First Game UI Spoilers

From this point forward we will really start to show you more and more of our art and information about the actual game. March marks the beginning of this slow reveal process. Lorcan, one of our UI designers has been working on our 3D space-interface, below are samples of his work:

Space UI

Our Space UI has 3 zoom levels: far, medium and close. The far zoom is the “galactic” level, where you can see the entire map in one go. The “sector” zoom is halfway zoomed in to let you see a subset of space with several stars/planets and the “battle” zoom is where you observe and command on a tactical level.

We want the galactic level to feel big, you can see your local cluster area, or even potentially an entire galaxy:

Conversely we want our battles to feel like you are peering over a table with miniatures floating over a planet, firing at each other. Each ship has a variable height from the board, your ships are on the left-bottom side and the opponent’s are on the top-right of the screen.

The middle-zoom level, which we are calling the Sector zoom still needs a little bit of work before we share it so I’m leaving it off of this post.

Our cards and the game’s UI interface are also very close to being at a stage where I can post them up for you to ponder over too, so you can probably expect those up in the near future!

PS For those wondering, the test-results from our recent test-party will go up on our blog shortly as a separate posting!

Shaping the story

So the last time I posted about the back-story I focused on the conditions that could lead to a 4X scenario: cataclysmic events, empires collapsing, war, titanic galaxies colliding. I tossed this concept towards Amy Ballinger (Creative Writer) and in the process a much more refined and compelling story is taking hold.

Instead of transporting ourselves to unknown corners of the universe, our game is going to take place here; well almost here. See we are going forward ~4 billion years in time. What will this place be like then? Well two important things will have happened:

  1. Earth will no longer be habitable because our sun will have burned it away from expanding in its old age, and
  2. The Andromeda galaxy will be in full-collision with our Milky-Way.

48d8782c-54d8-4d74-986a-1035233659b8_972This creates a really interesting premise for a story. In the future we are painting, humanity has expanded outwards from our solar system to colonize new planets, and on each of them we have evolved and become isolated from each other in the process. “Earth” is forgotten, the remnants of a myth among our various genetic evolutionary offspring.

Galactic collisions span millions of years, with systems changing position ever so slowly but surely in the process. Andromeda brings with it, however, more than just disturbance: Andromeda is more importantly a galaxy inhabited by other alien factions. The Andromeda collision “encounter” is where our story begins.

New Designer

A new designer is going to join our crew and – nearly final – discussions are still in progress with 3D modeling talent as well as dozens of other candidates for various positions (from concept art, to card art to production and more). I will certainly share more here soon!

Test party

taste-testThis weekend we will be holding an in-person test party in LA. It will be a chance for investors, friends and enthusiasts to play our early Alpha and to give us feedback. Chris and I have been working on the coding+testing of the game to ensure it is ready for them; we will have a solid portion of the game itself coded in time for the event; you can be sure I will post back here what people thought and if anything in particular needs improving!

Tempo heating

Wow it’s been quite the last few weeks.

Creative writing

We hired a new creative writer / production assistant, Amy Ballinger, who I’m sure you will read more from in the weeks/months to come, is going to be handling everything that has to do with the lore of our game. Right now she is reviewing the existing giant creative soup and turning into a coherent back-story with far better defined alien factions.

In addition to working out the world and factions, Amy is also going to provide creative guidance for our future illustrators. If all goes well this week with the core lore writing, we should be in a good position to begin the hiring process the following one.

Coding continues

On the programming front, Chris continues to slam out feature revisions at an accelerating pace. Our game will be ready for our first “test party” later this month where we will gather investors and close friends to try our first build and give us some live feedback.

The “minimum” game should be “functionally” done by the end of this month which means that Chris can then switch his focus to coding all the main game menus (the first screens you see before you create and join a game). I put quotes around these things because the “minimum” game is the smallest feature set I can see us going live with and still having a playable game, and I say “functional” because the game is still coded right now without all the beautiful graphics that our designers are making. Integrating the design into the formless code will come later in a second-pass iteration.

Board of Directors

On the company front, 3 people whom we approached to be on our board have accepted. Our board is not yet finalized (we may still add another name or two) but we already have such a great group of people now working with us, it is really a privilege to have their wisdom on our side.

Next steps

Workload for me has been getting quite high already, Rob’s working hard and I’ve hit over 20 hours of work spinning our various plates. Among other solutions we are working to add testing and production assistance as soon as possible to help reduce our increasing loads.

Here is a total list of everyone we are looking to add to our team either immediately, or within the next 3 months. Let us know if you or someone you know might be interested!

  • Producer
  • Assistant producer
  • Test manager
  • Alpha Tester / QA Tester
  • Character Illustrators
  • 3D modeler for ships and planets
  • 3D Animations and UI effects specialist
  • Sound designer / composer
  • Graphic Designer for icons and asset production
  • Unity3D C# Developer (senior or mid-level)

Till next time, space-out.