Designing Features Part IV
Now Im getting into the nitty gritty of how all these themes and ideas actually turn into a game. My brain is hurting as a result. Luckily however Im a dev team of one, so I don’t need to fight my ideas through any board meetings 🙂
The first game play element is moving contraband (Im not too fussed what the contraband actually is at this stage).
Contraband is anything ‘illegal’, stolen goods or something restricted in a given Region. Our would be smuggler drags the contraband item into his cargo hold. Once in space the ‘cargo’ button on the interface begins to cycle with “damage”, much like an overheated module does.
The rate of cycle is dependant upon the Security Rating of the system our player is in, and the players sec rating. The higher the system security /the worse the players security rating the faster the rate. This indicates how long our smuggler has until he is discovered as a result of routine security sweeps. Once the cycle completes the ‘cargo’ button glows or flashes to indicate the contraband is no longer concealed.
Unconcealed contraband results in our player being flagged as a Fugitive and a Warrant is issued to the stations of the constellation he is currently in. Warrants will appear in the Bounty Office of these stations, but Ill come to that at a later date.
The game play elements of this are pretty self explanatory, with a player needing to judge how far he needs to travel to offload his contraband, how quickly he can do so and the security rating of the systems he chooses to pass through. (I dont want to overcomplicate things here but modules / skills could be introduced in this or later features to help slow this ‘overheating’).
Contraband – what is it? Well I mentioned earlier that Custom Offices in PI have restricted items lists – things you cant ship down to a planet. Again I want to avoid getting bogged down into PI so for now it will suffice to say that contraband are these items and can be delivered to a planet by means of a Black Market Hub. Contraband items would have some decent benefits to any PI infrastructure and other items such as Combat Boosters can also be traded in this way.
The Black Market Hub is a new PI structure in space. They dont appear on the overview like Custom Offices do but can be probed and found around any planet they have been set up on. Each Black Market Hub consists of just buy orders (set by the owner) – simply deliver the requisite goods by off loading them into the Hub, transfer them planet side and “???? profit”.
So now we have contraband goods, a destination to take them to and a chance of being exposed. Our smuggler now has a market of greedy “planeteers” to smuggle to. Next up we need to look at the consequences of discovery………