Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…


I spent some time today on a new race for GSB. It looks like I’ll release this pack before the campaign is finished. I actually had expected to have finished the campaign and have released it by now, but it’s much more involved than I thought, so I’m still working on it. Once I’ve finished complete bug free playthroughs as 2 different races, I’ll get some people testing it for me, then there will probably be a pre0order beta thing, then release. That is probably another month (best case) of work.

So in the meantime, luckily I have artwork for a new race all complete, and am working on the data and the balance. There is nothing radically different in the race in terms of gameplay yet, but the style is interesting. The backstory is that it’s a very very old race, a bit like the dwellers from The Algebraist (Iain M Banks). Over the years, they have rebuilt their ships from the salvage of their enemies, so you will see that their ships have some rebel engines, some order engines, and various other components. They are also the first race to have multicolored ships. I’m calling them Nomads, and they basically fight out of sheer boredom on their multi million year journey across the universe. They have a cool retro look.

I was lying awake at 2AM this morning unable to sleep, thinking about new weapon and ship modules for that race. This pack will be different, likely no new missions, just the raw fleets for you to use. I had originally thought no new modules, but I think I’ll at least add some variants.

A lot of the more interesting ideas involve a ton of code, which I’d rather not do when I’m so busy with the campaign, but there is plenty of scope for module variants that work within existing parameters. I keep thinking that a very long range sniper laser with high penetration but low tracking speed and low damage could be interesting. Hopefully I’ll do some work on it tomorrow.

8 thoughts on Nomads

  1. Sounds like a good idea. I can imagine a cruiser built as a city.
    In terms of race traits what about building ships or fighters? If they have been building ships from the wreckage of other ships I’m sure they could use the remains of a cruiser to make a troop of fighters. Then again that has a lot of issues to overcome. Like what fighters they would make? How do they acquire the scrap?
    Still, food for thought.

  2. Hmmmm…your comment about cobbled together technology reminded me of the China Mieville fantasy novel “The Scar”.

    I wonder how difficult it would be to have each hull classification randomized for each ship built? Maybe you have a set “outline” so that there’s some hope of recognition, and have engines and hull sections randomly chosen from a pool. For instance a Nomad cruiser of a certain configuration would have two random “engine” pieces and three random “hull segments”. Say I build 4 of these guys. Each individual ship is identical in gameplay terms, but each one could have different randomized engine and hull segment pieces.

    Eagerly awaiting your campaign add-on, though. And if some of the message boards I’ve seen are any indication, the campaign will sell at least a few more copies of GSB.

  3. i wonder if the salvager type traits of the race might come into play in the form of race specific modules… a weapon that has some hull repairing effect for example…

    look forward to seeing the new species :)

  4. My not-really-a-gamer wife saw me playing GSB and I caught her trying it a couple days later. For the campaign, are you going to be using a tick-based turn model like Ultracorps or Dominions?

  5. The superior hull repair has already been imolemented for the tribe. Also I’d love a fighter that consists of a salvaged engine(federation?) with a few fighter guns taped to it. Great speed bonus but the guns have tendency to fall off(reduced armor/hull integrity)

  6. alternate volley fire lasers FTW!!

    as they’re Junker/Scrap merchant type dudes are their special weps based around demolitions dismantaling equipment? (like drones that latch onto ship hulls and strip them)…hmmmm anti tribe weps ahoy!

    Its such a shame ramming and boarding would be too extensive to code.

  7. Are there going to be new parts of the hull or are they going to be made entirely out of ships from the other factions?

  8. Fighting out of boredom? Lazy!

    Since the narrative also basically turn based and you don’t have any time pressure within the campaign world why not instead have the nomads pass through the known space area as part of their ETERNAL MIGRATION (TM). They will both attack and be attacked as they pass through and that can form the basis for their campaigns. You can even break them up into tribes so that the player gets the joy of partial genocide. It lets the nomads siege planets for resources but also serve as a convoys to be attacked as disparate and lagging parts of the migration are isolated. And of course it provides an opportunity for the big bad in the form of a mobile homeworld or some such supersized (Spurlock Class) class of ship.

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