Design Documentation

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as we are still in the experimentation phase there isn't too much design documentation yet.


to get an impression of what we have in mind you can read these chatlogs :

forum thread archive

planets and procedural stuff


we are currently discussing art style, and are considering a slight toon shader to avoid photo realism

ship internals

combat system suggestions

there is a discussion and in the forum :

as there are several very different and interesting suggestions a compromise might leave most of us equally unhappy, so we might capsule the combat system in such a way that it is easy to replace by plugins/mods.

suggestions :


short description


gameplay aspects

very important

  • lan based coop multiplayer
  • fly/control a spaceship
  • walk inside spaceships
  • possibility to create own ships and design their interior
  • explore planets, ships, spacestations ... (you can enter them)
  • trading
  • collecting things (ie. different types of flowers)
  • drive vehicles on the planet surface
  • quests

nice to have

  • share content (collected stuff, ship design...) online with other players

scenario, environment


graphic style



  • we want to minimize grinding, this affects many design decisions, see also below "anti-grinding"
  • no unlimited fleet size / fleet management : that would turn the game into a strategy-game and we don't want that
    • no remote autopilot : ships don't move when not directly piloted by a player
    • maybe a small amount of npc pilots, but not unlimited (limit could be explained by mutiny)
    • taxing ships/shipsize and crew wages cannot be used for balancing/limiting fleet size (see below : "anti-grinding")
  • all players are in the same team (it is a coop game)
    • not fighting against other teams, but all players agains the npc-universe or somthing like that
    • players don't have individual property (e.g. everything belongs to the whole team)
    • the team itself makes progress when doing mission (aquires new equipment construction plans)
    • players can join / leave at arbitrary times
      • there should be no need to aquire enough equipment or experience for a player to be valuable (see also anti-grinding below)
    • multiple players can be inside the same spaceship
    • repairing stuff inside the ship might be interesting for combat
    • cooperatively playing a campaign would be cool, e.g. doing story-related missions and collecting equipment plans as rewards
    • no individual savegames/property of players, all belongs to the TEAM,
      • so arbitrary number of players can share stuff, anyone can join/leave at any time.
      • no individual power/level differences, this elegantly avoids strong-player+weak-player problems (see also "anti-grinding")
  • death/ship-destruction = loss of equipment
    • no instant respawn with the same ship
    • dying will hurt a bit, but you'll be back on track quickly (see below : "anti-grinding")
    • no gameplay/story/campaign progress will be lost, equipment-construction plans etc are not destroyed
    • when your ship is destroyed, it is gone, no respawning with the same equipment, so you need a new one
    • the team can capture a new ship for the player (see "boarding")
    • you can have a simple fighter
    • equipment itself is easy to replace as the construction plans for it are not lost (see below : "anti-grinding")
    • if the team has a big mothership/carrier with multiple fighters in the hangar, the player can just take the next fighter until they are all gone
    • maybe : you can have more than one ship but only fly one at once
  • not too much RPG
    • no complex skill tree's, but simple jobs/professions/specialties are ok (mechanic, medic, ...)
    • in a scifi-scenario with highly advanced software, the speed, hit-chance in combat (of the ship) etc should depend on equipment, not on the human-skills.
    • no experience/skill grinding, probably just pick the skill at start and change profession at stations
  • exploring and collecting (equipment-plans,decoration,plants,animals..) should be important gameplay elements
  • the amount of equipment/weapons in use is limited by the available reactor power
    • energy management is interesting in combat with batteries being recharged by the reactor while you don't fire
    • while your shields restore themselves they require more energy than while they are up
    • maybe an energy consuming afterburner for extra speed in combat ?
    • energy consuming equipment like anti-missile, shieldboost, maneuver-boost, cloak ...


  • enemy ships can be crippled/disabled and boarded.
  • when the shields are down and armor is damaged to below something like 30% the ships is "disabled"
    • alternate : this only happens with emp weapons (lightning-tesla-like weapon, emp-torpedo/missiles) ?
  • a "disabled" ship cannot move or fire
  • player ships can dock to the disabled ship
  • players can then overcome the crew of the ship (either decided via random or later with real indoor fighting)
  • if they succeed, they can take cargo,equipment, or even switch ships
  • if the ship is small enough it might be added to the hangar of the mothership


  • ship properties (speed,turn..) might be affected/based by/on components assembled via ship editor
  • ship-editor balancing :
    • hardcap : only one reactor per ship, but differnent types (with different mass/energy output)
    • energy management : reactor produces energy, other components consume energy (shield,engine,weapons...)
    • maybe heat management
    • more ship components means more mass -> less maneuverability
  • cool blueprint images could be automatically generated
  • damage to the outside could be accurately reflected on the inside


see also

  • we want to minimize grinding (repetitive, non-entertaining gameplay to aquire ressources,money or experience)
  • making things expansive cannot be used as primary balancing, that'll only lead to more grinding
    • taxing ships/shipsize and crew wages cannot be used for balancing/limiting fleet size
  • discouraging grinding might even lead to better balancing, as grinding will not be rewarded
  • a game not focused on grinding will be more suitable for occasional fun without longterm engagement (more casual?)
  • we consider a money-less trading systems
  • mission rewards : construction plans for equipment
    • cooperative progress when doing missions : the team acquires more and more equipment plans
    • motivation for doing specific missions is not to gain the most money, but an interesting equipment part
    • players can build as "many" equipment parts as they want, but can only use a limited number of them at once
      • so grinding does not lead to super-power
    • gathering resources for equipment should be quick, no mindless asteroid mining for hours, more like seconds
      • resource gathering could be made interesting and combined with exploration by requiring different materials
      • there should be more places to gather minerals than asteroids : gas giants, space-nebulae, planets : plants,liquid-lakes,mining
      • chemical reactions and modification like smelting would be interesting and make crafting interesting