Damian Walker

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Planets in the Space Conquest Game

Star Governor star system screen

Sunday, 12th November 2017

Here are some more details of the space conquest game I'm planning, centred on another mock-up screen that I've created. This is the star system screen, which follows on from the galactic map screenshot in yesterday's post.

A star system can have up to ten planets in orbit. They don't actually move from turn to turn; I thought about doing this but couldn't see what it would add to game play. So they're statically placed on a 2-dimensional map that represents a common plane of orbit. This map is a 21x21 grid.

The window on the right shows the kind of information that will be stored for each planet. The physical characteristics govern the type and quantity of resources available. The resources actually produced are heavily influenced by the information about inhabitants and economy.

A planet's allegiance can be to an empire, to another independent planet, to itself, or none. A planet whose allegiance is itself is an independent planet. A planet with no allegiance is slightly different: either it has a non-technological population who will not effectively resist conquest, or it has no population at all.

The economics work in a similar way to Master of Orion. Instead of building discrete installations like mines and research centres, the player (or the NPC governor) will divide the population among the different economic activities. Most of the activities will cost money, the exception being Other which represents the private sector and generates tax income.

I'm planning a more detailed planet screen, on which the player can change the economic balance. This might represent the planet surface graphically, showing the terrain type and the general economy. I'm thinking about using the planetary size to limit the number of different economic sectors that can be developed, so that smaller planets are less able to diversify.

Program development is at the stage of generating these planets now. Currently the program generates maps successfully (with caveats that I might discuss in another post), populating the maps with stars. Only the planet's positions are plotted as I write.