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  1. #1
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    Terminus - Exoplanet City Builder

    Off the Katchup today: http://www.indiegogo.com/terminusgame

    The tl;dr version of the background story is "Earth's gonna get splatted by asteroids, so you go off with some people and find a new planet".

    This is one of the few crowdfunding things that has actually hooked my just from the video - it's very well put together, although as the Katchup says, there's nothing in the way of actual "game" images/video yet.

    The lead dev does seem really into the whole concept, which is always nice, and the fact they have a science advisor on their team had me jumping up and down with happiness. They seem to have done plenty of planning, rather than just jumping in and coding before having any idea of their direction.

    Only thing that has me concerned is that it might be a bit too niche - I certainly love the idea, but I can see how others might not be so into it.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  2. #2
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    I'm totally interested in this one. Wound up going for $30.

  3. #3
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    I like the idea. Makes me think a bit of Outpost 2, which is a game I really liked. Give this a bump if it gets near the end and might need some money from me to succeed.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

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    Having looked over their notes on Indiegogo and the trailer again, I just _want_ this thing. The little flow chart of resources makes me just tingle in anticipation. I hope to hell this gets off the ground.

  5. #5
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    I like the look of what little there is to see.

    I look forward to seeing more info on this one.

  6. #6
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    Something about this whole thing has just. Yeah. I NEED TO SEE MORE. Are there any interviews with these guys about Terminus anywhere?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimTheDog View Post
    Something about this whole thing has just. Yeah. I NEED TO SEE MORE. Are there any interviews with these guys about Terminus anywhere?
    Not seen anything, but Google is a bit of a pain as apparently there's another game called Terminus from 2001. They're apparently chucking out an update video in a couple of days, and I've dropped a link to this thread for the Lead Dev (pretty active in the IndieGoGo comments) to try and tempt him here to satisfy our hunger for MOAR.

    Editty mceditson:
    Right now we’re working on creating team profiles to add to the main game page, and the “Ship and Procedural Generation” update video to talk about aspects of the game. After that our priority is to get some gameplay mockup pictures done and viewable.
    If you’ve played Tropico 3 or 4, or Simcity 4, you have a pretty good idea of the visual we are aiming for. Terminus will have a 3d engine with 3d models, but ‘home’ to an isometric camera.
    Last edited by Danny252; 22-01-2013 at 08:33 PM.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  8. #8
    You hunger and I deliver.

    Q - Science advisor?
    A - Dr. James Garry is an Aeronautical engineer who has worked on NASA and ESA projects including the Cassini-Huygens probe, the Beagle2 lander (cough), and a bit on the Rosetta comet lander. He is way smarter than me and loves to get into the nitty-gritty details, while I have to reel him back and remind him that it's a game, not a simulation. James also has done some of the art.

    Q - Plenty of Planning?
    A - I can read a little bit of C# but couldn't write any for my life. I started writing the Terminus design document long before Derek was involved as programmer. I had to work out the entire game, or at least the main concepts and mechanics, long before I presented it to him. So yes, the game has been planned very thoroughly. We do have hundreds of pages of design documentation, and since we've started working on the game about 20 of those pages have been scrapped or rewritten (with the result of a better design)

    Q - Outpost 2?
    A - Yeah I loved Outpost 1 and 2. Outpost 1 had a much better 'mood' even if the gameplay was horrifically broken. Outpost 2 was a much better game and had some fairly interesting aspects to it, but took things in a different direction than Outpost 1 was going for. With Terminus basically I wanted to capture that ephemeral "Feeling" of Outpost 1, the isolation, the desperation, the unknown, but build it with modern design sensibilities in mind such as, you know, gameplay tightness and bug fixing. Not to mention a UI that works... I've been paying close attention to the Europa Universalis 3 game to take notes on how they collect and present complex game data in an easily understandable form.

