Earth has been destroyed, and humanity must find a way to survive. Your job is to help the human race, those remaining on the mother-ship, to find another earth-like world to inhabit. Star Explorers attempts to capture the vastness, loneliness and desolation of space exploration, along with easy to learn, old-school shooter mechanics.
- Randomly generated galaxy which the player can fully explore
- Randomly generated planets, with features based on factors such as atmosphere, distance from star etc…
- Randomly generated cave systems on some planets
- Day/Night cycles on each planet
- Resource management and survival in hostile conditions
- Randomly generated alien life, for a unique experience with each play-through
- Random Quests, in addition to the main quest
- Database of Sectors, Stars and Planets in which player can take notes and customize the names of stars and planets
- Intelligent alien life, either hostile or friendly towards the player
- Inventory system
- Trade System with friendly aliens
- Melee and projectile combat with hostile aliens
- Random weapons (similar to Borderlands)
- Suit upgrade system, which allows player to explore previously uninhabitable planets
Planets are formed randomly, but their conditions are based on more or less scientific factors. The size and temperature of the star they orbit, their distance from that star, the type of surface, atmosphere, and liquids present (or not) determine how a planet will look once landed on. Players will be able to land, depart and return to planets, exploring their surfaces as well as underground cave systems repeatedly, while keeping the same features intact on each visit.
Exploration requires resources, which players must seek out on their quest. Fuel, ammunition and oxygen will all have to be carefully managed if the player wants to survive the long search for an earth-like planet. However, in the Star Explorers universe, there are other kinds of life, based not on water, but other various liquids that may be present on different planets. While many planets will be too hot or cold, or without an atmosphere, there are also worlds of liquid methane, ammonia, sulphuric acid and more, that have developed their own unique evolutionary cycles. Each kind of alien plant, tree or animal is pieced together randomly, making for a unique experience for each player.
The Star Explorers universe is not a friendly one though, it can be cruel and indifferent to the struggles of its inhabitants. If you’re not careful, you might land on a planet that’s just too hot, or too cold, or enveloped in a cloud of corrosive acid, and not live to tell about it. Upgrading your space suit will unlock these otherwise impossible worlds to further exploration.
How to Play
The interface may be a bit complex at first. I plan to include a tutorial for the final release.
For now – know the following:
- Pressing "E" allows you to interact with things. It also will disengage you from the Spaceship Control Panel, allowing you to explore your ship – not much to explore yet, but there will be…
- Right Clicking on stars and other objects will open an action menu. Pick from the menu to scan, warp to, or other.
- The Hangar Bay is all the way at the back of the ship. Approach the doors and press "E" to begin landing procedure, after you’ve orbited a planet.
- Inventory can be accesses by pressing "I" and closed with the same.
- To add fuel to your spaceship, you must collect or purchase Acknexium Crystals. Then you access your inventory while aboard your ship and "Use" them.
- Your space suit can be upgraded in the same way. Also your weapons each have an "Ammo" belt. Ammunition found must be "used" in order to add it to the ammo belt.
- Once you find Acknexium Crystals on a planet, you must launch a beacon to orbit that planet, and inform the mother-ship of your discovery. The mother-ship will then move into the vicinity of the star system in question. If you don’t see the mother-ship, you can press "M" to warp directly to the mother-ship. I plan to incorporate this feature into the computer console in the near future, along with the option to do the same for previously visited star systems.
- Stars will automatically be scanned when warped to. Still, there may be problems in the star-database.
- The rest should be available by playing the game, and reading the in-game messages…
- Inventory problem. At certain points in play testing, half of my inventory disappeared. I have taken steps to prevent this from happening, but each time I think I’ve beat it, it sneaks up on me again. I haven’t seen it in a while, so it might be resolved, but I’ve written a piece of code that will put up an alert if and when your space suit and/or main weapon disappear. I realize this is a game-breaker at this point, but if I can collect more data on where, when and why it happens, I know I’ll be able to fix it. Currently, it is very sporadic, and I can’t seem to reproduce the effect. If you are playing, and you get an alert about your suit or weapon missing, please update the forum on where you were in the game, i.e. leaving a planet, leaving a cave, trading with the mother-ship, etc… Having access to this information will help me solve the problem much faster.
- Database issues. Sometimes when leaving a planet, you computer forgets which star it was near. An alert will pop up at this point, again I would ask players to let me know when and where this happens. It will always be upon leaving a planet or loading a saved game, but I would like to see if there is a pattern, i.e. which sector(s) it happens in, what kinds of stars, planet types, whether a certain quest was being completed, etc… I think leaving the star system and returning should resolve the issue as a work around while I find out what’s causing it.
- The game is currently somewhat short. It can be won fairly quickly, if conditions are right. This will be tweaked to create more of a challenge. I’m looking for feedback about how much fuel, money, items the player should start with. How much loot is available on planets etc… I do not want to make this a game in which there is loot around every corner. it should feel like you are in outer space, not the grocery store. However, there is a balance that needs to be struck. It is a game, after all.
- Various bugs exist, but no more seem to be game-breaking at this point. I have a long list and the game will be updated frequently until they are gone.
- Saving and loading games should be independent of build. If the game is updated, you should still be able to load a previously saved game. Future upgrades may require starting a new game, but for now saves should be valid until all major bugs are fixed.
One Man Team
Star Explorers began, and continues, as an individual effort. All the programming, artwork, and sounds in the game were produced by one artist. In my ongoing effort to bring my love for art and video games together, Star Explorers is my most ambitious project to date. Whether having one person in control of all these aspects of the game is a selling point or not, I can’t say. However, it is an important part of the process for me as an artist.