SpaceWreck: postapoc space RPG inspired by Fallout

Kamaz

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Hello!

Steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1063540/Space_Wreck/
Trailer:

Release (EA): February 28, 2020

I'm developing a hardcore RPG SpaceWreck inspired by the Fallout games, especially Fallout, Fallout 2, New Vegas, Arcanum being not far away as well. This is a very indie production - for some two years I was making the game alone, then launched it as a browser game on itch.io (I call it pre-alpha version now) got feedback, worked on improvements until I realized the game looks now completely different and decided to relaunch it as premium downloadable stand alone app on Steam platform where all the real games live. In the process, friend of mine, an artist, convinced me to accept his help and switch to different artstyle. Which I did.

bulta-upper-deck.png

Comparison of original and new art-style

The game was complete (in a sense, it had all the story) year and a half ago however I've been working ever since the initial release on deepening every aspect of the story and game. The game is not long and I try not to make it any longer, I just add new options on how to complete it, elaborate existing approach, and, currently, switching RPG mechanics under the hood. The official motto of our development is
Inch wide, miles deep

I'd like this game to played like this: you come from work, days end, just grab the game and play through it in one sitting. And, while playing, you can see that there are many options you can choose from to role-play character the way you want. And, if you are curious, you can spend next afternoon (or more) digging deeper into story, lore or characters. In that sense, I tend to think of the story as an onion - there are layers and you can decide how deep you want to cut.

Anyways, I wanted to create a thread here, where people do appreciate good RPGs (you know, the ones about role-playing and not just fire-rate stats). I would like to post semi-regular small updates here if you don't mind.

P.S.
And I would love to answer questions about the game, of course.
 
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Kordanor

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Looks interesting. I guess the graphics style will be quite off-putting for lot of people though. Not sure I can get used to it.
It might just be the video (the screenshots are all small resolution) but the font seems to be a bit blurry which doesnt help (next to being light blueish on white).

Btw you can embed youtube in this forum by using the [ youtube ] [ / youtube ] tag (without spaces) and putting the youtube video name in between. Like this (just quote my post)

 
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Kamaz

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Thanks for you-tube embedd tip, dunno why it failed when I tried. Oh well.

Yeah, the graphics are somewhat divisive. Initially this started as a fun practice of JavaScript after my startup failed and I had to get a different job. And I drew all the art myself. Later my colleague just retouched the existing one.

Most likely I will keep it as it is but maybe in future I should look into buying some more generic yet acceptable assets.
 
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Kamaz

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As promised, I'll post small tidbits of updates.

This time it's the F.A.Q. man - A.I. assistant in the starting area, the passenger ship.

SW-F-A-Q-MAN.gif


The purpose of this character is to allow player to learn about world without breaking the 4th wall and immersion. I mean, you are playing a character that has lived in the world of SpaceWeck all her/his life and she/he should now a lot of basic stuff. But you have not and, while a lot of the world is the same and share similar concepts, there are notable differences.

I think that's why, for example, Fallout series puts you in the shoes of vault dweller - so your character has lived in relatively similar comfortable, safe, modern environment as the player; unlike most of the people in Wasteland. Would be hard to role-play someone who has lived for years in the radioactive wastes otherwise.

F.A.Q. man is a typical video interactive screen stand with voice recognition you can find in many malls. In this case it is programmed with most common questions people ask the staff.
 
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crpgnut

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I can't go back to graphics like that but I wish you luck.
 
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daveyd

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I think I can look past the graphics if the gameplay is as good as I think it will be. Most of the Fallout inspired RPGs to emerge in the past several years have focused almost entirely on turn-based tactical combat and the post-apocalyptic setting... While that's cool, it neglects the very thing that made Fallout 1 & 2 so great IMO. Aside from random radscorpions, you could approach virtually every quest and encounter in multiple ways, by utilizing many non-combat skills. In other words, roleplay.

The developer of SpaceWreck really seems to get that.
 
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Kamaz

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Appreciate the input! Worst kind of feedback is no feedback, so, if you've got comments, keep them coming.

Robot-Reassembly-Plant-3-DPrinter-Room.png


Working on a new map - slightly dilapidated industrial area on an abandoned space station.
 
