professorel wrote:Wow ok signed up just for BASPM
Welcome to the forums, then!
professorel wrote:First I'd like like to make the obligatory statement about how much I'm looking forward to this and all that don't take this as ingenuous just I think it gets stale after a while
That's fine. Developing a game is really hard work, so it's nice for us to get some honest praise for what we are doing!
Second, I'd like to address the people concerned about the exclusion of cold war and multiplayer elements.
The short version is: this is a game, not a historically accurate simulation.
Detail: Excepting the usage of historical programs, this game need not even take place on 'Earth', as we know it at least. Doing so would (assumingly) not detract from the game in any manner; it is not BARaceIS, it's BASPManager, competition is not the focus of the game; no framing device of any significance is need to give the game meaning, the objective is managing a space program, not beating the other side. And ultimately, of course, it's supposed to be fun. I totally understand the desire for historical accuracy, but I also totally understand the desire to make a super awesome space program without having to worry about 'the enemy'.
I will add, though, that I think given the (assumingly) wide variety of programs and missions and techs, it could be reasonable to tack on a multiplayer at some point, having the sides access to everything, but able to choose a direction/strategy they'd like to take (unlike BARIS, which had country specific hardware). I haven't seen the code though, and am definitely not one of the devs, so I couldn't say.
Exactly. Although I really enjoyed the original BARIS (although I played it 11 years after it was released... I was nine in 1993 and didn't speak English back then!), I always wanted to play a game where I could only focus on the management side without worrying about competition. More like a 'software toy', if you will
That being said, we are taking notes of all the comments we read in the forums and we might consider doing another game at some point in the future focusing on the Cold War. But, for the moment, BASPM is a management game with a very big tech tree for the players to explore!
Third, I'd also like to voice some of my hopes/concerns for the game.
One thing that bothers me in BARIS is the lack of a large number of options, for example, you have five manned vehicle choices (1person, 2p, 3p, DA, minishuttle). Within these themselves, there aren't really any further options. I'm hoping that the tech tree will introduce much more customization options to hardware, in terms of mix/matching parts for missions, making changes/additions to 'standard' hardware, and such (and more mission options as well) (I'm getting that sort of vibe from some of the screenshots and the like).
The approach we've taken with BASPM is as follows: you have Program Categories, which are high level groups of programs (e.g., "Lunar probes", "One crew ballistic capsules", "Space planes", etc). Each Program Category has one or more Programs (e.g., the "Lunar probes" program category has "Lunar flyby", "Lunar orbiter", "Lunar lander", "Lunar sample return", etc) and each program has one or more Mission Configurations.
The Mission Configurations have a fixed hardware but, there's so many of them, that you'll certainly have plenty to choose from. The reason each mission configuration is fixed in terms of hardware has to do with the fact that we provide a set of animated pictures for each mission and we want the pictures to depict the hardware being used. If we were to provide ultimate flexibility in combining pieces of equipment, we would need to provide all the different animations combinations as well and that would take our production costs to the sky!
Additionally, instead of preset missions like BARIS, the ability to custom define missions in terms of steps (which were present in BARIS and seem to be here as well) would be enjoyable, and would compliment the previous well (probably with 'standard mission' presets for simplicity/reference)(oh and mission flexibility would be a nice compliment to this(altering a mission in-flight as/if necessary(extending probe missions, altering manned mission profiles if good/bad events, etc).
We have some elements of this, yes.
Also, I did like the idea of having some kind of 'outside link' (suggestion was newscast), or something simple to put the game in a bit of context and make it seem less self contained. (that is, acknowledge the existence of an outside world, and how the space program and it affect each other, not necessarily historical(and random events too. just not as random as BARIS))
We have added some elements of this as well. Boris (our UI and 2D guy) has been working on some mock screens for this functionality last week.
Lastly, not so much with the game as just in general, but having 'an Ultimate Goal' isn't really ideal, in my opinion. After we went to the moon, we'd beaten the soviets, and just...stopped. Same thing if you make the goal mars. Where do you go from there? You haven't 'conquered space' or anything, there's still more to explore and discover and learn and utilize. I understand this game is episodic in nature, but I think the player should have some choice in which direction they wish to take.
After beating the final goal the idea is that the player will fire up the game in sandbox mode and have fun trying different alternatives (do I use the shuttle in order to build a space station? do I set up lunar habitats first before setting lunar bases? etc).
For instance, as I understand there will be a second intermediary update between the moon and mars phases. What kind of freedom will they have on what they do during this period? Can they continue moon missions(with more complexity(moon base,etc)), something else even(venus flyby?), or are they bound to languish performing research in space stations? Of course, this extends to the rest of the game; don't just hand them a goal, let *them* make their goals. Or at least choose what goals to make along the way to the ultimate one.
Parts 2 and 3 add a significant amount of new program categories, both manned and robotic. The total game (i.e., parts I, II and III combined) boasts 40 program categories, each with one or more programs and each program with one or more mission configurations. Some program categories have 5 or more programs, so there's plenty to choose from. The tech tree allows you to get to the Mars missions without opening the whole tree, so it's really up to the player to decide which parts of the tech tree should be explored. On the other hand, exploring more programs gives a way to obtain prestige points, so it's up to the player to decide how to allocate the funds.
I understand you're too late in the dev cycle to implement any major new features, but can't hurt to say things.
That's fine, we're always open to suggestions. We might not be able to add them all but we certainly listen and take notes.
Finally, a few questions:
When the expansions are released, can the game be played continuously, or are the updates more separate?
You can continue your saved games while having a whole new range of programs at your disposal.
Since this game is being released episodically, you probably have some standard sort of system for defining missions and tech and hardware and such for ease of adding content. In short, what does the environment of BASPM look like in terms of third party content?
At the moment, we are not planning to provide a way for the players to develop their own content. That might change later, though.
I want to ask a third question but I can't think of one/think I had one but forgot it. So, I ask: do you(devs) have any questions? No I'm not sure what I'm expecting
Not really, but feel free to open up more threads if you have more things you'd like to discuss. Unfortunately, we are a little bit underpowered in here (we're a really small team!), but I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.