May 17, 2013

Designing Tech & Research

When can I finally have a clone to call my own?

Hello, hello! I'm Sasu, a game designer on the most wonderful game, Interplanetary. Lately, I've been working on the technology tree and the progression of upgrades, which will be our subject this week.

One of the main themes of Interplanetary is the development of technology. Players start up with technologies that seem quite plausible to actually exist in a couple of years, but the further the game proceeds, the more incredible they become. Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, but we still try to make it feel at least somewhat believable. No huge science fiction star fleets, just humble interplanetary space guns. 

In Interplanetary, players gain science points that are used to research new technologies. The generated points are counted towards technological progress at the beginning of each turn. Each technology needs a certain amount of science points. When the goal is reached, the technology is usable and new development options are opened. 

Original diagram, do not steal.

Projects are construction or development operations that take place in cities and span over several turns. Researching technologies not only grants various bonuses, but also opens up the possibility to develop certain projects. For example, the technology of “Quantum Paired Sensors and Communications” allows the player to detect incoming projectiles earlier and to build facilities for “Communications Shielding” and “Faster-Than-Light Communications”. 

All the technologies and projects have certain pre-requisites. You need to research “Particle Physics” before being able to research “High Power Particle Beams”, which in turn allows you to develop “Orbital Laser Defense”-project. Sometimes, a project must be completed to unlock new technologies. No “Orbital Manufacturing” without the help of a “Space Elevator”. 

Research enough technologies and you just might reach something amazing. We might add some wildcard mechanics to the tech tree so some of the more incredible tech may be hidden and only discovered accidentally. That is, after all, how science tends to proceed. Eureka!

Alrighty, that's enough nuggets for now. I can almost promise you that the details will change in some ways, so no frowny faces if they do, okay?

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