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Kamaz

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Parks and rec in postapoc space
localhost-5000-Google-Chrome-09-11-2019-21-39-37.png


Survivors of the great clash between corporation and the asteroid miners were left to fend for themselves on drifting pieces of destroyed ships and stations. Air circulation systems can and go out of order, so plants provide much needed additional CO2 absorption and oxygen regeneration.
 
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crpgnut

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I just hope the guy doesn't get discouraged if the game doesn't sell much. This doesn't look like a money-making endeavor, but if it's just a labor of love or a learning experience, then maybe it will be satisfying all the same. For every Underrail there are thousands of forget-ables.

I could also be wrong.
 
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Kamaz

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Today a look into behind-the-scenes of game's development process.

Dialogues are at the core of great RPGs and Space Wreck is no exception - a lot of gameplay is in the conversations with various NPCs. There must be skill checks (speech, science etc.), state checks (what's the state of world? what have you done?), and enough to provide player with context and lore. To accomplish all of this, one needs robust yet powerful dialogue editor. I've been trying out different solutions over the years in my previous projects and this probably is my favourite:

https://streamable.com/vjis8
 
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Kamaz

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I really liked how original Fallout had a description for every tile, map object. That reminded me of tabletop games where GM could describe anything in greater detail if you wished to pay attention to. Sometimes that opened new opportunities, rewarding player for paying attention to the environment.

Unfortunately, nowadays this is a rare sight in RPGs. Arcanum, Pillars of Eternity, Divine Divinity - to my dismay, unfortunately none of those great RPGs have this feature.

In Space Wreck though, you can examine every object tile if you wish.

SW-inspect-tiles.gif
 
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Iggy_Gamechuck

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This looks really ambitious, and a really well-made RPG game. Loved the first two Fallout games; couldn't really get into F3/F4.

Wishlisted!
 
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Kamaz

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koridors.png


(A still from the intro)

Your character has arrived to a floating space wreck, decades after the violent riots.
 
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Kamaz

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Replaced rotating knobs with rubbery illuminated toggle button switches. The old knobs were kind of cool but hard to quickly get a read on its state.

Old:
Robot-Reassembly-Plant-3-DPrinter-Room-2.png


New:
SW-toggle-button-set.gif
 
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Kamaz

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There's a RPG mechanic I decided to introduce in the game - detect lie.

SW-detect-lie.gif


You can check every phrase a NPC says to you, like in table-top role-playing games with human game master. That allows you to get additional context for conversation or the character, his/her agenda.

Behind the scenes, there's dice rolling - you roll PERCEPTION against NPC's FOCUS. If you fail the skill check, you get "truth" reading no matter what.

Besides binary output of TRUTH/LIE in form of blinking lights, you also get description of how successful your roll was in range 1-5. Here are the lines:

1 - "You have absolutely no idea whether this is or is not %status%. 50/50"
2 - "You have no clue, but if you had to guess, you'd say that this is a %status%"
3 - "Probably this is %status%. At least you think so."
4 - "You are fairly confident that this is a %status%"
5 - "You are almost completely sure this is a %status%"
>5 - "No doubt that this is a %status%"

Together with personality read mentioned earlier, this makes PERCEPTION useful for diplomatic characters, so it's not just max out CHARM/speech.
 
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Kamaz

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Some time ago I decided to rework quite drastically the existing RPG system (might I note, a bit similar as original Fallout switched from GURPS to SPECIAL late in dev cycle). I migrated from quite weird and esoteric system (your skills are represented with custom dice that has as many points on the sides, as high is your skill level, max 25) to more classic 4d3 (either +1, -1 or 0 on sides) dice system with all attributes 1-5.

While the old system was …interesting; new one is just better statistically - there's nice bell curve distribution which comes in handy for e.g. ranged hit chance, visibility, lock-picking rolls etc. And the other reason for switch - 1-25 turned out to be too numerically wide of a gap, I mean, it was hard to grade th difficulty on scale of 1-25. Siwtching to 1-5 seems more organic and easier to understand - 3 is 'learned', 2 - 'amateur', 1 - 'noob' while 4 and 5 correspond to 'pro' and 'expert' respectively.

Main theme of this system is minimalism - IMO you don't need many attributes and stats and skills to have good role-playing options. Sometimes it even gets in the way - see dump stats and throwaway skills (e.g. gambling/outdoorsman vs small guns/lockpick in Fallout).

