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So what's this USG thing?
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Unnamed Space Game is a space-based cyberpunkish RPG with a graphical style similar to X-COM, gameplay similar to Fallout and Nethack, free-form space exploration like Star Control II, an expansive ingame economy like Elite or any of the X series, and a procedurally generated game world like Dwarf Fortress and the aforelinked Nethack.
The War was a short and vicious one. Worlds burned. Suns forced into supernovae. Planets plague-bombed. Billions upon billions killed. Massive capital ships, tens of kilometers long, doing battle in the void. Filling the space between them with terrible, silent flashes of energy. But throughout the war, everyone believed one planet to be apart from the carnage. A sacred neutral ground, the cradle of humanity, untouchable and beautiful. That ended the day the Tel'nash assaulted the earth with their most powerful battleship. Sol was given a new asteroid belt in its place. It was an attack that none of the other factions would have ever considered. The Tel'nash's terrible act of blasphemy did what nothing else could've done; It united the other factions against them. Their ships were hunted and destroyed, their shipyards were blasted and their cities were sacked and burned. The temporary alliance between the remaining factions quickly dissolved into bitter infighting, whittling down fleets and resources until the laws of economy meant that war was simply no longer possible.
That was thirty years ago. The once-mighty factions are now little more than children squabbling over resources and land. You grew up in a small mining town on ::Planet Name::. Your Father died soon after you were born, killed by a slow-acting biological weapon, a remnant of the evils of The War in which he fought. Your Mother passed away last year from the same disease. All your life you had been listening to your Mother's stories of the galaxy that was, of peace and plenty, and of Earth. You have purchased a small planet-hopping runabout with the remainder of the inheritance you received from your Mother. You know only one thing for sure: There is no future left for you here.
Player on the ground.
A view of a starsystem.
A view of the galaxy.
Bear in mind this is placeholder art, for the most part.
Whiz-bang feature list:
- * Open-ended gameplay
- You start the game in one corner of a procedurally-generated galaxy. You've spent your inheretance buying a small planet-hopper without even an interstellar drive. Hop to it.
- * Many-ended storylines
- Do you save the helpless daughter of the rich faction leader? Or use her as a bargaining chip for personal gain?
- * Complex economy
- With a huge number of resources, commodities, mines and factories, there's a hell of a lot going on here.
- * Massive game world
- I mean it. Seriously. It's huge and it could easily be much bigger. At present, for testing purposes, the number of starsystems in a galaxy sits at between eighty and a hundred and twenty. Each starsystem has between one and six planets, each planet could have up to five mines, cities, factories, millitary bases, space stations... It's big. Just trust me.
- * Customisable spaceships
- Your ship is your home. You can customise by filling it with gadgets and doo-dads to match your character's needs. Are you making a gun-slinging bounty hunter? Then you'll probably need a gun workshop bench to allow the assembly of custom weapons without having to pay a rental fee for the use of someone else's, and maybe some smuggling compartments built into the walls. Are you playing a psi-monk? Perhaps a sensory deprivation tank would be more suited to your needs.
- * Multi-faceted skill tree
- There will be similar to the standard run-of-the-mill RPG talent tree. Becoming more involved in a particular branch of the tree will preclude depth in other areas. It's been around for a long time because it works well. General skill areas will be gunnery, psi, and tech.
- * Cybernetic implants
- These are essentially items that the player can implant or have implanted in themselves that provide boosts to their stats, allow the use of skills from other sections of the talent tree, or improve the effectiveness of skills already learned.
- * Player-constructed weaponry
- The player can construct devices from separate components, to form a wide range of tools and weapons. Read more in this Development Blouge entry.
USG was conceived one sunny day when I realised there was no game that hit the spot when it came to a space-based 4X game on the Nintendo DS. I set about learning the ins and outs of the platform and building a basic prototype of my game. I slowly came to the realisation that I wasn't really going to be able to achieve what I really wanted to achieve, so I made the difficult choice to abandon the DS in favour of DirectX on the PC. Now, having nearly limitless processing power and memory at my disposal, I could make the game I wanted to make. Much of my code was platform-independent so it was a fairly painless process to port it over from the DS.
I've always been keen on having a semi-open development process. To this end I've been regularly updating a Development Blouge whenever I accomplish something mildly interesting, or come across some difficulty. I'm the sole coder on this project and I plan to bring on other talent as is required as I progress through development and other needs develop. To this end I've recruited the assistance of one Danny "TychoCelchuuu" Weltman to be the project's art monkey. His vastly inferior "Blogue" can be found here.
The development schedule for this game isn't so much a schedule as it is a statement: "I'll get done eventually". I'm working a real 38-hour-a-week job as an Engineer for an international engineering firm so any time I get to spend working on USG is a blessing.
Here is a link to the Unnamed Space Game forums.