Import Soul Wouldn’t it be nice if things just worked


Weeks 3-6 – Sizing things up

Well i haven't exactly been posting weekly as i have supposed to have been, but project work has been delayed and disrupted, though lost memory sticks (and found) and a new laptop. However in the past week i have started work again on Saga of Sol and have done the base classes that will manage all of the planets and have so far added functions to control their position in their orbit, and blit them to a minimap.

This is a view of our solar system loaded into the program, everything is relatively to scale, well kind of, the planets sizes are correct relative to each other using a quadratic scale, the same is true wit their orbital distances.

In doing the work I have so far I have realized that I may have to reduce the scale of my game to either only the inner solar system, or to skimp more on the physics and accuracy side of things. I have decided this because of the vast differences in orbital periods and distances of the outer and inner planets. Another way to account for this would be to think up another mechanic that allows faster traveling between more distant planets.

Last of all I have created a page (see menu) that I will use to keep track of and display all the things I need to get done in the game, all the things I would like to get done and other ideas that I haven't yet decided upon.

I have also done a draft logo that can be found on the saga of sol page


Week 2 – Survey Results

The Results

Part of the project was to do research in the form of a survey, the kinds of games people play and what they expect from them. My survey was conducted electronically  HERE (new results will not be considered). I now have enough results from the survey, with surprisingly round numbers, with 25 responses, comprising of 15 boys and 10 girls.

The most apparent observation is that most females classify themselves as casual gamers and play less than 2 hours of games a week where as males on average play around 4 hours of games a week. Another clear and more useful outcome is that almost all responses said that Game-play and mechanics are the most important aspect of the game, with graphics and story line being equal second and audio with no votes at all.

The things that people said they would like to see most in a game are interesting new mechanics, smooth graphics and audio that isn't irritating.

The plan

After ditching the falling blocks idea (see the prototype last week) I have decided to go with my idea for a space based RTS (Real Time Strategy). The aim of the game will be to build up your armies and bases around planets and expand your empire to, and protect it from other planets. To introduce a twist to separate it from other similar RTS games, all planets will orbit a sun, meaning that at different times planets will be different distances from each other effecting the travel time and fuel consumption. I plan on doing the graphics of the game in a simple line art kind of style, with mainly white on black and some colors to identify different factions and for special effects.

Overall the game will be a unique blend of Age of empires, Sins of a Solar Empire and Asteroids with some extra mechanics thrown in. I think this covers most of what people said they would like in the survey, having a unique new game-play mechanic, simple but effective graphics and hopefully some ok auido if I can pull it off.

Some things that I would like to incorporate into the game if I have sufficient time are games that can span multiple solar systems and some kind of content sharing system for people to share custom ship/system setups for people to play. For a name, the only one I have come up with as of yet is Saga of Sol which I think sounds ok.

For next weeks post I hope to have some screen-shots of a basic system viewer for showing an overview of a solar system.

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Week 1 – Choosing a Project

At school we are just into our first weeks of year 12, subjects continue much the same as usual, but in Design and Technology (D&T) and Software design and development (SDD) we are required to do a major project.  While I am really keen to get started on my projects for both of these im getting stuck trying to decided upon one idea (for each).

For software design and development we need to design and document a video game and have been pointed at python and pygame to create it. As part of the project brief for our SDD major project we need to make weekly posts on the status of our project and what we have been up to.

With a bit of free time is made a little game prototype to warm up my knowledge of pygame and test the basic concept for a simple idea.

The aim of the game is to get to the green circle, this is done using the arrow keys and climbing on boxes, the boxes are dropped from the ceiling, and darker boxes crush lighter boxes.

For those interested it can be downloaded below
[download id="23"]

If i developed this into a full game it would include other puzzle aspects such as blocks of differing sizes, and perhaps different properties. As well as this i would probably have a mode where you can see the order of all the blocks to be dropped.

The other main ideas that i am deciding between is an RTS revolving around interplanetary warfare, and a version of lemmings where the aim is to kill all of them.

By next week's post I hope to have decided upon a final project and started programming it, I will also include a summary of results from a survey that we needed to carry out as part of the project.