Feb 24, 2011

Future plans

Time to talk a bit about the planned features of 10 min space strategy. There are really a lot of ideas but two will surely make it to the next demo:

- Space stations reloaded. Currently space stations are not that interesting. Surely useful sometimes to reach more planets but otherwise there is no real advantage using them. We plan to give a "controlled territory", an "aura" to each space station that improves various aspects of your empire. For example a military space station might give +30% effectivity to each fleet near to it, while a logistics space station can give +1 movement to nearby spaceships.

- Race creation. The current system is somewhat plain and does not give a real character to your race. We revised this system to be more fun by adding more toughtful advantages, some "creeds" that are mutually exclusive and also we removed disadvantages altogether.

Feb 22, 2011

10 minute space strategy Alpha2 demo

We are proud to present a working demo of 10 min space strategy that gives you a taste of what the final game will be. I hope you will enjoy the demo, and if you like it, press a like on Facebook :)


Since there is no in-game tutorial yet, I will give you a few hints on how to play the game (though we tried to design it to be really straightforward and there is a tooltip for almost everything).

In your planets you can build facilities, that create stuff, like fighters, research, etc. Fighters and bombers are created automatically in each turn, but you have to click on a button to build colonizer ships.

One thing that is maybe not really easy to gasp is that more population means more production. Population basically multiplies a building's production. So a planet with 4 population and 1 factory will create the same amount of fighters than a planet with 2 population and 2 factories (4x1=2x2). Because of this you have to carefully balance between spreading and keeping a healthy planet population.

Propulsion tech helps you to see and move farther from your colonies, and Empire tech allows you to have more colonies and fighters. Warfare tech helps you to have an edge in space combat, Industry speeds up building spaceships and Environment allows a quicker population growth on alien planets and higher population maximum on all planets.

You can control anomalies by simply stationing fighters on them.

We are interested in your opinion, especially:

- Did you encounter any bugs, especially crash bugs?
- How easy the game is, how easy it was to understand the rules?
- Was it fun? :)

Thank you for your feedback,
The Goblin Lunatics

Feb 19, 2011

What did we throw away

When HomeGnome and me (Archenemy) began working on 10 min space strategy our basic idea was that we should keep it as simple as possible. Bonuses must be clear and understandable. What happens must be easy to understand even to the first time player. At the same time keeping the stample 4x space strategy elements: exploring, building up fleets, space combat, research trees and technologies, colonising, building facilities on planets.

Now I have to admit our game isn't as straightforward and intuitive as our inspiration, Desktop Dungeons is. There you controlled a lone character while here, as the game progresses, you have an increasing number of planets, fleets, and menaces you have to manage. But still I think our game is far easier to understand and the pace is much faster than in a traditional 4x game.

There were some corners we cut, some things we threw away. For example, you can colonise any type of planets from the beginning. That is not the usual case in most 4x games.

Groups of monsters are placed around larger planets to encourage early agressive play and allow a more fascinating and challanging early game play before meeting other empires.

We completely cut out diplomacy. It was a painful decision but made the game flow more smoothly. Now it is a FFA basically - everyone is your mortal enemy.

We settled with only 3 types of spaceships: fighters (your main force), bombers and coloniser ships. No dreadnoughts and Death Stars... yet :)

Feb 18, 2011

Game Features

Uh oh, so what can you do as the ultimate emperor of your race in 10 min space strategy? Well...

The game features a race editor. Want to have a race that excels in scientific fields, starts with more fleet than the others, and has a freely colonizable planet near its starting place? Do it! Or maybe you want a warmonger race, that excels at space combat, fights fiercely when cornered, and gains bonuses by defeating enemy fleets? You can do it here! All while keeping it simple and intuitive.

There is a random-generated map that is full of interesting things. Planets, for example, that you can colonise. You should choose planets that are similar to your homeworld, because population builds up very slowly elsewhere. Planets also have different secret traits, that you can find out by colonising them; one might be a bit larger than you expect, the other has rare materials that speed up the building speed.

Better planets are guarded by space monsters you have to defeat before colonising the planet.

You can build buildings on the planets. Okay, it is not that revolutionary, I admit it :) but neccessary to build up more fleet, to expand, to have more research laboratories and access to more advanced spaceships.

Also, there are anomalies like alien wrecks or asteroid fields rich in minerals. Anomalies give huge bonuses when you station your fighters there, giving your armada something to do even when no enemy is near. Careful though; when on an anomaly, your fighters are more vulnerable, so don't get caught :)

There are five technology branches you can research and a couple of unique technologies assigned randomly at the beginning of each game.

There is also a really cool spaceship combat visualisation :)

Feb 17, 2011

10 minute space strategy... What the heck?

10 minutes. Space strategy. Hmm... These two do not make sense together because everyone knows that turn-based space strategy sessions - especially those of the 4x genre - take hours (Master of Orion series) or even days (Space Empires* series) to finish! Right? Yeah, that was exactly what I was thinking too. So let's talk a bit about what made us think that such a game is possible and why did we choose to do it.

First - the idea. I really like the recent activity in the so called "indie", "amateur" game development. There are many websites about it, tales of success, refreshingly new ideas, all the freedom and charm of gamemaking without AAA expectations and suits waving the release date. While browsing indie games I found a real treasure... it was QCF design's Desktop Dungeons.

Now let's talk a bit about Desktop Dungeons. If you hear the expression "computer rpg", what pops into your mind first? A huge world, quests, spells, dozens of monsters, an epic story, an intimidating 40h+ gameplay. World of Warcraft, Morrowind, Witcher. Statistics: how much endurance should I have, shoud I specialize to fireballs, is dualwield better than a two-handed sword. Cutting this short, when someone hears the term CRPG, he thinks something BIG and DIFFICULT. So big and difficult that it is almost overwhelming. You can't really play Witcher or Gothic when you only have 20 minutes. Games like these require a whole evening and total dedication.

Desktop Dungeons is SMALL. It has 2d graphics, minimal sounds. A one screen world. Works with a really easy to understand ruleset. You can hit monsters. You have HP and mana. You can find spells, gold and potions. Your sole purpose is to kill the boss of the lair. It is so barebone that it is sometimes referred to as a puzzle/rpg instead of a crpg. And the most interesting thing is that it WORKS. It still feels like a hack'n'slash rpg. You have a race. A class. Equipment. Spells. Advantages and disadvantages. All - while keeping it really, really simple.

And this was the last bit of inspiration I needed. If they made a game this simple, while keeping all the iconic CRPG elements, that must surely work with other genres. And my other favourite genre is, yeah you guessed it, strategy, especially turn-based strategy. Thats how the story of our game began.

*: i remember a Space Empires game that lasted for almost half a year, and it was played in email. Heh, good old times.

Feb 16, 2011

Goblin Lunatics

Welcome to our blog! We are the Goblin Lunatics, a small but dedicated game developer team from Hungary. We are making games mostly because making games is, well, our hobby, art and chosen lifestyle.

We are currently developing our first game, a turn-based space strategy that is focused on quick play sessions, abstract mechanisms and high replayability. We will tell you more but let us introduce ourselves first :)

We currently have 3 members; our programmer and C guru HomeGnome, our incredible music composer and community manager Vincenzo, and some sucky artist/designer, yeah, thats me, Archenemy :) We sometimes also involve specialists of different fields (Hey Nauris!). I don't want to burden you with a lot of unnecessary details about us, our hobbies, favourite games, lifestyle, age and all these boring stuff; so why not go straight to the point and read a bit about our game?