Thrive Game Development

Development of the evolution game Thrive.
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 Cinematic Main Menu

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PostSubject: Cinematic Main Menu   Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:20 pm

In Spore, when you launched the game it sent you to a cinematic style view of your galaxy, where you could pick which save file you wanted to access as little planets dotted around this main galaxy, as well access to the creators, archives and so on.
So the Idea is to give Thrive a similar Main Menu to Spore's

How it would work:
This would work by loading up a galaxy, when players first start, they can pick what the galaxy is like, but these changes will be purely aesthetic, and will only include galaxy types that can support life and exist (to our knowledge), so it will mainly be variations on spiral galaxies.

From there the GUI will pop up, giving players access to all of the out-of-game features, such as options, creators and presumably a "log on to the servers" function (if and when that feature is implemented), as well as the player's personal galaxy being dotted with a random amount of new game slots (represented by crosshair type icons around little galaxies).

When the player clicks on one of these save slots they will be zoomed into a randomly generated solar system, where they can choose their planet and make alterations to their potential solar system, they will be able to:

  • Change the amount of stars and color thereof .
  • Drag and move around the order and distance of planets, as well as physical features, names, amount of planets and so on.
  • Pick a potential planet to start the game (they must have a planet that is within the Habitable Zone of the solar system, indicated by a large green ring on the same 2-D plane as the planets.
  • Additional game modifiers (difficulty, gravity, cheats (if you decide to put cheats in))

When they are happy with their Solar System, they can Start playing the game.

Advantages of this System:

  • Simple and Pretty looking main menu, this reason speaks for itself
  • Simple yet Powerful tools allows players to modify their games in a variety of ways, increasing replayability.

Disadvantages of this System:

  • May become too intensive on computer resources
  • May require a lot of work hours to get to work, to which people might not be willing to put in when they can focus their efforts on other areas.
  • There may be more disadvantages and challenges making this seem a cool yet far too ambitious idea.

On another note: See if anyone can get Cliff Martinez in, he did the music scores for Spore, Solaris and did a slap up job on both.

Last edited by Cobalt58 on Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:21 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed the list on the disadvantages section of the post)
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PostSubject: Re: Cinematic Main Menu   Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:36 pm

Ok the thing is we don't want to get shut down by EA for infringing on Spore's intellectual property. We have no right to use anything they made or make our game a copy of theirs.

Here is an example of an open source indie game getting shut down for copyright infringement.

So we need to be doing things our way and not copying Spore at all.

I think the fact that everyone believes this project is a sequel / remake of Spore is a problem we need to tackle.

Moreover what is being built here is completely unique and original and I think we should embrace that as tribute to all the hard work that has been done. We don't need to copy anyone or anything, we've got great stuff of our own.

Which means if you have some cool ideas of your own for the title menu then feel free to submit them! (That's much more creative anyway). We can discuss those and possibly move in that direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Cinematic Main Menu   Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:32 am

Cobalt58 wrote:
The Revolutionary Games website Get Involved page wrote:

One thing to keep in mind in future: starting a post by drawing attention to the very thing our policies are trying to get rid of doesn't put us in a good frame of mind when considering what you have to say.

As Tjwhale said, your idea is basically a rehash of the way Spore did it, even more than our overall game concept. We do already have a main menu, and for the moment it works fine, even if it is pretty basic. At a later date it'll be worth considering what to add to spruce it up a little, but that'll mostly consist of adding game customisation screens, more akin to Species: ALRE's setup screen than Spore's if we were comparing it to other games.

Tjwhale is completely right when he says we should be finding our own ways to do things. Spore can definitely be a source of inspiration, but having a mindset of "Spore but you can be a fire breathing animal and dig and shoot lasers from your eyes!" is just about the opposite of what we want to achieve.

Cobalt58 wrote:
On another note: See if anyone can get Cliff Martinez in, he did the music scores for Spore

Brian Eno created most of Spore's soundtrack, but you're right in that Cliff Martinez is responsible for the main menu music. Unfortunately I'm hugely skeptical of this happening - composers want to be paid for their work, often quite considerable amounts, and Cliff Martinez is (probably) no exception.

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PostSubject: Re: Cinematic Main Menu   Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:24 pm

Right, so obviously at this point there has been some information somewhere or another that I have been unaware of, having not visited this forum for about 6 months or so, to which I can only profusely apologise for posting yet another idea without actually giving anything signalling I can actually help out with the development of the game, but that's something for another time.

I can understand if you want to avoid getting on the wrong side of EA and not just creating another Spore, however, some of the concepts listed in this post could at least be usable later in development if you so choose to spruce up the main menu, such as the customisable solar system idea, but if you see this as a miss that's fine, but if you think that this is an idea that could be worked on then i'm happy to discuss the idea further, consider it a baseline, definitely NOT the finished product, but it could lead to something cool.

But until then, I would suggest that you lock or delete the thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Cinematic Main Menu   Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:12 pm

While tjwhale has a point, I don't think we have to be too worried about EA thinking this is too similar to Spore. If we have a single galaxy that saves live within, then it makes sense to navigate through saves by navigating the galaxy. So it isn't exactly something that EA could put a monopoly on.

However, there are other good reasons not to do it: what I want in this game is consistent mechanics, everything just working together well and making sense. Having a galaxy that you navigate, full of saved games of different times in the galaxy's history, isn't all too reasonable -- it takes about 200 million years for the sun to orbit the galaxy, and Earth life has spent time in every galactic arm.

There are a few things to consider:
* Sanctity of saved games -- where one game you save won't change while you're playing in another. This is the standard definition of a player save -- if you play in a save, only the things in that save can change.
* Interrelationships between player species (note how I don't say saves) -- if each player species is its own save, this is essentially impossible to do meaningfully. You either get a divergence between the state of each species in each save at the moment of contact, or you violate the sanctity of saves. So for this to be possible, we can't have different player species in different saves -- everyone would be in one big saved galaxy, so what you do as species A to B will persist when you play as B.
* Passage of in-game time -- stages get successively much much shorter (though space stage could conceivably last a very long time), which makes it very hard to coordinate various species so they run into each other while both are 'in the present'. The only solution I see here which would fit the above constraints is where the AI takes over all the player species/entities bar the one that's being played at that instant. I can imagine this being rather unpopular, since people will not want their babies getting mucked about with by some AI while they go coddle their other babies.
* Cost -- the real problem with this latest solution is the cost of simulating all player games at the same time -- if you have a bunch of games in microbe stage, that's a bunch more planets that must be simmed no matter which save you're playing. This is worse than the similar-seeming problem with non-player species/planets cuz we can be lazy in our simulations of those, and only simulate those when the player goes out and discovers them (well, not the whole story, but this is mostly the case).

We've got a whole bunch of things to consider if we want player games to be able to interact. In the end, it will depend a lot on the rest of the simulation model.
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PostSubject: Re: Cinematic Main Menu   Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:30 pm

Right, well that makes sense, I just thought it would be a cute little feature to have the main menu be the galaxy your species live and interact in, like Spore, but given the reasons above it would make sense to nix the idea as a whole.
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