[Android & iOS] Star Nomad RTS/RPG (Sci-Fi Sandbox)

  • Current Trailer

    I've started this game a few months ago as a tribute to old classics such as Privateer, Freelancer and Escape Velocity. The reason for doing this is because I feel there is a distinct lack of this genre on mobiles, especially ones where the controls and UI are simple and fitting for the platform.

    I've also felt it was clumsy to fly 3D spacesim games on a small screen with digital joysticks/pad. That and I also love real-time strategy games, so why not combine both genre into one? Escape Velocity did it brilliantly, so did Eve: Online.

    As I am currently nearing the end of the development phase (then the polish phase too!), making random missions as well as the main storyline missions and pop-up big-head character dialogs, I would like to present an overview of the game in one post.

    You are a once-wealthy trader, out of luck and in debt due to a calculated risk (and nasty pirates!) that went wrong... Your debtors offered a great deal to wipe clean your debts, but they require you to fly a capable ship before proceeding with the mission. You start out in an obsolete tin-can trade ship, the Nomad. From here on in, it's all up to you:

    * Simple, minimalist UI, touch on space to fly to location, touch on modules to activate.

    * Start trading in the "safe" quadrant of the Wildlands sector.

    * Take on random missions, select from: Patrols (scout nav points), Bounty (destroy target/s), Defend (vs waves of enemies), Escort (wishing those haulers moved faster!) and Cargo Runs (cashed up pilgrims, witness protection, data crystals, illicit stuff!).

    * Select a variety of ships to suite your needs. Hit and run? Fly the light-fighter Stiletto. A trader at heart? The Galaxy-class corvette has a big cargo bay. Work your way up and fly the devastating Hyperion C-Beam Frigate or fearsome Nadesico Drone Frigate.

    * All ships are upgrade-able with modules.

    * You control your guided missiles: Slip between targets to hit a weakened one or bunch enemies together for a powerful AoE Torpedo.

    * Dynamic trade prices, station type and location specific prices. Trade in exotic dancers, contraband, flesh dolls or even beer!

    * Be the bad guy, yarr your way to fame and fortune by plundering trade ships. Burn those militia fools!

    * Pick your faction in the main storyline and reach a different ending.

    * Planned inclusion of online PvP, free-for-all or team vs team (I am a solo dev on this game so this may come along in a later update!)

    Updated Screenshots:

    Coming soon to Android (first) with a target date of June 2014 and then immediate followed by graphically enhanced version for Chrome Webstore, PC/MAC (exe) and iOS (later, I need to purchase some Apple gear first!!). Thanks for reading, and feedback is welcomed!

  • Looking really good!

    Recently watching Battlestar Galactica for the first time so proper broody for a Space game

  • Yeah, this looks lovely. For the dogfight AI, you might want to check out the Boids Flocking behaviour here seems like it might do what you need nice and easily.

  • I just want to say one thing. If you want to use free sprites make them a little bit more unique.

  • Most of the art are place-holders to test logic. I'm making my own ships atm. Got a buddy who is making stellar bodies for me. Going for semi-cartoony-realism, the galaxy is a quick result.

    @lolpaca thanks will definitely look.

    Edit: Just tried to get Boids to work but its refusing to cooperate, since I have waypoints that ships follow on idle, and they engage once they encounter their enemies, if enemies run out of range, they disengage and return to waypoints. But I did get that solid pushout behaviour from that thread, just what I was looking for also.

    I'd like to implement a neutrality tracking that's saved as a variable. So that the players action will have persistent consequences. ie. Player is neutral towards civilian (traders etc), bounty hunter, military faction, and hostile versus pirates. If players repeatedly attack traders for loot, it will shift, if past a certain threshold, it will trigger "Enemy Status" so that ship AI and turret will engage. Eventually the main storyline will allow the player to align with pirate or military.

    For player ships, there will be a few options. Starting with a simple Fighter, can buy Heavy Fighter, Heavy Trader, Drone Fighter, and the equivalent Frigate versions (after advancing the storyline).

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  • Modular Station for one faction, here, its the Bio-dome version, an Agricultural Supplier.

    Will do a photoshop finish once most of the assets are done, to add some lighting and glows.

  • An annoying thing with Boids is that you can't set it disabled as far as I know; unlike most other movement behaviours you can't switch between it and others when you need to. Not sure if that's an oversight or you can and I'm just being dumb

    This is looking fantastic by the way, can't wait to see some gameplay!

  • lolpaca Thanks!!

    Yeah the Boids is interesting but without some more features, it's quite hard to implement a complex pathfinding AI with it. I will just resign to using the Solid Pushout plugin to keep them from overlapping each other, that was the main objective, because when they chase they all clump up.. ala, Starcraft style, think 40 mutalisks all clumped up and BAM, one aoe, all dead.

    I wanted that to never occur, because missiles and beam cannons will do AoE and it would just be completely imbalanced to allow them to stack.

    I've got most of the gameplay logic worked out, now its just a matter of making art assets (usually the longest IMO, my previous game Ninja Legacy took me 5 solid months of art and animation!), and lastly, menus and station trading/inventory!!

  • Very important project! I hope all the best for it!

  • argail Thanks!

    Are there any features you guys of the sci-fi genre like to see in the game? Some particular ship ability? I plan to have multiple active modules (not guns/missiles) but limit it to a maximum of 2, players would have to pick which they like, where players would touch an icon and it activates.

    Pleasure City Station, "Vegas in Space"!

    Mining Station

  • I don't mean to rain on your parade, but... on those station pictures, the perspective kinda feels off.

  • Yeah I was going to keep everything top down flat, but it felt a bit stale for stations, it just didn't pop from the background or foreground as Id like, so stations will be isometric... could be a weird gravity thing where stations all rotate slightly hehe.

    However, I'm not a natural artist by any stretch of the imagination though, I'm an ex-scientist (working as a postdoctoral researcher during 2013)!

  • Well, that's a minor detail that can always be fixed later.

  • I used assets meant for this larger RTS/RPG space game and a made a quick puzzle game with it: Firewall on Android.

    The player ship in this game is a Beam Frigate which they can buy, and the boss ship is a Faction Capital ship, 3 turrets, 2 beam cannons. Something to pass some downtime while I'm putting the big game together.

    My personal best score is 156 with a hit-streak of 10!

    [attachment=0:12jjptx0][/attachment:12jjptx0]

  • Update (22/03/2014): Decided on Star Nomad as name. Game is coming along very nice, all the factional AI is completed, fighting between faction fleets work great. The travel system is working great, jump into a jump-point take you instantly to another sector out in the correct jump-point. A few more art (icons for equip and inventory) remain to be done.

    More screenshots.

    This is almost a sector wide zoom-out, can see all the stations and jumps, along with trade ships making their random routes, police/militia patrolling to provide cover.

    An interesting tactic here, the player has a crap starting ship, no way to fend off all those loot-thirsty pirates... so lure them into the militia patrol and let them fight each other!

    Pirates use plasma cannons, its great single target dmg, but militia specialize in beam cannons, which do aoe-line damage, great for bigger fights. Silly piwates did not survive to regret chasing a poor ole trade tincan.

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