The lander-game is still figuring itself out piece by piece, but it already has some rules and a loop. This is mostly a scratchpad for myself and rather hastily written.
The player is looking at a space-hangar-management-software and has to manage approaching ships. The hangar has four landing-platforms in a row. Ships pay a fee for each round they stay landed.
The arriving ships can be from three different fractions: Police, Corporate, Cartel.
The player has a reputation with each fraction. A positive reputation means the player gets a bigger tip from that fraction.
The reputation changes based on how the player places ships from certain fractions next to each other.
Example: Putting Police next to Cartel will improve the rep. with Police, and lower it with Cartel. Corporate next to Cartel means a minus with Corporate and a plus with Cartel. Think rock-paper-scissors.
A ship will remain on the platform for 3 to 6 rounds.
Sending a ship away prematurely by placing a new ship on that platform will decrease reputation with that fraction.
The player is paying a fixed maintenance fee each round.
Current ideas and struggles:
- Should a ship pay for each round, or just on landing, or just on leaving? With pay-on-leave I could add that the player won't get payed if the ship gets "sent home" prematurely.
- An arbitrary number of platforms. Start with one or two, and buy additional platforms as the game progresses. Currently, 4 are hardcoded into the game.
- A lose-condition is still missing. Maybe lose if you run out of cash?
- Game-objectives may be: Get n money by round 50; Don't get a negative reputation with the cartel; survive 50 rounds; start with a negative rep. with the police and get it positive by round 30;
- A fourth fraction, "Leisure" or "Private", which does have effects on neighbouring ships, but doesn't have a reputation with the player. Could be useful as filler for empty slots, I don't know…
- A second dimension. The platforms aren't just 4 in a row but maybe 3x4, and the reputation-effects go up and down.
- Events! This will spice up the game and add story.
- Cartel offers you money if you don't let police land
- The game currently has instant state-changes, since the interface is still a CLI. That means every change happens instantly and the player has no transitions to help visualise consequences. It's waaaay to early to think about final visuals etc. but I would want this to be a browser-based game if it ever goes public. Of course I had to do a little yak-shaving and put the CLI-game into Cathode.app, for a little trashy Sci-Fi-Cyber-Vibe: