• Register
Post news RSS A New Start

It's been a while since I last posted and MetaSpace is a very different game.

Posted by on

A New Start

Ok... so it's been almost a year since the last post, so what happened? I realized that MetaSpace required a lot more work and time then I expected and at that time a year ago the game was no where near where It needed to be for me to start sharing information and content. Well now i'm back and ready and MetaSpace is a very different game. I deleted all of the old screenshots and news articles to avoid confusion so basically it's a fresh start for the game.

What is MetaSpace Now?

MetaSpace is about building a ship, managing a crew and exploring the unknown. Almost everything in MetaSpace is randomly generated to give you a fresh experience every time you play. This means there are millions of items including weapons, shields, engines etc. The events and encounters are randomly generated as well as the systems you explore. Ultimately MetaSpace is a game of progression. Earning achievements, getting loot and defeating bosses to advance further into the depths of MetaSpace and upgrade your ship to be stronger and more powerful. Larger ships will allow you to construct a hanger on them allowing you to have multiple ships in your convoy making the combat even more tactical.

As you travel from planet to planet you will encounter random events. These could be anything from pirates, distress calls, trade offers, anomalies or even an internal ship event such as a crew member going rouge. Depending on how you built your ship you will be able to deal successfully with a wider array of events and may have more choices in your approach to certain situations. For example an enemy ship may be hiding cloaked waiting to ambush you. If when you built your ship you equipped it with a scanner capable of detecting the enemy you will stand a much better chance at winning the engagement.

So there's some very quick and basic information about the game now i'll just talk about the system generation a little bit and we'll leave it there for now.

Random System Generation.

MetaSpace randomly generates systems, so how exactly are the systems generated. I'm sure a few people out there are interested in doing something similar with Game Maker Studio so i'll give a quick rundown on how this is accomplished.

First the stars background is drawn and then various starfields are drawn above. Using the irandom_range function we can get a random number between two values, depending on the number will change the amount of starfield objects we create. These objects when created will randomize there size, angle and the starfield sprite that they use. Now the stars in the background will vary.

Next MetaSpace uses a sort of colored cloud or dust effect so we randomly choose one of the nineteen different colored background and draw 2 slightly different looking versions of it on top of one another. This way we can make one of the dust layers move faster then the other to create a sort of parallax or scrolling effect to make the background looks more dynamic.

Next we generate meteors, "darkspots" and asteroids. A system only has a 1 in 8 chance of not having any meteors in it, if it does have meteors in it then it is assigned a meteor density value between 3 and 25. The lower the number the more meteors will hurl past in the background. Asteroids are done in a very similar manner all systems. Now every system has asteroids in the background though the amount varies greatly. Again a density value is assigned this time between 12 and 50 and the background is populated with asteroids accordingly. The size, angle and sprite of the asteroid is randomized upon its creation. Finally the "darkspots" as I like to refer to them. These are basically just static black clouds which are randomly drawn in the system.

And finally the background suns, nebulae and planets. Nebulae are assigned are random color, size, angle and sprite. Some systems may have no nebulae some may have 3. They are assigned random positions in the system and after they are created certain nebulae will create another instance which will draw a glowing effect over it. The glowing effect is also effected by the nebula's color and size. Next suns are generated in the background. Nothing fancy here they are just given one of seven colors and a slight variance in size, then randomly positioned in the background. Finally planets. Like nebulae they are given a random size, position, sprite and color. Though unlike nebulae they are told to not overlap with any other planet. After all you will have to click on the planet to tell your ship to travel there. The planets are drawn behind the 2nd layer of colored dust so it better fits in with its surroundings and its appearance is affected by that systems particular features. So here's the image of a partial fully generated system!

If you want to see it better I've uploaded screenshots of a couple of randomly generated systems. Well that's it for now, I won't be dissapearing for a year again. Follow me on twitter (@mowcno) for more regular updates and look out soon for a news article about the ship designer.

Cake!:D - - 1,860 comments

Very cool, glad to see an update!!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
studio9 - - 47 comments

"..a crew member going rouge.."
Like this? Cdn.screenrant.com

In all seriousness though, big thumbs up for procedural generation! There haven't been too many good sci-fi roguelikes, Strange Adventures in Infinite Space and Faster than Light to name a couple.

Looking forward to gameplay details!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.