StarLife concepts part 5

Civilizations need to evolve and technology is one of the main pillars such evolution. In StarLife a civilization has access to research any kind of technology available in the game in the first turn. All technologies are grouped in a ring system, with simple and easier to research technologies closest to the ring center and the most complexes one far from it.

Every technology has one or more levels (I, II, III and so on…) that can be researched. After one level is achieved, a new level is open to research. That way all information about a particular technology is concentrated in a single place (instead of a technology tree where the same tech shows up in different places with names like laser I, laser II…).

To achieve a level in a technology, there is a number of technology points that need to be reached for a research to be 100% complete and that reflects in time to research (how many turn till the research is done). There are more than one way to achieve the 100% and some tech may require more than one of them to be considered 100% researched.

Player’s can influence research by allocating science points from them main civilization pool (these points came from the science infrastructures built in planets) and that corresponds to the public sector investments in technology. Private sectors also can do research, but players cannot control what is being researched. Services can be used in planets as an incentive for private sectors to focus their research on a specific tehcnology, helping to get closer to 100% done in less time.

Also research points can come from tech trade with other civilizations. Instead of just getting the full technology ready to use, tech trade only give civilizations research progress in a specific technology (the one being traded) and usually there is the need to build a prototype before the 100% is achieved. Another way is to use spies to steal technology (getting also research progress in the tech that was stolen).

All these combined gives the player progress tower a technology level achievement. Since all technologies are available from the beginning, players can research more than one tech at the same time or try to go for a more expensive and longer technology right at first game turn. Some technologies may need that some earlier techs, or tech levels are reached before they can be researched and in other cases having a early technology can advance the research progress of later, more advanced, technologies.

Next post let’s see how trade works.

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Testing New User Interface 2

Here is the new start game screen, hope you like the new style!
Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 15.45.58

StarLife concepts part 4

There are lots of conflict possibilities in StarLife that are not military in nature. Civilizations have to deal with many different things during its history and evolution and every decision can have quite a big impact immediately or in the future.

The following examples show a little bit of how non military conflicts work in StarLife:

a. During an exploration of a new area in colonized planet, a biological life form was found. It infected some of the explorers and now is spreading very fast in the colony. Infected citizens get sick and die a few days later.

The civilization can deal with such conflict by studying and treating the disease using a service allocated in the planet, or close all the movement of population in the planet (nobody is able to go in or out of the colony). Ask for help from other civilizations or even let the population to its own fate.

b. Running a democratic government is not easy and as the civilization’s leader (player), clashes with other politicians, parties and groups are inevitable. Concessions can be made, agreements for future elections, bribe or even using personal intelligence agencies and spies to counter the influence of competitor parties. Dealing with such non military conflicts can be demanding and also crucial for a civilization to survive and prosper.

c. Two civilizations are arguing about a border in space where a planet with lot’s of resources is located. Both civilizations have population on that planet. Situation is becoming unstable and diplomatic negotiations need to take place. Concessions need to be made and an agreement stablished. The planet can change ownership or a special trade agreement can be made to allow access to the civilization who does not control the planet use the resources available there. If nothing changes the non military conflict situation may escalate to a military engagement and lot’s of lives being lost in the process.

d. A civilization seems to be increasing it’s military force in a short period of time. Sending spies to check out what is happening and get some more information can be very useful if a war happens at some point in the future. Spies can have issues during their missions and such conflicts need to be addressed using money or diplomacy if one agent is caught in action.

These are a few examples of non military conflicts that a player may have to deal during a game of StarLife. Every conflict demands a decision or a series of decisions split in several game turns. Meaningful decisions are one of the basis for StarLife to keep the game fresh and interesting at every game turn.

More concepts in the next post!

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Testing New User Interface

We are testing a new user interface, for the demo we want a easy to use interface, probably simple with text instead of icons.
Once we have the resources and time we will be able to add icons and well placed graphics to improve the atmosphere.

On Create a StarMap you will be able to choose the size of the map, where to put stars, what kind of star, how many planets and a few other things.
This isn’t the creation of a scenario yet, but we intend on keep improving it later. For now it helps to test our games on a controlled environment.

You will be able to choose the saved map on Start a New Game, random map is an option as well.
Saving and loading games haven’t been developed yet.


Interview about StarLife

We did a little interview about StarLife on a great new site about 4X games called Explorminate, be sure to check it out! http://www.explorminate.com/#!starlife-preview/c13ne