I previously mentioned that I'm working on several projects, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. While it means I'll have several products some time in the future, I also have a bad habit of starting a new project, binging on it for a few weeks, and then abandoning it for quite some time as I come up with some new idea to work on and obsess over. I've been trying to force myself to pick one project and stick with it, and this is the result. It's the first time I've pushed a project into a state where I'd like to share it with people, thought it's still at a point where I'd hesitate to call it an alpha build. See below the break to check it out.
This untitled space game puts you in the cockpit of a star fighter, but unlike most spaceship games, you'll have to deal with full Newtonian physics. This means that both velocity and angular momentum are preserved regardless of the craft's orientation. The consequence of this is that you can have the craft moving in one direction, but facing in another to fire its guns. For those familiar with KSP, intercepting a target becomes a quite familiar and fun game mechanic, minus the orbital mechanics. It requires angling your thrust vector so that you line up the velocity and target heading indicators (those reticules floating around outside the cockpit), and watching your speed and distance as you approach. It's not shown off in the demo video, but you can also adjust your HUD to display a relative velocity and distance to target.
I hesitate to call this an alpha build because it lacks some of the core game mechanics I'd like to implement, which I'd like to mention here to see what people think. Obviously, I intend to have a more traditional star fighter combat system with guns, which is already partially implemented. But I also want to have a stealth mechanic which will make the combat much more like submarine warfare. With this mechanic, you wouldn't be able to see the enemy unless you can pick them up with either passive or active sensors. Passives sensors would be dependent on the distance to the enemy, how much they are thrusting, and how little you are thrusting. Using information from passive sensors, you can stealthily launch a torpedo in the direction of the enemy, and set it to start actively searching after a set distance. Active sensors would be a directional radar gun, which, if it hits the enemy, would immediately give you a torpedo lock, but would also give the enemy a sensor reading. For those who understand how radar physically works, you know that the range of radar is dependent on its power, which decreases as it travels out and back. But the enemy can also pick up the signal, and it will be twice as strong since it doesn't have to travel back. So while radar can give you a lock, the tradeoff is that if the enemy is far enough away, you risk giving away your position without getting a lock at all.
I'd also like to implement potential game modes. Right now, the priority is to get an online multiplayer arena working. It currently works over a LAN, so hopefully getting it to work over the internet is just another small step (famous last words). But I'd also like to implement a cooperative mode against AI, as well as a racing mode where the objective is to reach a number asteroids in a particular sequence. This was the original prototype I built, and even without a combat system at this point, I found it quite fun with the Newtonian physics. I may also implement a game mode where players must protect their capital ship from enemies, and straying too close to an enemy capital ship will cause it to open up with AA fire. Those are the ideas I have so far. If you like any in particular and think I should focus on it, or have other ideas you'd like to suggest, please let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear from you and get some feedback on the prototype.