Moritz Kohr, Phillip Hohenester, Erik Franz
Build and Video
What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
I really like that you are doing your own game engine because it will make the game stand out!
What is your least favorite aspect? Why?
I don't really get the way that base building fits into this game.
Wouldn't it be sufficient to collect resources e.g. for a shield for the ship in order to enter the black hole?
Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
Maybe you should reconsider using DirectX12 as your graphics API.
DirectX12 is very low level programming targeted for professionals who have mastered DirectX11 before.
Also I don't think that your game will be so demanding, that you need the extra DirectX12 control over the GPU access and memory management.
On top of that I think that there are way more tutorials and references for the DirectX11 API which is a very important factor as well when you just started your programming!
Having an own engine with simulated orbits and a simple but unique visual style fits really well for this type of game.
I’m not sure if the base building aspect really fits into this game. Instead, focusing on a more though-out trajectory simulation and navigation seems more promising for a better gameplay.
Instead of making the orbits somehow close to reality, a different approach would be to make them more interesting from a gameplay perspective. For instance, you could add gravity anomalies, wormholes or even a simple collision approach where colliding objects change their trajectories in a very basic way.
Writing your own physics engine allows you to focus on what you really need and keeps unnecessary physics calculation out of your project. This may result in a higher stability and better user experience.
Focusing on implementing your own engine usually leads to less features in the final project. Make sure your gameplay doesn't suffer because of it.
If you are not as experienced working with DirectX12 you should think about using DirectX 11 instead. There are way more resources on Dx11 than on Dx12 and the API itself is easier to work with.
What is your favourite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
The setting in general and shrinking playground area fit really well together.
What is your least favourite aspect? Why?
Oversimplified orbit mechanics and object interactions might make the gameplay trivial and boring.
What single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
Maybe traversing the growing "unplayable" area might be also a crucial part of the gameplay. You could add some twisted physics there, making it hard to navigate. WIth proper incentives to go there it might make the gameplay more exciting.
The idea of flying around a black hole with an upgradable space ship is interesting.
I'm not sure how you want to visualize a black hole since we don't know how one looks like and there are just artistic guesses about the event horizon.
Consider if you want to have a fast arcadic game or a slower more realistic one. It might be hard to find the right balance in difficulty.
I have seen 2D space building games before but they all don't use orbital mechanics. I am interested in finding out how you will implement this in your game!
I am not sure how you plan on implementing the orbital mechanics without scrubbing through time. The fact that orbits become very slow at higher altitudes is mostly the most interesting part about the orbital mechanics themselves. Also finding the right timing to circularise an orbit etc is completely lost if you do not make the orbits realistic enough.
I would suggest a mechanic that disables orbital mechanics once you are close enough to objects that you want to "dock" to. That way you cold synthetically slow down the delta movement between the objects to make it playable. If for examples two orbits would be way too fast the "switch" would cause the objects to collide.
The game seems to be rooted on scientific principles (like orbits), which seems like a really interesting mechanic to me.
While the technical porposal is very impressive, the actual gameplay seems to be slighlty shallow. Is it enough content for a 45 minute game like to carefully fly into asteroids and chose some upgrades?
Think about adding fortification/tower defense like mechanic to your base. This could create an interesting tradeoff for chosing between immediate safety (turrets) vs. the eventual goal (resarch/propulsion).
I like the aspect that you build your own game engine for this 2D space survival game. This will definitely allow for some very custom looking visuals.
Having only one gameplay speed might make it very difficult to balance the speed right. It could easily be too fast for timing the launch right from one asteroid to another or might be to slow, making the gameplay very tedious.
Maybe instead of implementing your own physics engine, you could integrate an already existing physics SDK. This would enable you to focus more time on making the orbits of the asteroids feel more realistic through simulation and could definitely enhance the gameplay.
I really like the underlying physical behaviour you are basing your game on.
I can image that it'd be quite hard to carefully collide with another astroid in a controlled way to collect resources. Are the trajectories of all other objects shown as well?
Carefully considering which features to use for the astroid base since balancing the difficulty of the gameplay might fall short when using your own engine.
The idea of orbiting around different space constellations in a time pressured environment is an interesting and exciting idea.
It has to be considered how much time it takes to build a station and getting ressources from/for it. It has to be satisfying enough to harvest your own resources but also being in the constant time pressure that you have to reach your goal.
Consider how long you want your game to be and if should be continuous or discrete. The base-building aspect cannot become too complex if you do not have much time before the map shrinks.
Having a custom engine always comes with a very distinct, unique look. That's awesome, it takes a lot of time and effort to make a Unity game not look like Unity for example.
You really have to be careful when it comes to DirectX12, especially if you are not used to work with it. It's quite low level and might make your life extremely difficult.
Keep the shading as simple as possible. You already have enough work without thinking about physically based rendering etc. There are lots of awesome games with simple graphics, a reduced feature set also shrinks the amount of time you have to invest into the rendering backend
I like games with physical simulations as fundaments of the gameplay, because they are somewhat predictable (but also unpredictable with growing complexity) and satisfying.
The fact that you try to limit your gameplay in favor of creating your own engine.
Try to outsource some basic math stuff for your simulations by using libraries. The orbit mechanics can be really complex if you try to do them yourself.
I like the idea of sessions being self contained and fairly short, while the game still seems to have enough complexity to "git gud" over multiple playthroughs. I also like that the gathering resources mechanic seems to be the main fun part of the game, as opposed to other games (cough mass effect 2 cough)
the base building might become monotonous if there are not enough different approaches, becoming more of a chore compared to gathering the resources
i would reconsider using dx12, as it seems even big studios struggle with decent implementations