The Game formerly known as ‘Red Mars’

With the continuation of my game development this summer break, drastic changes have come about based on what I want the game to encompass and the story I want to tell. Previously, the game would have panned out as a search-and-rescue/detective mission to Mars to determine the fate of the first manned mission following loss of contact, which is a good idea and one I may revisit, but during development I kept changing my mind. The first change came with the ‘Level 0 – Tutorial’ section where the keys and commands are laid out more interactively than just reading it beforehand or in an FAQ. I had the location for it in a training facility on Earth, then a training facility aboard a ship, and that’s when the game changed.

Why such an expansive ship, and why was a training (re-acclimation for the in-game character) tutorial needed within the story, past telling the player how to do what? Well, it’s a long journey, I thought initially, but you would need years of travel time and some form of suspended animation to make it necessary. So, I added those to the plot, which basically negated the entire plan for the game as I had partially laid it out. I threw out the old maps, started drawing new ones (nothing past the first ship so far…), and decided what I wanted the game to be. Right now, I’m still working on getting all of the in-game mechanics down, as well as the system of menus, as you can see below:

This video is also slightly dated, since I’ve changed the Level 3 Stairwell map in order to center the Bridge on the actual spacecraft, as well as included a root menu feature that I’ll be expanding this weekend. Once that is done, I’ll be moving onto NPC and item interaction (past just picking things up, but actually using items), both of which are related closely to picking up items mechanics-wise. That means that they should be relatively basic to program, especially just simply talking to NPCs. Once I have that set, along with a complete menu and save feature, I’ll include some actual enemies that you’ll need to face in the Cargo Hold, plus a few basic cutscenes that tell part of this opening chapter’s story. Past that, I’ll be back to spending a lot of time drawing sprites and maps for the rest of the game (and possibly changing up some of these sprites, but for now they look fine).

Working title: Red Planet


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