    Q - Resource flow chart?
    A - James gave me so much hell for the first version I did. He kept saying "Where's the water? Where's the water?" and I said "Well gameplay mechanics, water is too hard to track..." and he repeated "But you need water to survive" and so finally I devised a way to add water to the system and it makes a much better result, so thanks James.

    The resource model is quite interesting, it has two main components. There are two kinds of resources in the game, "Non-renewables" like ore, gasses, etc, and "Upkeep" resources such as happiness, food, power. A lot of buildings use up non-renewables in order to function, for example the power plant consumes radioactives and the agricultural dome uses up volatiles (nitrogen) and produces O2/food. The O2 builds up in the colony, stored in each building, and in the event of a hull breach the O2 starts evacuating quickly, similar to how FTL handles breaches. The food on the other hand does not stockpile, you either have a surplus food or a deficit. Surplus makes people happy and reproduce, deficit lowers their happiness.

    So what you end up having is a situation where half of the things you pull out of the ground go towards just keeping the lights on and the farms producing.

    Q - Interviews with us guys?
    A - Nope, we haven't caught big-league attention yet, aside from Adam's Kickstarter Katchup post. When we are interviewed - anywhere - we will add that to the main indiegogo page.

    Q - Terminus from 2001? Wtf?
    A - Yeah, but their trademark expired two years ago so we are free and clear to use Terminus as the name for our game :)

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    Oooh. Gameplay mockup pictures? Maybe like a gameplay mockup slideshow? THIS WOULD BE EXCELLENT.

  10. #10
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    !!! Dev response! Secret dev response! OMG! If you come back,Dev, additional question on resources:

    Will stuff like water and air be going through recyclers and all? Can a bad filter somewhere wreck the life support loop?

  11. #11
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    Hey everyone, Lead programmer on Terminus here to answer any questions needed as well.

    @JimTheDog

    Currently we do not have any recyclers for air or water but it is an interesting idea and something that needs to be discussed within the Dev team and see if it fits in. As we are still very early in development there is always room for new ideas and features as we go along.

    Would also like to say thanks to everyone who is interested and show support so far. We look forward to keeping everyone up to date with the game as it progresses.

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    @DerekL

    I know there's a lot about emergencies on the page, but I think some longer term/slower disasters are very much part and parcel of this sort of thing. Stuff that isn't an immediate threat, but will contribute to larger threats if you don't figure out how to fix it. Like the recyclers or whatever. Maybe they malfunction and change the air mix so there's a little too much oxygen in it -- now fires are more likely. Or maybe they drop the oxygen, and now all the crew in the section are labouring as though they're at the top of a mountain with low blood oxygen levels. That kind of thing. There's some great sci fi about just that sort of slow-burning problem.

  13. #13
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    I'm the "nuclear.madman" from the comments (which is a reflection of the fact that IndieGoGo decided to use my email address to my username, rather than letting my stick with my more usual name...), and I'm glad I convinced you to poke your head in here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Harbour Games View Post
    Q - Science advisor?
    A - Dr. James Garry is an Aeronautical engineer who has worked on NASA and ESA projects including the Cassini-Huygens probe, the Beagle2 lander (cough), and a bit on the Rosetta comet lander.
    Please excuse me whilst I go and have a happy for a bit.

    RE EU3: I'm assuming you mean the dozen or so map overlays they have there, showing all sorts of things? Whilst the map overlays are excellent, I found that in Crusader Kings II (very similar engine), it relied a bit too heavily on the map at times - finding actual numbers or lists could be quite a pain.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimTheDog View Post
    @DerekL

