Space Sim First Look: Pulsar for XNA (May 6, 2009)

KrisV

Administrator
Microsoft's XNA is a set of tools that enables hobbyists and independent developers to rapidly create videogames for Windows and the XBox 360. The XNA software suite makes it easier to render graphics or connect to the Live network. Laurence is putting together a Wing Commander-style shooter for the platform. The Pulsar development blog already covers a number of topics, from creating nebulas to multiplayer support.

I had attempted to take some time off from game programming after I released BlockBUSTER but after a few weeks I just couldn’t stay away. I decided to revisit some of my STARQuest visions but cut way back to something more realistic. I’d always loved the legacy space combat shooters such as Wing Commander, Tachyon, Privateer and FreeSpace. I decided I wanted to do a space shooter but somehow based in my STARQuest universe. I also wanted to reinvent the genre which hasn’t really done anything since the late 90’s. I really liked the team based style of Tachyon’s multi-player Base Wars. I therefore modeled my next title after Base Wars, but instead of just 2 teams, I’ll support several teams combating each other. I’ll also support a richer strategy element, providing more options on how to allocate resources. I believe this will provide a unique and exciting blend of action combat and strategy set in a cool futuristic space setting, and best of all, it’ll run on an Xbox 360!






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Original update published on May 6, 2009
 
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quadgnim

Spaceman
PULSAR Development Feedback?

First I want to thank WCNEWS for their post on Pulsar. It’s exciting for me as a developer to see the word getting around. I chose a WC/Space Shooter because the WC series are my all time favorite games and genre. It disappoints me that the genre hasn’t continued to grow. I had a lot of hope for games like Jump Gate, Eve Online and other similar titles but none ever really met my vision. I have this grand idea of a great MMOPG for Space Combat (STARQuest) but I finally realized it’s too large an undertaking for one individual, and there is still plenty of opportunity for more multi-player (not massive multi-player) and single player games in the space combat genre.

I really want to make PULSAR for the community and find the right blend of game dynamics to bring renewed hope to the genre. I’m hoping if enough people can speak up and let me (and other developers) know what you’d like in a new title, it can help me to bring my game to life and meet the wishes of the community. I have several ideas, but the one I’ve been leaning most towards is a multi-team based strategy/FPS hybrid. In this game 2-4 teams will compete. The goal will be to destroy all enemy bases, and the last team left wins. However, to destroy a base will require each team level up to a designated science level. It will require good team strategy and tactics to be victorious and should provide hours of game play in a single campaign.

Feel free to comment here or visit my pulsar forums at http://forums.3dmuve.com. Read my announcement at: http://www.3dmuve.com/Projects/pulsar/pulsar.htm and visit the games site at http://www.3dmuve.com.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from everyone what they think of the game and what they’d like to see in it.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
What you're describing here sounds alot like Allegiance.

I'm slightly curious - did you mean to say MMOPG or was that a typo? Because what you're describing here sounds - to me, and I may be way off base here - more like just an MMO game without the RPG elements that go along with it.
 

quadgnim

Spaceman
What you're describing here sounds alot like Allegiance.

I'm slightly curious - did you mean to say MMOPG or was that a typo? Because what you're describing here sounds - to me, and I may be way off base here - more like just an MMO game without the RPG elements that go along with it.
MMOPG is what I meant, but don't confuse that with MMORPG. MMO is Massively Multi-Player Online, whereas MMOPG is Massively Multi-Player Online Persistent Game. Persistent means that it saves the state of the character while the world continues to evolve even when the player isn’t logged in, then when the player logs back in their character resumes from where it left off. An MMOPG could apply to role playing, strategy, shooter, just about any game genre. MMORPG is Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Game. This is also a persistent game but is more specific to the genre of a role-playing game which is all about player leveling, quests, and small groups of players cooperating together to complete the quests.

My original vision of STARQuest was not a role playing game per say, but was an MMOPG. The main difference from a traditional RPG was that it actually incorporated many genres including RTS, RPG, FPS and others. Also, it was less about leveling as a player and more about the players working together to level the team. Therefore, it was also less about small bands of 10-20 players on quests that don’t really have a MASSIVE impact in the game world, vs my idea of hundreds or thousands of players on teams working together for the same goal. I believe my vision if ever developed would be the first truly MASSIVELY MULTI-PLAYER game.

All that aside, Pulsar, is not a Massively Multi-Player game, and there is no persistence. Each game has a start and an end and has up to 4 teams and a max of 30 players (due to XNA limitations).

