I figured it was time divulge a little more information on two features of Fireshard. The first will be over death and the second will be over my decision to make the game as mod friendly as possible.
In most games death is just a temporary reset in the gameplay. In many cases this just means some lost time on the player's part (which typically comes along with player frustration if death happens
frequently). So in developing Fireshard I had a couple of options regarding what to do with the issue of death.
· Keep the status quo
· Full permadeath
· Partial permadeath
Keep The Status Quo
This one involved doing quick saves before the player leaves a warp relay. Doing so would minimize the maximum amount of loss-able progress.
Once the player bites the dust that's it. They would have to start a fresh new game, although over all progress (achievements, scores, game unlocks) would be preserved.
On the destruction of the player's ship it becomes a wreck for a couple of minutes. By some magical story element the player is found and brought back to the Earth spacedock, given a new ship (just like if they had started), and can continue to play. Find and investigating the players wreck would return a random amount of equipment modules and cash back but not return them to their previous condition.
I have opted for the partial permadeath for a number of reasons. First off, the game design initially called for full permadeath, but the more I develop and play the game I realized the core gameplay is not short enough for full permadeath to be friendly for many players. This does not mean I dropped full permadeath, as it will be implemented as an optional choice to select when choosing the games difficulty level.
Everyone likes mods right? Hell I started my trek into the game scene creating all sizes of mods for games I enjoyed. I figured it would be a great idea to make Fireshard as moddable as possible. This means many of the game files will be in human-readable XML format (events, ships, solar systems, sectors, even the galaxy map and others). The game will feature a mods directory whose file structure will mimic the main file structure. Any modified XML files placed in the mods folder will be loaded instead of the games defaults. This would allow for the player to modify/add new playable ships, add new sectors and solar systems to the galaxy map (even create a whole new one if they desire), add their own jump in encounters, system encounters, and story missions.
Overall development of the game is moving at a modest pace and I hope *crosses fingers* to have a playable demo for people to enjoy 4 to 6 months from now! Until then I'll continue with my feature updates, progress shots, and maybe a video or two!