That is why we intentionally went for as small number of stats as possible. Ideally, they all should be equally represented in the gameplay and every single one - useful for something

Attributes

Those are fundamental character parameters - rest of the numbers are mostly derived from these base concepts, so they define your character.

Physical.png

Physical strength and agility, flexibility and speed; full control over one's physical potential. This attribute combines strength, endurance and dexterity - usually separate attributes in many RPG systems. Physical kind of is something the jocks, the athletes would possess in your typical U.S. high school movie.
Affects: HP, AP, carry weight, base DMG, melee
Note: physical is only way to raise HP. ATM, you don't get any other maxHP upgrades, even on levelups.

Focus.png

Your mental strength, discipline; ability to concentrate all the resources to the task at hand.
Affects: AP, evasion, sneak and scitec (science & technology).

Perception.png

Eyesight, hearing, attention, all the senses, intuition as well as general awareness and ability to quickly assess situation. Good perception allows you to read people and even detect lies.
Affects: evasion, ranged (weapons), lock-picking, dialog, fog of war

Charm.png

Likeness of one's persona. High charm make people other people more forthcoming to you; ready to listen and even accept your ideas. Essential if you are looking for diplomacy or seeking favors.
Affects: speech, sneak (yes, really)
Note: usually dump stat, I am trying to make it more prominent. First thing - there's difference between charm and speech; even though charm is directly dependent on charm, the base attribute has its own uses. One of the more controversial ones - the sneak. In this case, high charm means you are very confident and your walk, your stature raises no suspicion. You kind of blend in, hide in plain sight. I expect more functionality tied to this attribute in future.

Work.png

This is a bit odd one. There's saying - genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work - you sacrifice attributes and early stats to get advantage at getting higher skills later in game. Don't rely on attributes you are born with, invest work to improve your skills.
Affects: rate of which you gain XP and thus improve your skills (from 80% at 1, to 200% XP at 5).
Note: considering that you mostly gain XP from quests (and not from kills!), you will not get as much skill points as the one that has maxed out the WORK. However, must remember that skills are not everything - many stats (like HP, lie detection, range etc.) of the character are dependent only on basic attributes and maxed out skill wont help there.

P.S.
Quick disclaimer: all of the above might change in future as it has in the past. Still, this is what I'm working with now.
 
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Kamaz

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Last week I continued work on new game area, the rock ship "Kurbads". Here's an early visual concept of the wreck:

SW-rockship-Kurbads-concept.png


And there's a short clip of player traversing actual game map (work in progress):

SW-navigate-Kurbads.gif


These type of ships - called rockships - were primary means how ore, mined on asteroids, was delivered to the Earth. Usually asteroids with very high ore concentration (e.g. iron, Fe) are chosen for mining. Crews of miners with manual tools as well as huge rock mining machines dig material out and then it gets to the mobile refinery (though, must point out, iron is very pure on asteroids on account of there not being no oxygen) and then, in form of pure pellets, it is ready to be transported. That's when the rockship comes in - pellets are moved to the ship where they are frozen in place with a bit f water. So the pellets turn into a solid chunk of material that is fixed to the rockship. It then transports the "micro asteroid" to the orbit of Earth where it then thaws the contact surface and releases the …errr… "turd". With precise manipulations and following very specific calculations the chunk of material is propelled into downwards orbit that eventually brings the lump of material down to Earth, to the specified area - desert, usually - where it crashes just like an meteorite. And then it is extracted with conventional mining methods.

This specific ship - "Kurbads" - has suffered catastrophic damage while maintaining overall structure. The causes of this damage is yet to be uncovered but player can explore the damaged below-decks and learn more.
 
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Kamaz

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One of the character paths you can take in Space Wreck is a "techie" (essentially a nerd). Based on a SCITEC skill, it enables you to hack computers and learn both interesting (e.g. lore) and valuable (useful for quests) information. Or just [un]lock/control/fix/trigger things on the shipnet (inter ship network).

SW-computer-interface.gif


In the game, accessing computer also gives you basic crafting options - as in, with right tutorials (on the shipnet) you can do anything. That all probably makes this skill extremely powerful but remember - there are only six skills and it has to stand its own against traditionally useful combat skills, SPEECH and LOCKPICK.
 
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