die. You can’t scrounge for supplies as it was a feature I didn’t have time to add even though I really wanted it.

I want to come back and address this issue, although the next time I touch this code I’m sure I’m in for a shock. It’s horrible and ugly and I hate myself for writing it. B-)

Still, it’s playable, and it’s possible to lose and win. And it is fun exploring and trying to survive in the universe.



5 replies on “March #1GAM Entry: The New Worlds”

Congratulations! I’d give it a try, but I don’t have a 64-bit Linux system currently. From the screenshots though, it looks a bit like FTL, which means I’d probably really like it.

“It’s entirely possible to run out of fuel and supplies and have the game continue to run even though you can’t do anything. You can’t go anywhere. You can’t wait to die.”

That actually sounds like it could be a cool feature to increase immersion. As your ship is stuck in the void, you as the player have to kill the session, thus giving up all hope, in order to stop the misery. It might be quite effective on delivering what it might be like to be in that situation.

Thanks, Dan! I hope to have some time to port it to 32-bit Linux and to Windows soon, along with my February 1GAM entry.

I tried to add a few ways to help the player fuel up and explore far from the homeworld. As it stands, I worry that it feels less like immersive hopelessness and more like a bug.

I think the lack of feedback also detracts from the game. For instance, if you try to build a base on some planets, you lose the fuel, supplies, and crew, but the base doesn’t get built. Why? Well, if you were to do a complete scan of the planet, you’d find it was “Uninhabitable”. But if you weren’t paying attention, you’d think you didn’t click the button right. I wanted to add something that says, “Your away team never reported back” to give a clue that something went wrong.

If I had alien civilizations, I wanted attempts at contact to result in similar losses sometimes based on how hostile the aliens were.

And when you run out of supplies, it would have been nice if the game informed you that your crew was dying off. Right now, the counter for the crew goes down, and the HUD is very easy to ignore.

But otherwise, I have a randomly-generated universe of an arbitrary size to explore, with an upgradeable ship and a variety of planets. Aside from the one “not enough fuel to do anything” issue and some bits of polish, it’s a complete game that didn’t exist almost a month ago. That’s pretty awesome. B-)

That’s really cool. Please let me know when you have a Windows version compiled; I would really like to try it out.

Before I even read this I kind of figured out it would be a bad idea to run out of fuel in uncharted space, so I made sure I didn’t do that 🙂 It would be good if you could see the level of bases (and scan results for uninhabitables) without clicking on the planet – although maybe that’s part of the challenge, remembering where you can and can’t resupply.

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