Existence (web based game, in development)


Hello everybody

First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm a young web developer and digital media specialist who has past few weeks developed a concept for a web based multiplayer space exploration game (played through a browser). It's something I've been playing around with in my head for a long time yet only recently have found enough time to start pushing gears into motion outside work.

After looking around at the various web based multiplayer games around, I noticed a strong majority of these games focusing on extremely large scale gameplay where players conquered star systems and galaxies. And while I've enjoyed games of that type, I've enjoyed the story potential of smaller scale events more, things that you see in movies or television as opposed to games like Master of Orion and Galactic Civilizations. From very early on the idea was to develop something in a scale where one players involvement is only a large part of the whole structure, similarly to EVE Online, but with emphasis on things outside trade and coporations.

Why am I here? Since the game is in very early development and has very few people giving me feedback and design ideas, I knew from very early on that asking for advice and ideas in a forum would be a good way to go, as well as get people interested (and likely testers who can start playing already with the early versions of the game). I looked through the web and decided that this forum suits such a purpose well. It's small, yet the topics discussed and people discussing them are passionate and love sci-fi as much as I do.


My main intent is to give players a world that constantly expands and changes, where players interact with each other but also computer and game masters events. Since I'm presently the single game designer and have only couple of other free-time web developers helping me with it, the game will be built up step by step, so that people could start playing from early on while new (main) features get added as time passes.

The game will have things you'd expect from space strategy games like trade, technologies, encounters with extraterrestrial species, politics and war. The setting of the universe is not based on any previously existing science fiction universe, however many of the things existing will be recognizable to fans of the genre.

At the start of the game each player creates their character and selects their starting skills as well as the planet they begin playing on. Player also gets a choice of a vessel they can use to travel around the solar system. Startup vessels will already have different abilities, to make sure that every new player doesn't have to start up in the same box.

One of the interesting features here is that players can team up, different spaceships will have a crew requirement which consists of crew members. While you can have most of your ship filled with computer crew members, the required 'captains' of the ship must always be human players. This means that larger spaceships will be controlled by more than one player.

Game will have various technologies which can be researched as well as bought to upgrade ships. This is another thing that will try and emphasize teamwork in the game, as there can be player characters that are researchers (with high intelligence and research skills). This means that a player can develop a new technology that doesn't exist anywhere else yet and license or sell that technology to others.

One of the important technologies is obviously ability to jump the ship to nearby solar system that's in range.

Players actions will essentially consist of trading, mining resources, fighting various enemies or even players, researching new technologies and exploring. There are a few good ideas how to make sure that players don't get bored.

The idea is not to have an engine running the whole game alone, game will have various events that open up new opportunities to players as well as 'game masters' who control the actions of computer forces in the game. Similarly to many MMORPG's, there will be game-wide events that require players to work together. And the idea is to build the whole game around the concept of a 'sandbox', where player doesn't necessarily have to do the same tedious task over and over again to be successful.

Why web based? Mainly because it's the easiest platform to bring the game to the players. I'm most experienced in web programming and web based games also have the benefit of player not having to be logged on for hours and hours each day to get somewhere. The game will advance essentially in turns, there are the large turns and short turns. Large turns are daily, short turns are shorter and govern over actions within solar system.

The role play element of the game comes out in the character ability developments and various character interactions that are possible which encourage cooperation. The game will hopefully also have an interesting broadcasting system that announces activities happening in the solar systems without falling to the tedious long message lists that are ever so common. The idea is to get player involved.

I am yet unsure how to make the game 'fair', or so that there won't be a lot of 'exploiting' going around, which is always a problem for web based games (and MMORPG's in general). But the idea is to have the game fun to stick around in for long term.

Anyways, that's just bunch of the ideas from my current design concept. As far as programming goes, quite a lot of the foundation is already done, the solar systems and galaxy network has been worked out, basic movement works and basic vessel statistics exist. I'm presently working on developing the solar system functions further.

I would definitely like to hear ideas what you'd like to see in this game. The earlier I get those ideas the more of a chance there is that it will be implemented since it's easier to change things early on. Also, depending on interest, I'll be posting here regular updates and screenshots, but presently there's no actual user interface yet.

Ideas are always welcome :smiley: Cheers