Hope that clarifies things.
 

quadgnim

Spaceman
Space Sim First Look: Pulsar for XNA

What you're describing here sounds alot like Allegiance.

I'm slightly curious - did you mean to say MMOPG or was that a typo? Because what you're describing here sounds - to me, and I may be way off base here - more like just an MMO game without the RPG elements that go along with it.
MMOPG is what I meant, but don't confuse that with MMORPG. MMO is Massively Multi-Player Online, whereas MMOPG is Massively Multi-Player Online Persistent Game. Persistent means that it saves the state of the character while the world continues to evolve even when the player isn’t logged in, then when the player logs back in their character resumes from where it left off. An MMOPG could apply to role playing, strategy, shooter, just about any game genre. MMORPG is Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Game. This is also a persistent game but is more specific to the genre of a role-playing game which is all about player leveling, quests, and small groups of players cooperating together to complete the quests.

My original vision of STARQuest was not a role playing game per say, but was an MMOPG. The main difference from a traditional RPG was that it actually incorporated many genres including RTS, RPG, FPS and others. Also, it was less about leveling as a player and more about the players working together to level the team. Therefore, it was also less about small bands of 10-20 players on quests that don’t really have a MASSIVE impact in the game world, vs my idea of hundreds or thousands of players on teams working together for the same goal. I believe my vision if ever developed would be the first truly MASSIVELY MULTI-PLAYER game.

All that aside, Pulsar, is not a Massively Multi-Player game, and there is no persistence. Each game has a start and an end and has up to 4 teams and a max of 30 players (due to XNA limitations).

Hope that clarifies things.
 

quadgnim

Spaceman
lookin' good so far! let me know when you get it to playtest. I'm an XNA member too.
NinjaLA, is that link to art, in your signature, your work? I'm looking for someone to help with some cockpit HUD's for Pulsar, and was wondering if you'd have time/interest to contibute? If so IM or email me at AIM = lgrant01 or larrygrant01@gmail.com

thanks
 

quadgnim

Spaceman
Hi everyone. I'm back!!!!

I had to stop working on Pulsar for a couple years due to work and other commitments, but I'm back with a vengeance and making great progress. The game has probably changed since what envisioned back in 2009, but as it stands now I have 4 game types:

1. Free for all Death Match, with random power ups floating around to pick up

2. Team based Death Match, with random power ups floating around to pick up

3. Team based Base Hunt, where each team needs to destroy the other teams base but first must destroy the shield generators floating around the base, with random power ups floating around to pick up

4. Domination, where each team needs to manage resources and science level to reach the science level necessary to build the right weapons to destroy the enemy base. Similar to Base Hunt, but requires resource management and all power ups are done through spending resource credits instead of random power ups floating around. It’s more of a strategy shooter for the more serious teams

The current version is just about done, with all the networking working and debugged locally. I’m working on some performance tweaks and porting it from XNA3 to XNA4 so I can upload it to Xbox Indie Games Play Testing.

I’d like to hear what you think about these game types and if there is something else you’d like to/rather see?

Do you like the idea of up to 4 teams instead of just 2 teams?

Do you think 30 players is enough? It’s an XNA limitation for Xbox Indie Games.

Would you play it on PC or Xbox?

Please rate the importance, PC vs. Xbox

On PC I could maybe support more players if I changed my network model, but that would further delay things

Would you buy it on Xbox indie games? How much might you be willing to spend?
.99c
$4.99
$9.99
$14.99

Do you want something easier to play in that there are fewer options or more complex with all kinds of options?
Many weapons to choose
Are defensive weapons important, such as chaff, flares, etc..
How would you feel if defensive measures were automatic and didn’t require the player to do anything, but instead based on the vehicle upgrades?
Many ships to choose
Various shield and armor options
Various speeds
All kinds of recharging
Passing power between engines, shields, weapons (or don’t you use it)
Etc….

I’m trying to determine if people want something they can quickly jump in to and play on a console with limited options (the controller only has so many buttons) vs. a PC version where players usually expect a lot more

Do you care about a single player version?

Would you want to single player to be a campaign or a simulation of the above 4 mentioned games with AI for the other teams, and your team mates

If on xbox would you care for split screen for 2-4 local players, or just full screen with multi-player over the network?

Any other comments welcome.

PS: I haven't uploaded any new screen shots, but I do have a fully restyled website at www.3dmuve.com. I hope to upload a video showing the current version soon.
 
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