I updated the About page to better reflect my goals for the reboot.
I also posted a tech demo video of what the initial start of TorchShips will look like. The POV (point of view) is your own spacesuit equipped with a MMU (manned maneuvering unit) – mouse to head-look, WASD to rotate your suit, T to thrust in whatever direction you are facing.
All movement is Newtonian – facing direction doesn’t matter unless thrust is applied, objects in motion stay in motion.
The scenario takes place in a crowded asteroid ring system around a planet. Your initial goal is to upgrade your MMU with weapons and improved propulsion, and then eventually find and command much more capable space combat vehicles scattered across the system. A cataclysmic event has reset the space based civilization in orbit and the survivors must rebuild and locate existing resources to survive.
Spacesuit or FPS based combat is not the main focus of TorchShips (see Shattered Horizon for that) but the core POV will be you in your suit, at least to start. As you find and board more capable craft your UI and capabilities will improve.
The tech demo is using Unity3D.
Starting as a guy in a suit is brilliant, it also sounds a lot like the several Minecraft in space games, but the gameplay should quickly prove completely different.
Even though you write that FPS isn’t the focus, how do you envision forcibly taking ships working? Will it just be an extension of the space combat but in a confined space? Naturally, since it’s not the focus, I imagine having only one or two hand held weapons, although an interesting high level suit weapon might be an automated suit breaching laser on a teeny gimbal mounting.
I have only two concerns for the first person view. First, there will be very little going on in the view, but if upgrades which provide HUD, data banks, and camera reads could quickly upgrade things. For that matter, nothing more than a sextant might be an interesting first stage upgrade, so long as it is pretty automatic. A binocular range finder, with sextant function would be more reasonable.
The second issue might be lack of self, or lack of spacial awareness. An in universe 3rd person view could be pulled off with a camera on a stick attached to the player’s back. Weird, possibly pointless in real life? Probably, but I always like seeing my character and ships in games. I do however agree with lack of god’s eye view.
I’m always torn by 3rd person view as an option, I know that a lot of people prefer that view vs first person but I’m concerned it kills immersion. I will think about it – may include as an option since it is not really that expensive in dev time to implement…