    I know there's a lot about emergencies on the page, but I think some longer term/slower disasters are very much part and parcel of this sort of thing. Stuff that isn't an immediate threat, but will contribute to larger threats if you don't figure out how to fix it. Like the recyclers or whatever. Maybe they malfunction and change the air mix so there's a little too much oxygen in it -- now fires are more likely. Or maybe they drop the oxygen, and now all the crew in the section are labouring as though they're at the top of a mountain with low blood oxygen levels. That kind of thing. There's some great sci fi about just that sort of slow-burning problem.
    Yeah, totally agree. We love feedback and suggestions like this, can't promise anything will get in but we will definitely go over this idea and see how it fits in with the gameplay. Still have a lot of work ahead of us and never know what will be added or how things will work out until you actually see it in action.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    I'm the "nuclear.madman" from the comments (which is a reflection of the fact that IndieGoGo decided to use my email address to my username, rather than letting my stick with my more usual name...), and I'm glad I convinced you to poke your head in here!



    Please excuse me whilst I go and have a happy for a bit.

    RE EU3: I'm assuming you mean the dozen or so map overlays they have there, showing all sorts of things? Whilst the map overlays are excellent, I found that in Crusader Kings II (very similar engine), it relied a bit too heavily on the map at times - finding actual numbers or lists could be quite a pain.
    No no, I don't mean their map interface. Personally I find the map interface for EU3 and CK2 to be.... unwieldy. Once you get used to it it sort of becomes useful, but for a new player it's completely opaque. What I'm talking about are the modifiers they show you whenever you roll over a particular number:



    As you can see from the above image, you have a number (Rating 196) and then the game breaks down exactly WHY you have that number. We are intending to do the same thing with our material and static resources, so for example if you have a happiness value of 72 across the whole colony, if you mouseover that number it will say "+44 because of recreational centres, -100 because of population size, +10 because of policy decisions, +14 because of adjacency bonuses, +4 because of difficulty, -20 due to recent disaster, -10 due to recent population loss, +30 due to first discovered ice water supply." or some other similar breakdown.

    The worst thing we could do would be to have a number like 72 happiness and never explain where it's coming from, or hide it in an 'analytics' graph somewhere nobody ever looks.

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    I actually love it when games do that 'stat breakdown' thing. It really does add to the feeling that you can influence the game in specific ways, rather than leaving stats soupy and generalized.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimTheDog View Post
    Oooh. Gameplay mockup pictures? Maybe like a gameplay mockup slideshow? THIS WOULD BE EXCELLENT.
    Yes please. I like the idea in general, but I'd love to see some images of what you guys want the game to actually look to get a feeling of how it might play. The thing is, dropping names like "Outpost" and "Tropico" creates the greatest images in my head, and I really want to know if the reality looks anything like my imagination. :)
    Last edited by c-Row; 25-01-2013 at 10:33 AM.
    - If the sound of Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" makes you think of Kharak burning instead of the Vietnamese jungle, most of your youth happened during the 90s. -

  18. #18
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    There's been a couple of updates on the IndieGoGo page - a short Q&A, and an update video talking about outfitting your Spaceship (earning a +1 for mentioning Dwarf Fortress) and solar system/planet generation.

    (Video's in the next post below for those who dun like clicky links)
    Last edited by Danny252; 25-01-2013 at 09:14 PM.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  19. #19
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    Yeah. I just came here to post a direct link to the update video. (I think it's lovely.)

    I shall post it ANYWAY because redundancy is safety.


  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    Came here after the thread was mentioned on the Unclaimed World news item but there isn't really much to see, is there? Unclaimed World got me excited by showing gameplay video, but this is "just" a design document with some mock-ups as far as I can tell. If it works, then great because the more space colony games the better but I think I'll reserve judgement until I can see how the game actually plays.

    EDIT: it occurs to me that there are now actually quite a few space colony games in development, this, Unclaimed World, Maia and a couple of others that have been mentioned on RPS but whose names didn't stick. I'm not sure I ever actually played anything like this before, apart from Alpha Centauri which I don't really count as it was more about struggling against other civilizations than against the environment. Is Space Colony HD (available on GoG) worth picking up?
    Last edited by frightlever; 27-01-2013 at 12:15 PM.

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