Friday, March 18, 2011

Starship Builder - UI Modes

This is a somewhat experimental release of Starship Builder, focused primarily on trying out different levels of control that players have over ships, systems on ships, and people in ships.

Here's a rundown of what's changed:

  • Added two separate "modes":
    • Combat: Allows you to select and give targets to specific weapons. Left-click and drag to draw a box around and select the weapons. Right-click on a target to focus-fire on that target.
    • People: Allows you to select and give orders to specific people. Left-click and draw a box around the people to select them. Right click on a system order some of the selected crew to operate that system. Hold U to select only those crew without any orders.
  • Ship movement (when in "Movement" mode) is back to right-click.
  • Crew can now be ordered to operate specific systems such as weapons, thrusters, ammo supplies, and cockpits.
  • Crew's Quarters have been removed. All parts requiring crew now automatically start with their required crew. Crew can also be added and removed manually in the Builder. Hold P when placing a part to not create the default number of crew for that part.
  • Crew must be assigned to specific Ammo Supplies. Those crew will then supply ammo to nearby weapons.
Here's a screenshot of the player selecting a handful of cannons:

And here's a screenshot of the player selecting a handful of people: (If you look closely, you can also see lines indicating the paths that the people are travelling.)

Here are download links for PC and Mac versions of this build.

I'm unsure yet whether the player should have this level of detailed control over ships, and I'm especially not sure about whether the individual crew members should be directly controllable or whether they should be completely automated. The direct control of crew in this build seems unnecessarily tedious, so I think I'm leaning towards totally automatic for the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment