Endless Sky is a 2D space trading and combat game inspired by the classic Escape Velocity series. Work your way up from a relatively wimpy shuttle, cargo ship, or fighter, to a highly upgraded and customized flagship or to a massive fleet of warships or freighters. Earn money by carrying passengers or cargo, escorting convoys, bounty hunting, or plundering and capturing enemy ships. Take sides in a civil war, or ignore the story line and just enjoy exploring the galaxy and blasting pirates.
The main story line takes about 8-16 hours to play through. The galaxy contains hundreds of star systems and planets, and several alien species with their own unique technologies. You can choose between more than fifty ships and several hundred ship upgrades. A plugin system allows anyone with a text editor and a paint program to create new ships, weapons, or missions, and the galaxy editor can be used to add new star systems and planets.
Endless Sky is free, open source, and cross platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux). Over time, the game universe will expand as contributors add new missions, story lines, alien species, places to explore, sound effects, and artwork.
For more information, please visit the website or read the player's manual.
I thought I might as well use this opportunity to give an update on my progress so far, though in all honesty, I haven't really accomplished much since the last article.
In terms of my grandiose goals of creating a "fully functioning galaxy map", only about 10 systems have been added thus far. Which isn't necessarily a detrimental thing thinking about it now, since it has allowed me to make progress in other areas.
In the past month, I've mainly been fooling around with random things, like adding spaceport propaganda. It's only there for aesthetics, but I thought I might as well learn how to add to other aspects of the plugin, rather than just adding planets, ships and outfits. At least it looks pretty cool though.
Another aspect that I spontaneously decided to work on is the addition of astromech droids, something that was far simpler to code than I initially thought. I have created both an "Astromech socket" outfit and an "R3-series Astromech Droid" so far, the latter of the two only being purchasable if the socket is already installed. The thumbnails are just temporary/non-existent at the moment, but the outfits themselves seem to work pretty well. Are they balanced? Not quite.
One final aspect of the plugin that I have worked on recently are some hails for the Galactic Empire, which again were pretty simple to code. The dialogue options are pretty limited at the moment, but since I know how they work now, it'll be easier from here on.
Something else that I have been meaning to look at for a while is ship balancing, something that has been completely neglected in previous versions.
Now although I can't pretend that the new balancing for v0.4-alpha will be flawless (in fact, it's most definitely far from that), ship costs, hull values and shield values are already much better.
The foremost issue that I was facing was in regards to maintaining consistency with SW lore, particularly for ship designs like the Fang Fighter or the Eta-2 Actis-class Interceptor (both of which do not have shields at all). This gave them an immense disadvantage during combat, as they were unable to recover health. Now, I've tried to accomodate for this by giving these particular ships a much greater hull, so that their combined health is essentially the same as other fighters.
Anyway, that's all from me!
If anybody has any suggestions for me in terms of possible features for the plugin, I'd love to hear your suggestions (not that I will necessary add it, but I'd definitely consider it).
So I finally received permission from most of the artists to use their artworks, including the one who created over 200 ship designs. Phew! It looks like...
I know that I literally just published an article two days ago, but I thought I should probably outline an issue that has just arisen.
"Slow progress is better than no progress" – probably a quote from same famous author.
Adding ship thumbnails for all of the current ships (and adding a few more ships as well). This will make the shipyard screen far less laggy! *Sigh...
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It took ages for me to edit all of the ship thumbnails, but the deed is finally done. Around 50 ships sprites were replaced due to an artist's request...
Finally reached 300 different types of ships (added roughly 20). Created a "start.txt" file so that new saves will begin at Coruscant. Added a few locations...
This alpha has around 280 different ships and a few explorable systems (including Coruscant, Anaxes, and Empress Teta). A few experimental missions have...
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