November 27, 2013

Creative process and GUI design #2

Hello again!

Tarita here, the artist who has been tasked with the challenge of creating a passable looking UI for Interplanetary.

So, last time we were left with a combination of UI styles, right? I promised I would show you where the UI is currently heading, so here's a mockup:

Please keep in mind that the look of individual elements is far from being set in stone, and that the image above is just a mockup and does not accurately represent what the in-game UI currently looks like. We have just begun alpha testing, and in the light of the new feedback we may have to adjust some things.
The mockup should, however, give you an idea of what kind of style I'm aiming for.

Overall, the style is pretty simplified, and I like having some empty space between stuff. Even when adding detail, I'm trying to keep things simple and stay consistent with the limited amount of colours and light effects. I prefer not to add any extra fluff that doesn't have a distinct function or a reason to be there.

The elements in the mockup are somewhat large. This is partially because they have to work with a variety of different screen sizes, and still stay readable. I think that the increased size complements the simplified style nicely, but some people have told me that it makes the UI look "cute", which may or may not be problematic.

Earlier I told myself that the boxes would be neither blue nor gray, but in the end I had to go with gray.
Why? Because I found that only gray was neutral enough for the rest of the game.
I wish to leave the main stage for the planets and the space background, so the UI can't be too colourful or pop out too much. I don't want the player to miss the subtle details of the starfields on the background just because I insisted on having screaming, bright- yellow boxes on top of everything. This is, incidentally, also one of the reasons why I favour transparency and lack of boxes whenever I can.

Sometimes things pop out too much.

The other reason for the gray main colour is that I'd like to introduce some colour-coded information to the UI, such as icons and text, which are more visible on a muted background. Having a few splashes of colour is a breath of fresh air that also makes the dark graphics of Interplanetary feel slightly less grim and murky.

That's all for today, thank you for reading! In the future I may write more about the individual elements and the design choices and concerns behind them.

You can follow the progress on Interplanetary on Facebook, twitter or the game website.

November 22, 2013

Interplanetary Alpha Update: Online Play!

Hello testers and non-testers alike! Interplanetary has rolled out with a new, updated version of the alpha!

Former testers can use their old alpha code to download the improved version. New testers can also give it a try by shooting us a private message on Facebook, Twitter or IndieDB.

Just drop by at and test away!

Remember, the alpha test is for the Windows version, but you can contact us, if you would like to try out a more experimental Mac build.

The Changes

Quite a few things have been changed and many of your own suggestions incorporated. The big thing, of course, being Online Play! It's now possible to face your friends all over the world!

Here's a list of major updates and fixes:


  • Online multiplayer enabled
  • Missile targeting changed to be more intuitive
  • WASD rotates camera in Build Mode
  • Weapon trajectories highlight when mouseovering the weapon list
  • Planet orbits highlight with mouseover
  • Camera moves and stops more smoothly
  • Power Grid animation added
  • Slight delay added to Power Grid connections
  • Various balance changes
  • UI improvements
  • Minor graphical updates

  • Missiles now hit where they're supposed to
  • Fixed a lock-up when ending turn after incomplete targeting
  • The infamous "flying buildings"-bug is now less likely to happen
  • Smoke effects displayed in correct spots
  • Repairing buildings now updates properly for all players over LAN/online multiplayer
Our most hardcore testers can take a look at a super detailed changelist here!

November 14, 2013

Interplanetary Alpha

Hello, everyone! As you may have noticed, we've had some big things happening recently. We released a new alpha gameplay trailer, have been handing out alpha test codes to willing participants and even got featured on Rock, Paper, Shotgun! Feels good, man.

Today, we'll be going into more detail about the alpha (which you can get here, once you've pinged us about a code.)

Interplanetary Alpha Features

So, what is actually included in the Windows alpha version? Well, the very basic gameplay is there, but being an alpha version, even that's not shaped to perfection yet. It is possible to finish a match and even have a bit of fun doing it! The proper feature list is:

  • Hotseat and LAN multiplayer
    • Hotseat is currently restricted to two players, while LAN allows for more. Because the feature is not finished however, the game ends if the host loses.
  • Structure building
    • You can purchase and set some basic structures on your planet, forming Power Grids. It is also possible to repair, sell and reconnect buildings to the Power Grid.
  • Power Grid
    • You can connect structures together, so that they're linked to a Power Plant that keeps them online.
  • Cities
    • The function of Cities is greatly simplified in this version: they act as your planet's health, their population grows, they generate Material and Energy and act as connection points for your Power Grids.
  • Resource Management
    • It is possible to gather Material and Energy, using Mines and Power Plants.
  • Defenses
    • Forcefield and Kinetic Defense can be built to defend your planet, for the cost of Energy.
  • Firing weapons
    • Basic versions of railgun, missile and laser are usable. In the current build, the missile doesn't always hit where it's supposed to.
These are the features you can test. We really welcome all kinds of comments, whether you think something would work better differently or that some features are unbalanced. It's very easy to change the basic values, such as weapon damage and planet speeds, but bigger changes take more time.

A big thing we want to get comments on is the targeting and firing of weapons. Is it fun? Does it work? All the values of the planetary system, from gravities to planet sizes, are easily fixable, so don't hesitate to give your thoughts! 

What's to come?

We are planning on updating the alpha version periodically, so people can also test newer features. This will go on until we reach what we determine to be the beta-stage.

Some features to be expected sooner or later:
  • Single player against AI
  • Intelligence mode
    • Adds some fog of war-like features
  • Technology progression
    • A tech tree allows players to choose their strategy better and unlock new buildings and bonuses
  • Expanded City functionality
    • The players will be able to allocate the population to work on Projects that give certain bonuses
  • More features!
Happy testing everyone! Send us comments and we'll take your experiences into account when planning the next build!

November 11, 2013

Interplanetary Alpha Testing and Gameplay Trailer!

Suddenly, a real gameplay trailer! Excitement!

We've been very hard at work these last couple of weeks, but it's been fruitful. We're proud to properly announce the alpha testing of Interplanetary! How to get in on this action? A couple of steps:
  1. Contact us! You can do it in a lot of places, Facebook, Twitter, IndieDB, our DevBlog...
  2. After receiving your nice message, we send you a code.
  3. Go to our brand new website WWW.INTERPLANETARYGAME.COM, enter the code and receive your alpha!
That's it! We will be updating the alpha every couple of weeks. We'll give you a heads-up on Twitter and Facebook every time that happens, so stay in touch!

Have fun testing and remember to send us comments. The most useful feedback wins a little prize!